Skylights are a stylish, low-cost way to invite more refreshing natural light into your home. They work perfectly from the kitchen to the living room. A quality roofer can help you determine the ideal place to install skylights to maximize light exposure and minimize your energy costs. Well-placed skylights highlight the best features of your home interior. They insulate and are eco-friendly because they reduce the cost of electric and heating bills by increasing natural light indoors.
The great news is that exposure to natural light leads to higher productivity, improved mood, and lower stress levels. So, who doesn’t want a skylight?
The downside to skylights is that they are the “weak link in the chain” of your home exterior. While exposed to the elements 24/7, they are unprotected from extreme temperatures, severe weather, UV rays, high winds, and the change of seasons. Over time, problems can show up due to the vulnerabilities of skylights.
It can feel overwhelming to have skylight damage and not know what to do. And poorly functioning ones can cause roofing issues such as destructive moisture intrusion, faulty insulation, and increased energy bills.
Here are some valuable tips on what causes skylight problems and what to do when they leak:
Common Causes for Problems with Skylights
Normal wear and tear, poor installation, and the location of your skylights are all catalysts for problems.
When skylights have problems, here are some possible causes:
1. Poor Insulation / Seal
When a skylight isn’t installed properly, your home can suffer energy loss due to a lack of a good seal, and water intrusion may result.
Solution: If your skylight causes insulation problems, have it repaired by a roofing contractor.
2. Roof Flashing
The most common problem with skylights is their tendency to leak due to the flashing around them becoming damaged from corrosion.
Solution: Thorough, professional installation and skylight re-flashing prevents leaks and water damage so you can enjoy your skylights for years to come.
3. Poor installation
When skylights aren’t installed properly, they can cause damage to your home due to moisture infiltration. When snow melts or rain pours, your home can get damaged due to water intrusion.
Solution: Contact a roofing contractor and have them inspect your skylight.
4. Excess daylight, roof vent problems or overheating
Skylights can suffer UV (ultraviolet) radiation damage and even overheat, causing them to malfunction.
Solution: Regular upkeep will extend the life of your skylight. If you’re not comfortable doing the needed maintenance yourself, then just like you hire a window cleaner, hire someone to clean the skylight for you. Find out what your skylight is made of before cleaning it because using household window cleaner or ammonia could destroy it.
6. Ice dams
Ice dams form around skylights, which can tend to be poorly sealed. They can also form below skylights because of the snow that sits on the warm glass melts and then re-freezes on the cold roof surface below. Damaging water seeps into your attic particularly if an ice dam is near the skylight.
Solution: Verify the seals around your skylights are fully intact. If they aren’t, have them replaced.
7. Melting Snow
Melting snow can infiltrate through your skylight and cause costly moisture damage to your home.
Solution: Prevent further damage by resealing your skylights and repairing any areas of your home that incurred moisture damage.
Condensation can seep into your roofing and cause a leak in your skylight’s framing.
Solution: Have a roofing contractor inspect your roof and skylight to prevent or repair moisture problems.
9. Damaged Roof Cement
If roofing cement is used during skylight installation, it can lead to leaks. During hot summers, cement can crack and cause water to infiltrate your home. Also, if roof cement is used during installation, tiny pigeonholes may develop and cause water to leak.
Solution: Contact a professional roofer to repair your skylight.
How to Clean Your Skylight
Regular upkeep of your skylight can help prolong its life. By cleaning it periodically, you’ll have an up-close eye on it to spot any problems, and you’ll keep it in the best possible working order. When trouble is present, the sooner you repair it, the better.
To clean your skylight:
- For best results, avoid cleaning skylights during the hottest part of the day.
- If you have multiple rows of skylights, start at the highest row and work down.
- Remove all dust and debris from skylights from the inside of your home.
- Wash your skylight with liquid dish soap and water by using a long-handled mop.
- Use a mild, non-abrasive glass cleaner along with a soft brush to clean the glass.
- Rinse your skylight well with clean water.
- Remove the moisture immediately with a lint-free cloth.
- Be careful not to touch any metal parts of your cleaning equipment to the glass or let any abrasive materials be dragged across the glass surface, causing damage.
How to Know if Skylights Are Leaking
- If you spot water leaking into your home near your skylight.
- If you feel drafts of wind close to your skylight.
- If you see condensation on and around your skylight.
- If you notice discoloration around your skylight.
Get a Reliable Contractor to Fix Your Leaky Skylight
Skylights usually last for 8-15 years. If you’re wondering who to call to fix your leaky skylight, a reliable roofing company can help by inspecting the situation thoroughly, pinpointing the problem, and resolving the issue once and for all.
Whether you need us to repair your current skylights or install new skylights, we know you want the job done right. At Christian Brothers Roofing, we fit premium skylight products into your home in ideal places. We choose durable, high-performance Velux® and Wasco® skylights that give you stunning results so you can enjoy the benefits for years to come.
Learn more about our skylight services.