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How to look after your skylight

During the many years that Dalton Roofing has been in the construction business, we’ve taken more than just a few call-outs from customers suffering from issues with their skylights. Whether it’s an annoying leak, cracked glazing or damaged seal, it’s important to maintain and look after your skylight to avoid serious problems further down the line.

And in order to look after your skylight effectively, you need to give it a deep, careful clean a couple of times a year. You should remove debris and build-ups of film or mould, and you should make sure your wood isn’t suffering from damage from the elements.

Of course, knowing how to look after your skylight is important. And to help you along the way, we’re going to answer some commonly asked questions about how to maintain your skylight properly.

Benefits of Skylight Windows

Having a skylight fitted on your property can significantly increase the amount of fresh air and sunlight that enters the room. This makes them popular additions to rooms such as attics, workshops and office spaces. And in the video below, you can see Phil Dalton discussing in more detail the benefits of having a skylight installed on your property, such as a Velux window.

How often should I have my skylight checked?

Whether you’ve had problems in the past or not, we recommend getting your skylight checked once a year or so. Unless you’re a professional, it’s hard to know what’s really going on with your skylight from the inside of the building. But an experienced roofer can inspect the window and give it a thorough clean. This annual service will let you know if there are any unseen issues, so you can stop them from turning into serious problems.

What are some common problems with skylights?

We find that there are three main common problems with skylights:

  • Flashing leaks. Most leaks come from badly installed or damaged flashing. Over time, wind, sun and rain can compromise the integrity of your skylight and begin to rot the frame of the roof. The process can often be a very slow decline and by the time the issue has been spotted the damage can be vast.
  • Broken glass. Some skylights are simply of poor quality or contain glass that can’t withstand extreme wind and rain or sudden changes in temperature. Badly constructed skylights can shift around and cause the glass to break. We’ve even seen instances where regular windows have been used in place of tethered or laminated glass, almost guaranteeing the glass to shatter.
  • Excessive light! Of course, the aim of a skylight is to let more light into the room. But in areas of high sun, a skylight can provide up to three times as much light as a regular window of the same size. If the skylight is producing excessive light, the UV rays can cause damage to furniture and flooring, and burn skin.

What should I do if my skylight is leaking?

If you suspect your skylight has a leak then there are a few things to look out for. First, it’s easy to confuse a skylight leak with condensation, so we need to look for anything unusual in your skylight. Start by examining the corners where the glass and metal meet. If you find cracks or other damages then you probably have a leak on your hands.

To solve that issue, you can seal up the cracks using silicone along the whole length. But if there’s no crack, then we can usually put it down to condensation, or a problem with the flashing.

How do I know if my skylight flashing is damaged?

Flashing protects your roof and home from structural issues, such as rust and corrosion. When it’s in good condition, flashing creates a watertight seal between the roof and the skylight itself. But damaged, loose or badly installed flashing lets water work its way into your home and can cause significant damage to the property. Therefore, you should act fast to either seal the flashing yourself or call out a professional to execute the job.

How do I repair skylight flashing myself?

To repair your skylight’s flashing, you’ll need to start by inspecting the area. Make sure the shingles are secured, and the flashing is installed and working properly. If you find loose shingles then you should firmly nail them down.

Next, you should check that your flashing is in good working order. You’ll want to make sure the area is watertight so look for any clear issues such as corrosion or holes. If you find these, then you’ll need to replace the flashing. Also, make sure that the roof surrounds the whole of the flashing. If you notice any gaps between the flashing and the roof then you’ll need to seal it as they can trap water and cause a leak.

How do I seal flashing around a leaking skylight?

To seal the flashing, first, you need to clear away any water or debris from the area. Then, carefully lift the shingles away from the skylight before resealing them with a layer of roofing cement. Using a putty knife, apply the cement between the edge of the flashing and the roof. Providing the cement doesn’t become dry or brittle, this should seal the skylight and prevent future leaks.

What should I do if my new skylight is causing me problems?

If you’ve just had a new skylight installed, and it’s already causing you problems then you should find an alternative installer. This is because, the person or contractor hired to install the present skylight, has not installed it as it should have been. An experienced skylight installer will let you know where the issues are and how they can be rectified.

It’s important you always hire someone who has experience in installing skylights and knows exactly what they are doing. This way you shouldn’t have any problems due to poor workmanship.

If you need your skylight checking, please get in touch with Dalton Roofing on 0114 2799 799

For more information on the importance of hiring the right roofer, check out our blog on How to Discover Your Ideal Roofing Contractor.

And, you can also learn more about Dalton Roofing’s property repairs and roofing services by checking out our blog.

Thanks for reading!