How Do You Repair A Leaking Skylight?

opened skylight

Can skylight break?

What can you do about an interior room in your home that doesn’t have any windows? A room with no natural light can be dark, depressing, and dreary. So, how can you combat that? Install a skylight in the room. For years, skylights have had a negative reputation for leaking. Fortunately, skylight repair is possible. 

Yes, but not easily.  The roof on your home is at risk to the elements, especially hail, wind, or any storm damage, and that puts your skylight at risk too. From hailstones to flying debris and falling tree limbs, a skylight can be cracked. Here in New York, with the abundance of snow we get most winters, that is another factor to consider. The skylight is often the weakest area of the roof, so a heavy snowfall could max the weight load. 

Can you fix a cracked skylight?

A skylight filters the sunlight into your home, and it is wonderful. What if it cracks thought? A cracked skylight can lead to leaking and could also mean your roof has an issue too. You could have a roofing contractor do an inspection and that would include your skylight too but not any roofing contractor will know how to repair skylight. 

You may not be able to afford a professional contractor that knows how to repair skylight glass right away, or it happens on a weekend or holiday. There are something you can do for a temporary skylight repair that will keep water from leaking inside your home: 

Patch the Crack

A small crack you can do a skylight repair by applying clear caulk over the crack. Or a trip to a home improvement store you can look for products that are specifically made for temporary skylight repairs. Keep in mind, this doesn’t hide the crack and the patch won’t be aesthetically pleasing. 

Let It Sit

Most skylights have two layers, and if you’re lucky, the crack is only in one layer and the skylight hasn’t began leaking yet. If this is the case, you can leave it for now and just keep a watch for the crack getting larger. The larger the leak gets, it could start leaking and by then, a skylight repair will turn into a skylight replacement. 

How do you cover a broken skylight?

A skylight opens a room up, giving it natural light, a wonderful addition to any room, until the weather gets bad. So what do you do if hailstones break your skylight, and a contractor can’t get there for skylight repair? You cover it up like you would your roof.  

With extreme care and caution, take a plastic tarp, four 2×4 boards, and nail to the roof. Cover the skylight with the tarp then nail the 2×4 boards, one on each side of the skylight, fasten the tarp to the roof. 

How do you repair a leaking skylight?

Skylight can be a beautiful part of your home, but it can also have major downside: leaks.  As a skylight ages, it can begin to leak because the same climate and environment that ages your roof is getting to the skylight too. Do you need skylight repair or skylight replacement? Here are somethings you can check before you call the professionals:

Does your skylight open? Make sure there isn’t any debris that could be preventing it from closing. Dirt, leaves, twigs, even a bird could be blocking it from closing or blocking the channels and weep  holes that drain water. 

  • Check the weather seals and see if they are broken or cracked. These are an easy replacement and often the cause of a leaking skylight. 
  • Another common cause of a leaking skylight is the insulated glass is damaged around the frame. You can apply a clear silicone caulk for a temporary skylight repair, but usually at this point, a replacement is needed. 
  • If you have an older skylight, it most likely was not installed with a corrosion-resistant material they use today. If the framing has become corrode or rusted, you need to replace your skylight. 
  • It may not be your skylight at all that is leaking. It could be the roofing shingles around the skylight and water is coming in the least resistant path at the skylight. At this point, you need a  professional roofer to inspect your roof and skylight and determine the problem. 
two skylights in ceiling

How do you reseal a skylight glass?

When your skylight was installed, a large hole was cut into the roof.  Then metal flashing was either a part of the skylight or installed with the skylight. If that metal flashing isn’t right, then you’ll have a leaking skylight, repairs must be made! So, time to climb up on the roof or hire an experienced contractor for skylight repair. If you’re going to do the job yourself, we offer the following steps and tips: 

  • Clean the Area: Before making any type of repairs, the area needs to be prepped where the work is needed. Clean off any debris, dirt, and grime with a broom or brush all around the skylight. Gently lift shingles around the skylight and sweep out any debris. 
  • Flashing Check: The metal flashing is usually installed with roofing compound, so if you have a leaking skylight, it could be from an incorrect installation, or the compound has aged and turned loose. If there are turned up edges around the skylight, then the flashing is no longer doing its job. 
  • Repair the Flashing: With a caulking gun and roofing cement, squeeze the gun with even pressure along the areas with missing or worn flashing. Make sure there aren’t any more visible gaps. Apply the cement under the flashing that sitting flat on the roof then with a roofing trowel, smooth the cement over the area. Carefully place the caulking gun tip under the shingles where the flashing is connected and squeeze a bead of the roofing cement under the shingle. Press down and hold for a couple of minutes to assure the shingle sticks. 

If you’re not a DIY person, who can repair skylight that knows how to repair skylight glass or install a replacement?  Since your leaking skylight could be a roof issue, having a roofing contractor inspect your roof is recommended. If you’re going to need a new roof, they can replace the skylight while they’re up there.  However, there are companies that specialize in commercial and residential skylights, and you can find them with an internet search. Call (516) 986-3979 today for your skylight repair in Long Island and Farmingdale, NY.