What To Know Before Installing a Skylight
If you’re looking to change the appearance of a room, look no further than installing skylights. A skylight will make a room bright and cozy, and soak it in natural light. They can also provide the necessary function of ventilation in bathrooms and kitchens. A skylight will allow 30 percent more light into a room than windows. This will save you big bucks on your energy bills! We know there is the concern when it comes to installing a new skylight, and anxiety about cutting a hole in your roof. While this is a valid concern, as long as you select an experienced contractor and use quality materials, there should be no worries involved.
There are many variations of skylights available. They come vented, fixed, domed, or flat, and come in many shapes besides just rectangles. Unlike fixed skylights, vented skylights can be opened manually or by remote.
Load and wind resistance, sound reduction, water tightness, and energy efficiency, as well as UV coatings and ventilation, are important to take into consideration. Manufacturers also offer high-quality skylights made from sustainable materials in an effort to protect the environment.
Vented vs Fixed
- Fixed skylights are sealed during manufacturing, and therefore leak proof. Leaks with fixed skylights are due to poor flashing techniques and improper installation. Riveted and soldered flashing kits should be custom made for each curb size. They wrap the corners to seal permanently
- Because they are not sealed shut, vented skylights can present opportunities for leakage, but due to the vast improvements of manufacturers leaks are no longer a concern.
- We know sometimes a vented skylight might not get closed and let in rain and debris, so to solve this problem there are vented skylights available that close automatically when they sense moisture.
- Kitchens and bathrooms can let their built-up moisture and excess heat escape through vented skylights.
- When considering skylights, it’s nice to know what your budget can offer you. Fixed skylights are available for under $300, while a top of the line vented skylight might run upwards of $1500.
It is vital to have a skylight properly installed by a professional like Pinnacle Roofing to get all of the benefits and none of the drawbacks of having a skylight. They will be sure to consider slope and moisture control.
The angle or slope of your skylight will affect how much solar heat your home absorbs. More heat will be admitted in the summer and less in the winter with low slope, which is the opposite of what you want for your home. The skylight’s slope should be set 10 degrees more than your geographical latitude to your indoor air conditions and energy bills reasonable.
Leaks appear when skylights are installed improperly. Here are a few tips on how you may avoid this:
- Your skylight should be installed above the surface of your roof with at least a 2×6 inch curb.
- Have a sheet metal company build a flashing kit to fit your curb width plus 1” above the height of the curb and bend it over plus ¼” to allow for step flashing the sides if the manufacturer has not provided a kit with the skylight.
- Follow the guidelines from the manufacturer for upkeep and installation.
Roofing damage may cause a skylight to leak. The damage may not even be adjacent to the skylight. Leaking near a vent flashing, or a broken or missing shingle above the skylight will allow water to permeate the roof and travel down to the skylight. This type of damage can become extensive when not promptly repaired. If the source cannot be found, run a garden hose over the area and see where water seeps through.
A leak can be repaired in different ways. Some of the most common practices of these are:
- Use roofing cement to seal the gaps in the flashing
- Seal gaps or holes in the skylight lens with silicone tubing.
- Replace the metal flashing in its entirety.
- Install new weather stripping
If a skylight has been leaking for some time, there could be mold, mildew, or rot from the water damage and these repairs will not be enough. Often times a skylight can’t be repaired and it must be replaced. New shingles and flashing will also need to install when a skylight is replaced.
Have a professional check out your space ahead of time, because if there is HVAC, wiring, or pipes in the way you will be disappointed to find your skylight will not fit in your ideal location.
Q: Should I wait until summer to install a skylight.
A: Not at all. Window installers and contractors can install your skylight any time of the year. Often time a contractor’s business is slower in the winter and they will give you a discount.
Q: “Is there a chance a tree limb can fall and damage my skylight?”
A: A limb falling in a storm is a risk you take when you have large trees around your home. Skylights are made with either laminated or tempered glass. Laminated glass is coated with a film that will keep glass pieces in place if there is damage to the skylight. Tempered glass is like automotive glass and shatters into thousands of smooth pieces when broken.
Q: To accommodate my skylight, will my roof trusses need to be cut?
A: There are skylights on the market that will fit between regularly sized rafters. But if a larger skylight is what you are after, then a roof support or two may need to be cut.
At Pinnacle Roofing, we have built a reputation based on superior craftsmanship and our years of dedicated work. We always install new flashing when replacing a skylight, we know exactly what to look for to prevent leaks in between panels, and most important— we use high quality, strong, and energy efficient materials that are long-lasting.
Our years of experience with all types of roofing related work has made us one of the most trusted roofing companies in the Mid-South. Interested in a new skylight, or have one that needs a repair? Call us today for a free estimate!