Use Caution When Installing Skylights to Avoid Problems With Your Roof

If you have ever had a problem with a leaking skylight, it may seem to you that the leaks are inevitable. However, modern skylights are more efficient and leak-proof than ever. With proper, professional installation, you should be able to enjoy your skylights without encountering any problems or roof maintenance issues. 

Why does it seem like skylights always leak? There are a number of problems that can occur when a skylight is part of your roofing system. Often, in colder weather, condensation will accumulate on the interior of the skylight and drip down into the room below. This may present as a leak, but is in fact not. Newer skylights with a higher R-value can avoid this problem. Condensation can also be caused if the skylight is not completely airtight.

Sometimes leaks originate elsewhere on the roof but drain into the house through the skylight. If a professional is unable to find a problem with the skylight itself, have them inspect the rest of the roof for problems.

The most common skylight-related leak occurs at the flashing, which is the area of connection between the skylight and the roof.  If your skylight is leaking, replacing the flashing may solve the problem.

Even if you have had no problems with your skylight, if you are replacing your roof, most professionals will recommend that you replace your skylight at the same time.  If you are replacing your roof because it is between 15-25 years old, it is likely that your skylight is just as old.  New advances in technology have resulted in modern skylights that are much more energy efficient than the old ones.

By replacing your skylight when you replace your roof you can increase the overall energy-efficiency of your roofing system.  This will also enable you to avoid problems a few years down the road when your skylight does need to be replaced. Replacing your skylight will necessitate replacing some of your new shingles, and you may encounter problems matching the colour or type.

If you are replacing your skylight or installing one for the first time, consider the positioning of the skylight to maximize energy efficiency.  If possible, place the skylight in a position where it will maximize the benefits of passive solar heating as well as providing your home with natural light.

Skylight leaks are one of the most common problems dealt with by roofing professionals.  If you are considering replacing or installing a skylight, consult a roofing professional to avoid creating any problems or the need for further roof maintenance or repairs