A skylight can add truly striking ambiance to a room. By allowing light to stream from the ceiling, the skylight window brings character no other feature can match.
But there are some potential drawbacks to a skylight. As a projecting roof feature, it is more prone to problems like cracks or leaking than other areas of your roof.
That’s not to say a skylight is more trouble than it’s worth, but the sometimes harsh weather in Austin can introduce complications. If you notice your skylight is leaking, it’s important to take action.
The likelihood of discovering that your skylight is leaking increases with age. Rain can come in through a crack in the glass itself, or, somewhat more likely, it can seep in around the edges of the skylight thanks to the warping of materials over time. Surprisingly, though, your skylight can leak even when the weather is dry!
When Your Skylight Is Leaking, Condensation Can Be the Culprit
High humidity can lead to the development of condensation that drips down the glass of your skylight. This is made somewhat more likely if you need to run the air conditioner frequently to make your home comfortable: The clash between indoor and outdoor temperatures fosters condensation.
In the event your skylight is leaking when there’s not a cloud in the sky, this is the most likely issue. Luckily, it is easy to fix. An anti-fogging product can eliminate the condensation build-up and ensure that moisture will no longer drip through. Still, it’s a good idea to get your skylight inspected by a professional.
Common Fixes When Your Skylight is Leaking
Sometimes the problem is more persistent, and you might notice your skylight is leaking when it rains.
Improper skylight installation is the #1 cause of skylight leaks. The window that makes up the skylight must be fitted precisely to the opening made for it. If the fitting is not done correctly, you may experience leaks right away. Or they might occur within a few weeks or months when the flashing begins to fail.
That brings us to the most common fixes to pursue when your skylight is leaking:
1. Replace the Flashing
Flashing is a metal component installed specifically to prevent projecting roof elements from developing leaks around their sides. High quality metal flashing needs to be installed around the skylight to keep it from leaking. Unfortunately, even the best flashing is prone to wear out much sooner than other roofing elements.
2. Check the Insulation
Without enough insulation – or no insulation at all – warm air will flow up freely from inside the house. When it touches the pane of glass, condensation can result, which brings you right back to the problem from above. In some cases, rain can also infiltrate poorly insulated spaces, destroying more insulation as it leaks through.
3. Replace the Weather Seals
Weather seals provide a waterproof barrier to further support all the elements that keep your roof leak-free. If your skylight is leaking, the weather seals may have aged and peeled thanks to exposure to the intense Austin sun. Luckily, this is an easy fix that may take only a few minutes.
4. Replace the Skylight Itself
Skylight replacement is necessary in any case where there are cracks in the glass. Cracked glass may be the reason your skylight is leaking if you have recently had a hailstorm. Small hailstones often cause chipping. Minor damage can grow worse over time, and then one direct hit from a larger stone may cause a crack.
For expert help when your skylight is leaking, just call Longhorn Roofing.