Skylights, and to a lesser extent solar tubes, are a great way to bring natural light into the home and help with energy efficiency. They also add a point of interest to the interior and exterior of the home. But for all of the benefits they provide, when you’re dealing with a leaking skylight, they can do more harm than good.
When it leaks, it will cause problems to the roofing system as well as the interior of the home. Unfortunately, these leaks aren’t always noticeable until the damage has been done. If there is water damage to the roof and skylight, you’ll need to make some quick repairs to keep issues to a minimum.
For starters, you’ll want to find out where the leaks are originating from. A visual inspection could reveal issues with the flashing or problems with the shingles around the skylight itself. Make sure the flashing has been installed under the shingles at the top and sides.
If the shingles have begun to pull away from the flashing, use a hefty bead of roofing cement to adhere the material back to the flashing. This will also act as an additional barrier to keep water from getting under the shingles.
Even when properly installed, skylights still need maintenance to perform at their best and keep your roofing system intact. This is true whenever you cut a hole of any size in your roof, either for a skylight, vent pipes, or additional attic vents. Weather seals can crack or wear down over time and any issues with the skylight flashing should be addressed.
Remove all moss, algae, or other debris that has started to collect at the top or sides. This will hold water in place and give it more time to find openings under and around the skylight flashing.
Replace The Skylight
If a leaky skylight itself is in disrepair due to a rotting skylight frame, damage to the glass, or other issues that are leading to roof leaks, it’s time for a replacement. This is much more involved than performing a few minor repairs, especially if the existing opening is irregular.
There are a few considerations if you’re trying to replace a skylight on your own. First and foremost, make sure you can reach the work area safely from both sides of the opening. If you have a steep slope or very high ceilings, we recommend contacting an experienced roofing contractor like Warner Roofing.
Follow all manufacturer’s guidelines for installation. This will keep any warranties from being voided and will have detailed instructions. Make sure to pick a product that will fit the existing opening–making an opening smaller with additional framing is much easier than trying to expand the opening.
If water damage has spread to the framing of the roof joists or framing, you will need to replace that material as well. At this point, the job has become too big for most homeowners and it’s time to call in the professionals. You certainly don’t want to make things worse than they already are.
Work With Skylight Professionals
Any advantages you gain from a skylight will be quickly lost through improper installation. For nearly 30 years, Warner Roofing and Construction has been working with skylights, solar tubes, and roofing in general. With our expert skylight installation and proper maintenance, you should be able to enjoy your skylights for 20 years or more with little worry.
If you are having issues with your skylight, or have any questions about your roofing in general, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Warner Roofing and Construction. We work quickly, safely, and in all types of weather (which is important in the Pacific Northwest). We also offer free estimates on most jobs so you’ll know exactly what needs to be done.