Skylights are a wonderful way to bathe your interior spaces in natural light, creating a sense of openness and connection to the outdoors. But like any exterior feature, skylights can develop problems over time. Early detection is key to preventing major headaches (and water damage) down the line.

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through how to detect common skylight issues, helping you keep your home bright and leak-free.

  1. Leaks: The Telltale Sign of Trouble

Leaks are a major concern with skylights, and they can stem from various sources:

  • Improper installation: Flashing, the material that seals the skylight to the roof, is crucial. Poor flashing installation can lead to water infiltration.
  • Deteriorated flashing: Flashing, like any material, can degrade over time due to weather exposure. Damaged flashing needs to be repaired or replaced.
  • Clogged drainage channels: Skylights have built-in channels to drain rainwater. Leaves and debris can clog these channels, causing water to back up and leak into your home.

How to Detect Leaks:

  • Interior signs: Look for water stains on the ceiling or walls around the skylight. Dampness or mold growth near the skylight is a red flag.
  • Exterior signs: Check the flashing around the skylight for cracks, gaps, or rust. Look for signs of water pooling on the roof near the skylight.
  1. Condensation: A Puzzling Problem

Condensation on your skylight’s interior can be a puzzling sight. While it’s not always a major issue, excessive condensation can indicate problems with ventilation or improper insulation.

How to Address Condensation:

  • Improve ventilation: Ensure proper airflow in the room by opening windows or using exhaust fans, particularly in bathrooms and kitchens where humidity levels tend to be higher.
  • Check insulation: If condensation persists, your skylight might lack proper insulation. Upgrading the skylight’s insulation can significantly reduce condensation.
  1. Cracks: A Threat to Efficiency and Safety

Over time, skylights can develop cracks in the glass or frame due to weather events like hail or simply aging materials. Cracks compromise the skylight’s ability to insulate your home and can pose a safety hazard.

How to Detect Cracks:

  • Visual inspection: Regularly examine your skylight for any visible cracks in the glass or frame.
  • Unusual sounds: Listen for any unusual noises during windy or stormy weather, which might indicate loose or cracked components.

  1. Difficulty Opening/Closing:

If you have a functioning skylight that opens and closes, malfunctioning mechanisms can be a nuisance.

How to Address Difficulty Opening/Closing:

  • Manual skylights: Check for any debris blocking the tracks or hinges. You might need to lubricate the moving parts for smoother operation.
  • Electric skylights: Ensure the motor is functioning properly. A faulty motor might require professional repair or replacement.
  1. Reduced Light Transmission:

Skylights are prized for natural light, so a noticeable decrease in light transmission can be a sign of trouble.

How to Address Reduced Light Transmission:

  • Dirt and grime: Regularly clean the skylight’s exterior surface to remove dirt, grime, or mineral deposits that might be blocking light.
  • Deteriorated glazing: Over time, the skylight’s glazing material can become cloudy or scratched, reducing light transmission. Replacing the glazing might be necessary.

Prevention is Key

Regular maintenance is vital for keeping your skylight in top shape. Here are some tips:

  • Schedule annual inspections: A qualified roofing professional can inspect your skylight for potential problems and ensure proper flashing and drainage.
  • Keep it clean: Regularly clean the skylight’s interior and exterior surfaces to prevent dirt buildup and promote proper drainage.
  • Trim surrounding trees: Overhanging branches can scratch the skylight or clog drainage channels. Trim trees to maintain proper clearance.

By following these tips, you can effectively detect common skylight issues and ensure your skylight continues to brighten your home for years to come. If you notice any signs of trouble, don’t hesitate to consult Skylight Roofing & Restoration a qualified roofing professional for repairs or replacements.

Bonus Tip: Consider adding blinds or shades to your skylight. They can help regulate temperature, control light levels, and protect the skylight from harsh UV rays.

Investing in skylight maintenance not only protects your home from water damage but also ensures you continue to enjoy the natural light and beauty a skylight brings.