How to Increase the Longevity of Your Home’s Skylights

Sunroof with a yellow drape

To add additional natural light into a room, a homeowner may decide to add in a skylight or two. Skylights come in varying styles, such as tilted, fixed, or as an escape window. You may also opt for a tubular window when wanting to add natural light to a space that does not have direct access to the roof.

Once you have the skylight installed, you want to ensure that it’s maintained in the best way possible to prolong its life. The average life expectancy of a skylight ranges from 8 years to 15 years, however, this timeline could shorten if a person ignores any early warning signs, as this may lead to serious issues that could further damage your roof.

Early Signs of Skylight Damage

Visible leaks are perhaps the quickest way to know that there is a potential problem. However, there are other signs that should be addressed as soon as possible.

  • Condensation: While condensation may occur naturally from steam if the skylight is in a kitchen, laundry room, or bathroom, it should not be a common or daily occurrence. Have it checked out to determine the issue.
  • Discoloration: Any discoloration around the skylight may indicate water seepage.
  • Drafts: Drafts could indicate a problem with the flashing, insulation, or poor installation.
  • Cracks: Cracks along the glass may form from storm damage or from fallen branches, while cracks along the insert may be caused by insect infestations or other issues.

Always address the early signs quickly while they are small problems. Allowing the issues to persist could result in additional roof damage that may increase repair or replacement costs.

Increasing the Skylight’s Longevity

There are numerous ways to prevent damage and increase the lifespan of your skylights. Cleaning the skylight prevents dirt and grime from wearing down the edges of the skylight and won’t attract bugs that could try to worm their way inside. Also, you’ll be able to notice any problems once the skylights are clean. Use mild soap and water, or a non-abrasive glass cleaner.

If there is a leak from a crack, you want to get it repaired. Avoid using any caulking or sealant. A skylight expands and contracts based on temperature and weather changes. However, caulking and sealant do not expand or contract with the window, leading to fractures and cracks in time.

Lastly, make sure that you install a skylight at the optimal slope and roof location. A slope allows water to run down the roof without pooling around the skylight and rotting out the framing. You also don’t want to place the skylight in a location that will force more water toward the skylight or where it could get damaged from tree branches.

KangaRoof for Skylight Installation

Many potential skylight problems occur due to poor installation. Rely on a trusted contractor with skylight installation experience to perform the work. Contact Brandstetter’s KangaRoof today.