Skylights are notorious for being difficult to seal effectively and a leak is rarely an easy fix. Although it is commonly accepted that all skylights will eventually leak depending on the life expectancy of the materials, a quality skylight that has been properly installed and maintained often outlasts the roof. That is why it is very important that a skylight is installed by a professional roofing contractor with experience in the installation of skylights.
Find the Skylight Leak
• Rule out condensation first
High humidity can cause condensation to collect on the inside of the skylight that pools and drips. A condensation problem is more likely to occur if the skylight is near or in a room with lots of moisture like a bathroom or kitchen or if the home is in an area with high humidity. Single-glazed skylights are also more susceptible to condensation problems.
• Identify the Cause of the Leak
Like a normal window, a skylight is made up of a panes of glass in a frame, usually metal. A leak can either occur:
– Between the glass and the frame due to a weathered or worn seal;
– Between the skylight frame and the roof which makes it a roof problem. Either the skylight was not correctly installed or the seal and flashing surrounding the skylight has become worn.
Damage Caused by Skylight Leaks
Skylight leaks can cause extensive damage to ceiling or drywall and lead to further issues like mold and mildew growth if not attended to as soon as possible. If the leak is caused by a roof problem, moisture may infiltrate worn or broken roof tiles around the skylight and drip into the house. An annual roof inspection will help determine the overall state of the roof and identify if there are damaged shingles around the skylight. Regardless of the cause, a skylight leak can cost thousands of dollars in repair and replacement costs from water damage to the interior of a home as well as potentially ruin certain household items. If left too long, the home can be at risk of mold growth with all the related issues that a mold infestation entails. In the end, it could cost more to fix the damage than the skylight leak itself.
The type of repairs will depend on the cause of the leak. Here are some commonly recommended DIY repairs that may help.
• Caulking i.e. Silicone Sealants & Adhesives.
If there is a leak between the glass and the frame, it may help to caulk around the glass with clear silicone to prevent further intrusion of water. However, keep in mind that if water has penetrated the seal, the skylight will permanently look foggy from the moisture trapped between the two panes of glass. The only solution to this problem is to have the skylight replaced.
• Replacing Damaged Roof tiles
If the skylight leak is due to a roof issue, individual tiles may need to be replaced or repaired to prevent moisture from leaking through worn or broken roof tiles.
• Repair or Replace the Flashing
Flashing is the materials used to prevent water from leaking in between the skylight and the roof shingles. If there is a problem with the flashing it may need to be removed and replaced.
• Replacing Cracked Skylight
When the skylight itself has been damaged or become worn from age, it may need to be replaced.
• Reduce Humidity in the room
If condensation is an issue you can take steps to reduce the build-up of dampness in humid areas by opening a window or using a fan or humidifier. Checking the skylight for improper installation or improving insulation may also help.
Get Professional Help from a Roofing Contractor
A leaky skylight can cause thousands of euro’s in damage to the interior of a home. Often leaks can be difficult to diagnose and repair depending on the placement of the skylight, whether it has been properly installed, and the type of damage responsible for the leak. A professional roofing contractor will quickly find the source of the leak, assess the damage, and begin a restoration process to fix the problem and prevent any future leaks from occurring. Contact us before this happens