Friday, February 7th, 2020

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Skylights: Where the Leaks Start

Modern Skylight Installation

A skylight is basically a large hole in your roof covered with glass, or a window put on the roof instead of in the wall. The trouble is that any hole in your roof is a leak waiting to happen. 

Older styles of skylights were the worst. Plexiglass bubbles inserted in the roofing. Two problems are associated with this. First is there is nothing to channel water around the skylight. Second, the plexiglass tended to degrade from the UV rays of the sun. This caused the skylight to become brittle and eventually crack, allowing water in and cool air out.

Large old style plexiglass skylight in a flat roof

This is an old style plexiglass skylight in a flat roof. Notice the dried out patching that has already been done to this skylight.

Old Style Plexiglass Skylight

This is another old style plexiglass skylight in a shingled roof. Again, notice the dried out patching that has already been done to this skylight.

Modern Skylight

Newer skylights have curbs built around them. Usually 2×4’s with metal or peel & stick flashing to prevent moisture from getting from on the roof into the home. Now, you can get them in insulated glass with low E films to prevent a lot of the solar heat gain that older skylights caused.  

Solar Tube skylight
Finally, we have the Solar Tube type skylights. These won’t give you a beautiful view of the nigh sky, but they will pull natural daylight into the home with very little thermal gain. The opening in your roof is reduced to about the same size as a plumbing vent, much smaller than a typical skylight, and much less prone to leaks. They system works with stainless steel tubes in the attic down to a diffuser in the ceiling about the size of a typical can light.
 To get your roof inspected, call i-Inspect at 407-497-5190 or visit our website at www.i-inspect.biz. 
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