Installation of skylights has become an ideal alternative to traditional lighting systems. While there are tons of energy-saving benefits, there are some issues that you need to confront as a property owner. For one, it is susceptible to moisture due to leakage problems. Because we care for your roof, we will give you a simple guide on how to fix a leaking skylight.
Before we get down to business, let us first look into some important considerations before choosing skylights over other lighting options. It is helpful to fully understand what you are dealing with before you even get started with basic repairs. Furthermore, roof installations, repairs, and replacements should only be handled by experts as they require a specific set of skills.
Main Purpose of Installing Skylights
As the name implies, skylights illuminate the interior of a building. You can find skylights attached to roofs. Most of the time, they appear to be a transparent or translucent window but in terms of design, they are more flexible. They are built into roofs for the purpose of allowing natural light to penetrate the interior of a commercial, industrial, or residential property. Aside from brightening the space, it also enhances the building’s visual appeal especially if you are going for that modern look. Due to these good qualities, it has easily become a popular choice for property owners.
Skylight installation is crucial. Since skylights are installed on roofs, poor workmanship could either damage or affect the roofing’s performance. Hence, it is important to always seek a professional’s assistance for all your roofing needs and requirements.
Different Types of Skylights
Skylights come in a wide variety of designs to match your homes or commercial buildings. These are some of the commonly seen designs and their specific qualities:
- Fixed Skylight – It is called a fixed skylight for it is completely sealed to the roof. Once installed, you can no longer open or close this for ventilation purposes. It is made of 90% glass while the frame is made up of either metal or wood.
- Ventilated Skylight – This is mostly used for kitchens or bathrooms due to its ventilation properties that aid in removing excess moisture. It allows you to open or close the skylight for various purposes like sustaining a constant flow of air or releasing of any foul odor.
- Tubular Skylight – This is ideal for small spaces that require ample lighting. Through a tube-shaped pipe covered with a spherical dome at the top, natural light is transmitted down to the room.
- Pyramid Skylight – Commonly used for larger spaces like lobbies. They come in different pyramid-like shapes and sizes.
- Dome Acrylic Skylight – Dome-shaped skylights are usually made from plastic material. With its shape, it can spread sunlight across the room instead of concentrating it in one area.
- Barrel Vault Skylight – This is mostly used for large commercial and industrial buildings like malls, schools, or covered parking areas. The roof is 80 to 100% covered with skylight.
- Custom Skylight – They are called custom skylights because technically they do not follow any existing design or measurement. They can be in a form of geometric shape or other patterns that suit a specific property and add up to its aesthetics.
Benefits of Skylights
Skylights are a great investment. There’s no doubt about it. On top of naturally improving the lighting condition, here is a list of other benefits that you can expect from them.
- Lower energy consumption – Skylights are proven to reduce energy consumption by as much as 10% since you lessen dependency on artificial lighting. You also minimize the use of heating equipment due to direct sunlight penetration.
- Boost productivity levels – A research showed that employees exposed to natural light recorded significantly higher levels of energy as compared to those working under artificial light sources.
- Promote health benefits – Allowing natural sunlight to enter your building can also be beneficial to your health. You can get ample amount of Vitamin D from proper exposure to sunlight.
- Improve ventilation – You can easily open or close window-type skylights to adjust to certain conditions. If it’s too warm inside, you can let some air in. You can also open it to release strong odors.
- Brilliant night sky view – Skylight fits people who enjoy viewing the night sky. You can experience the outdoors in the comforts of your own room or building.
Disadvantages of Skylights
Along with the many benefits, there are some drawbacks that you also need to reconsider. It will help assess if this is something that you want to manage for a long period of time.
- Excessive light – Since skylights allow natural light penetration, you cannot entirely control the amount of light that enters the room.
- Maintenance – It could get difficult to clean and maintain skylights due to their positioning. Dust can also accumulate around the skylights and could be difficult to manage. The intense heat caused by sunlight may also affect exposed furnishings.
- Instability of temperature – During summertime, it could get too hot with direct penetration of sunlight. With the same principle, it could also happen in winter. Skylights may heighten effects of cold air, snow, and ice.
Top 3 Considerations
When choosing or designing a skylight for your property, there are several considerations to think about. These things will contribute to your roofing’s longevity, durability, and performance. If you fail to take them into consideration, you might end up with bigger problems sooner which also means more expenses from your end.
Discuss with a licensed roofing contractor to know if the building structure could support the skylight and other roofing materials. It is a crucial step to know whether or not it could do so because it might compromise the entire structural integrity if not properly assessed.
Skylights boost your property’s design and enhance its features. However, it is also prone to leakage issues. As with any roofing system, proper roofing maintenance is a must. For skylights, you have to be prepared to conduct all necessary waterproofing treatments in order to prolong its use and keep your roof in good condition.
Improper installation may lead to risks and damages. Hence, it is advisable to ask help for reliable roofing contractors to handle all kinds of roofing projects including skylight installation. It is also recommended to schedule installation during drier seasons or summertime to avoid delays.
Cause of Skylight Leaks
As with any window additions, improper installation and age are two major factors that could potentially cause leaks. To give you a more detailed overview of what causes leaks, you may refer to the list below:
- Damaged flashings
- Cracks or holes of roof cement
- Issues with the drywall
How to Fix a Leaking Skylight?
It is important to know how to care for your own roof. We will give you a step by step guide on how to fix a leaking skylight in the simplest possible way. Bear in mind that there are instances where minor repairs could temporarily solve your roofing issues. However, there are situations that need more serious intervention. Hence, for all your roofing problems, always consult your trusted local roofer to get accurate inputs. Besides, roofing repair jobs are difficult to perform and should always be handled by experienced workers.
Here are the tools you need:
- Safety gears (goggles, gloves, etc.)
- Caulking gun
- Roof cement
Step 1: Locate the Source of Leakage
Through visual inspection, identify where the leak is coming from. Reach the problematic area using a ladder. Make sure that you set it up on a flat surface against a sturdy wall.
Step 2: Clear the Area
Before you begin fixing the leaks, ensure that the area is free from obstructions.
To clear the area, you need to carefully lift up shingles surrounding the flashings of your skylight. Brush off dirt and pick-up debris. Remove enough shingles to achieve a wide perimeter around the skylight. Then, scrape off old tar using a chisel.
Step 3: Seal Shingles Back
To stop water from penetrating the skylights, use a caulking gun loaded with roofing cement. Put enough cement under the shingle closest to where the flashing meets the roofing felt. Press it down firmly to seal it in place.
Repeat this step to all the shingles surrounding the skylight.
Step 4: Seal Remaining Holes/Cracks
Check if there are remaining holes or cracks in the metal flashing or in the existing seal. If you see any unwanted openings, seal it as well using roof cement.
Do not be afraid to explore options to improve lighting condition and beautify your homes or commercial properties. Skylights are effective in serving their purpose provided that it is installed and maintained by professionals. If there are minor issues, you can go back to this blog and review how to fix a leaking skylight. However, do not forget to get clearance from roofing experts to avoid further damages and accidents.
Skyluxe Roofing and Sheet Metal is composed of professional workers equipped with industry-based training to ensure your safety and protection. Contact our team today and get a free estimate: 647.952.2843