Why Is Your Leadlight Glass Door Rattling?

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If you have a leadlight door and you suddenly notice a rattling sound around the glass, then you might be worried that the glass is about to fall out. You might hear a rattle when you open or close the door or when the wind blows against it. How can you work out where the problem lies and what should you do about it?

Look for Damage

Sometimes, the putty, cement or lead that holds leadlight glass in place deteriorates with age or damage. Putty and cement may start to break down and fall out; lead might fracture, bow or break. If you're lucky you can see where the problem lies just by looking at the glass and its frame.

For example, if your putty all looks sound generally but you see that a spot has fallen out, then this could be the source of the rattling. The glass in that part of the design might not be held secure any longer. Or, if a strip of lead looks bent out of position, then the glass doesn't have the support it needs. In some cases, you see that a piece of the glass isn't sitting flush where it should. It may stick out or look recessed.

In all these cases, the glass rattles because it isn't held firm. It won't necessarily fall out just yet, but part of it doesn't have the right level of support.

Feel for Damage

Sometimes, you can't see an obvious reason why your leadlight glass is rattling. The frames and their fixings all look sound enough. In this instance, you can test the glass to see if it is holding firm or not. Try gently pressing on the panes to see if any of them move or rattle. Remember to be very careful here, you don't want to dislodge any glass pieces or push them out.

If the glass seems firm enough, then try tapping on it with your fingers. Do this at various spots across the leadlight insert. If something is loose, you should be able to feel vibrations or hear a rattle.

If you can identify the problem, you might be able to fix it. For example, if you've simply lost a small piece of putty, then you could replace it. If the rattling stops, you've solved the problem.

However, if you have more extensive damage, visible lead problems or can't see where the problem lies, then you need expert help. In these cases, it's better to call in a leadlight door restoration specialist. They can work out why your glass rattles and fix the problem without damaging the glass or the door.