There’s no better way to add an abundance of natural light to your home than by putting in a skylight. They can help you save on your electric bills, create a beautiful atmosphere, and add to the resale value of your home. One you have one in your home, one of the biggest things to look for is signs of a leaking skylight. After heavy rain, skylights can leak and potentially cause a lot of damage to your home. Here are some things to pay attention to when you suspect you might have a problem and how to proceed with skylight leak repair.
How to Install a Skylight
Whether you feel comfortable enough to try a do it yourself skylight or are looking into hiring a professional, proper installation is the best way to prevent future leaks.
The most important part of the installation process for roofing skylights residential when it comes to leak prevention is in learning how to seal a skylight correctly. That’s why it’s a good idea to hire a professional for skylight installation existing roof unless you have some related experience with a make your own skylight project. Doing it correctly is essential and can save you the cost to remove skylight later.
Also, keep in mind that replacement skylights for homes are different than commercial skylights for flat roofs. If you’re thinking about adding one to your business, you will likely need to install skylight guards to be compliant with various codes.
Here are the basic steps to installing a skylight:
- Cut the opening using a circular saw. The easiest way to mark the area for cutting is to drive long deck screws up through the roof from inside your home where the corners of the skylight will sit. Obviously, be sure to measure precisely and make sure everything is level. On the roof, snap a chalk line to make lines between the screws as a cutting guide. Once you’ve begun cutting, stay off this area.
- Remove the cut out using help from someone on the inside. Nail the sheathing down around the perimeter. Then, place a membrane and fold and cut everything to size.
- Install the skylight by lifting it through the opening, resting the bottom edge in place first, then slowly lowering it into place. Use roofing nails to attach it in place.
- Cover the flange with waterproof membrane that extends about 6 inches beyond the skylight itself. Wrap around the entire frame.
- Attach shingles and place the sill over the bottom end. Nail in place and cover anything exposed roof with shingles. Add flashing up the sides and cover with a shingle.
- Snap counterflashing onto the skylight and install saddle flashing at the top.
Why Do Skylights Leak?
There are several reasons why a skylight could leak. The most common reason is a problem with the flashing around the outside of the winder. Sometimes, this can happen from natural wear and tear and even non opening skylights leak. Water gets into small cracks and eventually makes its way inside your home or leads to your roof leaking around skylight.
Sometimes, you may see water in the inside of the window that is just built up condensation. This is especially common in humid or cooler climates. If you start to notice a lot of condensation, it’s a good idea to see if there’s another problem. Skylights are designed to be able to handle condensation and have a special channel that’s designed to allow water to evaporate. If this isn’t working, there could be a blockage or other issue that needs dealt with.
How to Fix Leaking Skylight Window
If your skylight leaks when it rains, there are a few things you can do.
First, if you’re noticing a lot of condensation, make sure the evaporation channels are clear. It’s easy for things on the roof to get clogged. Much like your gutters, leaves and other debris can block the channels necessary to allow the water to drain effectively.
Next, if you can pinpoint the location of the leak, use a can or tube of roofing cement to seal any that appear around the flashing. You can also use 100% silicone caulking around the window itself.
If neither of this things solves the problem, the next step is to completely replace the flashing. It can sustain damage overtime that can cause leaks.
If that still doesn’t work, you may need a new skylight. If you’re wondering how to replace a skylight, it’s almost the exact same process as the initial installation. Just make sure you get one that’s the same size so it fits snugly into the hold you already have in your roof.
Skylights: A Bright Investment
Skylights are a great addition to any home. They add light and brightness and can even help you save money on your electric bill. That’s not all, they can add a lot to the resale value of your home and are a feature that could keep potential buyer interested. They’re worth it in the long run but preventing leaks is essential to keeping them that way.
It’s important to make sure skylights are installed correctly. A leaky skylight can cause a lot of problems and the best way to prevent them is to make sure the original installation is as leak-proof as possible. If you do discover a leak, remember, there are a few things your can try to fix it on your own. It’s possible that some cement or caulk is all you need to do the job. If it gets more involved or if you discover the damage is more significant, you may need a replacement in addition to some other repairs.