Leaks and water damage can happen when skylight seals fail or when something like a tree limb, hail, or baseball damages the skylight directly. Damages left unfixed lead to higher repair costs in the future.
This is a Preventative Maintenance Task!
Tiny imperfections in your skylight can cause leakage to the inside of your house. This can cause the framing to rot, drywall to deteriorate, and mold to occur. Early and proper maintenance of these problems can prevent eventual expensive repairs.
Tasks can be done by: Homeowner, roofing contractor, handyman, painters & caulking
How To Inspect Skylights | Task Steps
Step 1 – Inspect your skylights
- Look over the material inside the skylight and inspect for any water damage or discoloration from water.
- You can always use a pair of binoculars to look for cracks and water leaks from the outside.
- As the home ages and settles, stress cracks can occur, breaking a seal and causing water damage. The air seal of some insulated skylights can break, causing condensation or a cloudy visual look, which distorts the view through the skylight.
- Suppose you clean the inside and outside of an insulated glass panel, and you still have a cloudy or distorted view. In that case, it usually means you cannot eliminate the cloudiness or distortion without replacing the skylight. You can call a window or skylight replacement company, a roofing contractor, or a handyperson for this.
- The typical maintenance required could involve repairing the skylight and/or sealing between the skylight and your roof. Since this involves climbing onto the roof, we recommend you call a professional.
- Tool List: hose – garden
- Supply List & Costs: cleaning solution
Step 2 – Maintain your skylights
- *HomeManager strongly urges Homeowners to stray away from getting onto roofs to do maintenance because falls are the leading cause of unintentional injury within the home.*
- Inspect that your roof isn’t wet and slippery from rain or morning dew and the conditions are safe.
- If the leak is from damaged flashing or caulking, use the best silicone caulk you can get for exterior use. The little extra money is well worth the investment.
- The maintenance involves lifting the shingles up right next to the skylight and putting a continuous bead of quality roof cement caulking where the metal flashing touches the roofing felt. Press firmly down on the shingles. Repeat this on all sides of the skylight.
- Find where the weep holes are located on your skylight (these are intentional holes that help drain water out of the skylight) and ensure they aren’t clogged. If necessary, clean them out, make sure the weep holes were not caulked shut by mistake. Homes that have lots of trees or blowing dust are susceptible to having clogged weep holes.
- Next, checking the seal where the glass meets the frame around the skylight to see if there are any imperfections is also a good idea. Caulking any discrepancies noted is an excellent way to avoid potential future leaks.
- You can always test the fixes you’ve made on the skylight by spraying water over the top.
- Lastly, if you decide to DIY, practice good ladder safety and exercise caution while climbing onto and exiting the roof.
- Tool List: Ladder- extension ladder, hose – garden, caulking gun
- Supply List & Costs: silicone caulking (or) roof cement caulking
Want to know more useful information such as this?
Sign up with us at HomeManager!
Also, check out another interesting article- How To Inspect Your Roof!