Roof skylights are a wonderful feature to have in your home. The natural light they let inside is lovely, and they can reduce your electric bills by reducing the number of artificial lights you need. Unfortunately, skylights can also be a very tricky installation to perform and can lead to problems down the road in the form of leaks.
A skylight leak can have many different causes, but before we look at those causes, let’s talk about the ways you can tell if you have a leaking skylight.
Signs of a Leaking Skylight
Leaks and Drips
Obviously, the easiest way to tell if you have a skylight leak is if water drips from it during rainfall. There are other signs you can look for, though, that might be an important clue that your skylight has developed a leak.
Damage to your drywall, water stains near the skylight on your ceiling, or the skylight itself turning cloudy and discolored can all be indications of a leak. Also, any leak can lead to the growth of mold, usually near the skylight. If you spot any signs of water damage, contact your local roofing repair company right away!
How Do These Leaks Happen?
An Improper Installation
This type of problem isn’t limited to just skylights, of course, but a poor job of installing a skylight is asking for trouble. A skylight is a hole in your roof, after all, even if it’s a hole that was placed there intentionally.
There are several different components of a skylight in the roof, and a bad installation job that neglects even one of them can lead to a leak, which can lead to even more significant problems in a very short amount of time.
A skylight leak will most likely come from one of these three places:
Your skylight installation is surrounded by a thin metal called flashing. This metal serves as a barrier to prevent water from entering your home, but over time, this metal can corrode. Also, the tar that is used to cement flashing onto a roof or skylight can also crack with age, leading to a leak.
A common method to perform a temporary repair on a leak is to use roof cement. However, some installers will use roof cement in the original installation. The problem here is that roof cement can develop cracks after prolonged exposure to the elements, or even develop small holes that let water leak through. The only thing worse than having to repair a leaking skylight is having to fix it again a year later.
When a skylight is made, it’s constructed with small holes around the edge of the glass. This may sound like a bad idea, but these weep holes serve a fundamental purpose. Due to the difference in temperature between the inside and outside, condensation can and will form on the glass. These weep holes allow this condensation to drain away instead of dripping into your house.
If the weep holes on your skylight are blocked from dirt, mold or even due to damage from a bad installation, this will lead to a steady dripping of condensation. While not a leak as one would think of it, this can still cause serious problems with your home and is usually very hard to fix without replacing your skylight glass completely.
How to Fix A Skylight Leak
You’ll find many different “easy fixes” in hardware stores and online, offering a quick and painless repair of your leaking skylight. Roof cement is a popular suggestion, but as we said, this can lead to even further problems down the road.
The best way to make sure your leak is repaired the correct way is also the easiest. Call a qualified roofer to do the work for you such as Authentic Restoration. They’ll know exactly how to repair your skylight leak at the lowest cost and will help prevent repeat repairs for the same problem.