Often forgotten in terms of ” going green” Skylights are a supplement feature to go along with solar panels and cool roof coatings to create the ultimate eco-friendly building. The natural light that skylights let in lowers energy bills, and provides beautiful aesthetics and views to any home or office.
Skylights also offer us direct access to the outdoors as some skylights are able to be opened to let in the much-needed fresh air.
Regardless of the benefits skylights provide us at times they need upkeep. Skylights, much like any property fixture, have their downfalls and maintenance needs.
We love our homes and workspaces, we also love our skylights. We invest good money into both and to protect our investment we have to know when it’s time to upgrade. But first, we must know the signs to look for which demonstrate that our skylights need to be replaced.
Read on to learn all about the top 6 signs that it’s time for a skylight replacement.
Top 6 Signs It’s Time for a Skylight Replacement
Staining around the skylight could indicate that it needs to be replaced. Staining occurs when water or moisture is allowed to leak through the skylight’s structure and settles into the surrounding ceiling and drywall. A leak could at first be minor but then worsen over time.
These water stains can be light yellow to dark brown. In more severe cases, staining may result in black mold which is harmful to your health.
As a skylight window ages, its clarity can be replaced with discoloration. The discoloration will appear murky or yellow. These discolorations may point to a larger problem with the skylight structure or they could be a result of old age.
Either way, discoloration detracts from the purpose of a skylight which is to provide a clear pathway for sunlight to enter your home. Unless you enjoy less natural light in your home, then it may be time for a skylight replacement.
3. Roof Problems
If your roof needs replaced and it is experiencing problems such as leaking, then it’s likely that your skylight will also be experiencing problems. Older or damaged roofs provide less protection to your home and even if your skylight is newer it still can’t manage to hold excessive amounts of water. This could cause its structure to be compromised due to moisture damage the roof caused around it.
Even small cracks indicate that your skylight needs to be replaced. Small cracks eventually turn into large ones due to the stress placed on the glass. Cracks could be caused by hail damage, severe weather, or old age, but they always need to be checked out thoroughly before they get worse.
Condensation occurs when moisture accumulates on the skylight’s glass. Condensation has the appearance of fogginess on the glass and is wet to the touch.
Condensation is an early warning sign that the skylight’s sealants are working properly.
Unfortunately, no skylight lasts forever. Even though skylights are a beautiful addition to any home, they eventually will wear out and need to be fixed. Skylights typically last for 10 years and need to be replaced at that time.
Minor Leaks May Be Repaired Yourself
If your skylight only has minor leaks then you might not need a replacement at all. In fact, if you’re up for it, you could actually fix those leaks yourself. It’s a fairly easy job once you know what materials you’ll need. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to fix minor leaks on commercial skylights (If you have residential skylights the process is essentially the same).
Choosing a Skylight
Fixed Vs Vented
A fixed skylight is as the name suggests – non-movable – and functions purely to allow light indoors. A vented skylight can be opened and closed, either manually or even by remote if a newer model. This does cost more, but can add extra convenience and fresh air.
Skylights come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Depending on your roof, and other factors, one will suit your needs best and a commercial roof specialist will be able to determine this for you. Three common skylight shapes are ‘barrel vault’ (proportion h = l / 5), ‘ridge’ (90° isosceles triangle) and ‘half-round’
This, too, varies widely depending on scale and shape, and whether you opt for a fixed or vented skylight. It is important to keep in mind that in addition to the installation cost, there are also ongoing maintenance costs and this might affect your choice of skylight. Again, a roofing expert will be able to advise you according to your lifestyle and budget, ensuring you are left happy and confident with your final choice.
Want us to give you a Skylight Replacement Estimate?
Skylights make any home or business feel comfortable and connected to the outdoors. Like any home fixture investment, they need to be replaced. Knowing when to get a skylight replacement by looking for the signs can help you to save money in the long run and get prepared.
Central Roofing is a commercial roofing company if you have a commercial skylight and are in the Los Angeles or Orange County area and think your skylight needs replacement, we’re here to help! Request a free estimate today so we can get your business back to experiencing the clear California sunshine.
Andres is the Marketing Director at Central Roofing Company. He writes about commercial roofing, cool roofs, and everything else roofing related.