How do you repair a leaking skylight?

skylight repair

Repair Services and More

Skylights can add another dimension to a room. It allows natural light in or allows you to gaze at the stars at night. A skylight can make what would otherwise be a dark, small room, seem brighter and larger, a benefit for any home, until it leaks. Then, until the skylight repair is done, it can be a sore spot in the home. 

Because a skylight is part of the roof, when you do need skylight repair, you want quality skylight repair by a qualified skylight repair company. Anyone that attempts a skylight repair can do more damage to the skylight and the roof, causing the homeowner more repair expenses and trouble. 

Just as you would only have the qualified doctor remove your tonsils, you should only have a qualified specialist do any skylight repair and installation. A roofing contractor or handyman may offer their services of skylight repair, you should verify their previous work for skylight repair or replacement before hiring them. 

How do I know if my skylight seal is broken?

Well, If there is water pouring through the seals of your skylight, repair is obviously needed. It usually starts with drips during a hard rainstorm, you’ll find water on the floor and furniture. Or you may get a continuous, serious leak, showing there is a serious problem with your skylight.  

Other times, condensation indicates skylight repair on the inside, but in a bathroom where the room is often damp, doesn’t always indicate a leak.  Or if your skylight window is glazed, you may notice condensation build-up. If you believe there is a leak coming from your skylight, you need to reach out to a qualified roofing contractor to inspect the skylight and your roof immediately. 

The following is a list of things that a roofing contractor may find on your roof and around your skylight that could cause the leak and dictating the need for skylight repair.  The more informed you are, the better you can make the right decision: 

Flashing Damaged or Missing – your skylight has metal strips surrounding it that is fastened to the roof. Over time, flashing breaks and corrodes with exposure to the weather. This allows a skylight to leak in those areas where the flashing has weakened.  New flashing or repairing it with flashing cement is easy skylight repair.  It is possible that some shingles may be loose or missing around the skylight, which will need to be replaced with new flashing. 

Roofing Cement – roofing cement is a temporary skylight repair, it can become dry and cracked, allowing water to seep in around the skylight. 

Incorrect Installation – Sometimes a leaking skylight is because it was installed incorrectly. The only alternative to skylight repair is skylight replacement.  Calling a qualified roofing contractor to inspect your skylight, they will inform you the choices you have and the option. 

Weep Holes Blocked – Skylights are installed with weep holes around the glass that allow any water from condensation to leak outward instead of in your home. If they become blocked, the water has nowhere else to go but through the skylight edges.

skylight repair and installation

What is the life expectancy of a skylight?

Skylights with unique placement will provide a home natural light where lighting is limited. The typical skylight can last between eight and fifteen years, depending how it was installed, the quality of the skylight, and climate exposure.

Skylights are like anything, there are better manufactured units and if a skylight is installed incorrect, it can begin leaking around the frame. Rare, but skylights get broke, usually because of weather issues, sometimes from age. This is also where how a skylight repair is done comes into effect too. When caulk or sealer is applied with allowing breathing room for the skylight to contract and expand with the weather, it can crack. 

How often should skylights be replaced?

Every time you have your roof replaced, which is typically twenty to forty years, unless there is weather damage.  Why? Consider that if you have your roof replaced at the 20 year mark and not the skylight, repair will be needed for the skylight within the next 5 to 10 years, maybe replacement.  Why have a contractor to do the roof and have them come back in five years for the skylight? 

Should you replace skylight when replacing roof?

Yes! See the answer above when to replace skylights. Additional reasons to replace your skylight when you replace the skylight: 

1). It is easier and less expensive to replace an existing skylight while replacing the roof.

2). Today’s skylights are installed better than the original skylights to guard against damage from condensation. 

3). The roofing cement used on the original skylight has probably reached its life expectancy.

 4). Today, there are federal tax credits for energy efficient skylight installation. 

How do you waterproof a skylight?

You can install and waterproof a skylight with these five steps: 

When you have your roofing replaced or repaired, examine the flashing around the skylight. Most skylights in homes are on a raised curb that is watertight because of that flashing. Sometimes, it can be re-used if removed carefully, otherwise, you must have new metal flashing installed. Professionally installed flashing can make a vast difference whether a skylight repair is needed later due to leaking.

working on skylight repair

Bring This To A Close

A skylight can be a wonderful upgrade to your home. Proper installation and maintenance is important to having a skylight you can enjoy or skylight repairs.