Common Skylight Issues That Require Repairs Or Retro-Fitting

Skylights that perform well are a tremendous benefit for home and building owners that enjoy natural light, and the ability to make a space appear larger.

It is therefore important to ensure that skylights have been installed correctly, and are maintained to provide years of trouble-free enjoyment.

Avenue Road Roofing has been installing and repairing skylights on both sloped and flat roofs for forty years. That experience provides homeowners and building owners with peace of mind when servicing their skylight requirements.

Common skylight issues requiring repair or retro-fit include the following:

  • Seal failure (where the lens of the skylight meets the perimeter metal or plastic frame).This is most typical of older units beyond ten years of age. With some manufacturers, a new gasket kit may be retro-fitted. In some instances the unit must be replaced.
  • Splits in the perimeter frame of the skylight (most common on plastic framed skylights) where the factory bonding separates at the corner joints. This can also result from an in-accurately sized skylight being fitted over the curb, or placed on a curb which is un-true in its dimensions. Skylight unit replacement is recommended for this.
  • Leaks resulting from the curb, supporting the skylight unit (are most commonly the result of improper waterproofing or metal flashing detail work). Technicians can re-waterproof and metal flash the curb in a professional manner.
  • Leaks resulting from associated roof areas (are often characterized by leaks being intermittent such as leaking only in winter, after a winter thaw, or under a heavy rain fall). Many things can cause these phenomenon, such as unusual or restrictive roof design, ice damming, leaks from the actual roof surface, which migrate down to where the skylight opening exists on the roof plain. Technicians can identify and correct such issues.
  • Leaks resulting from the lens of the skylight (often result from damage caused by objects) Fallen tree branches, large hail and mechanical impact, are all opportunities for functional damage, particularly on acrylic type domes. Thermal glass lens units can be superior in their design, to resist major impacts. Skylight lens or full unit replacement are the typical correction methods.
  • Leaks resulting from condensation (may not be the result of installation quality at the roof plain or the installers fault). This represents one of the most common issues, where a skylight is presumed to be the cause of the problem, or the roof sealing component is assumed to be the problem source. To be considered are high humidity levels, particularly in winter. Areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, and indoor pools, which have high humidity levels, can create sweating conditions that result in water vapour. Hot, moist interior air collides with cold exterior temperatures outside the lens. As heat rises, the problem can appear pronounced. Other issues can include breaches in ceiling vapour barriers, pot lights in close proximity to the skylight well, in-complete air sealing in the attic, or complications involving insulation of the skylight tunnel area. These issues may be more complex to resolve and may require the assistance of an air sealing specialist to mitigate the problem.

Skylights on flat roofs (require specialized expertise in the field of flat roofing installation), because most skylight retro-fitters are not experienced flat roof specialists. In commercial applications where equipment and interior contents may be jeopardized, it is best to deal with a full service vendor such as ARR. Commercial applications may involve complex pyramid style, or ganged (multiple) skylight assemblies.

Avenue Road Roofing is a certified installer of Velux brand skylights and sun tunnels. In addition to other leading brands of acrylic domed, and architectural skylights. Turn to ARR for comprehensive evaluation and repair of skylights and roof windows, for your home or business. Simply call us at: (416) 785-5129 or email us.