Just where skylights are highly beneficial for a commercial building as they cut up electricity costs and provide natural light, there are certain drawbacks to them as well. In fact, according to the CDC, 10% of the fatalities that occur in the roofing industry are due to vendors falling through the skylight.
Therefore, if your commercial building has flat roofs and skylights installed, it is vital to understand the pros and cons that come with it to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your employees, clients, and vendors.
It is important to note here that even though skylights have immense benefits for the stakeholders involved, they require regular maintenance to keep those benefits active long-term. After all, skylights are a penetration in a continuous surface of a flat commercial roof. Therefore, the chances of water intrusions and leakage are plentiful.
Saving on Electricity Expenses
Undeniably, the primary benefit of commercial skylights is that they significantly reduce electricity costs for the facility as the usage is low. Hence, when the electricity expenses aren’t as high, it allows the company to save a reasonable sum of money.
Choose Where To Place Skylights
There is commercially no need in a building to install a lot of light sources if you strategically place your skylights. Evidently, installing light posts in hallways and along pavements of the building can result in a hefty bill apart from other expenses for materials like wires and bulbs.
Access to Natural Light
Apart from saving on costs, skylights provide direct access to natural light during long work hours when it becomes difficult to head out. It is essentially beneficial when the weather is overcast and hours of daylight are minor, which is usually spent working.
It is pretty apparent that skylights are environmentally friendly. You save electricity that leads up to less carbon emission and helps preserve the environment. It is a small yet collectively large effort towards an environment-friendly approach of commercial organizations and roofing companies to reduce their carbon footprint.
On the flip side, the following are the drawbacks attached to having skylights on your commercial building.
Skylights compromise the building’s safety and wellbeing, the workers, and possibly the vendors you hire for roof maintenance. If the skylights are made for highly durable glass, they can easily become subject to weather conditions or stress and cause cracks or breakage. If people accessing the roof of the building aren’t careful, the situation can turn dreary in no time.
Skylights can have moisture issues from water collection and lead to leakage. As the skylight penetrates the roof, it can give way to water collected nearby, causing water ponding or dripping underneath. In order to avoid leaks, it is important to perform regular maintenance checks, especially during monsoon seasons. You can also hire commercial roof experts to install skylights elevated adequately from the roof’s surface and have curbing placed around it.
In harsh weather days of summer and increased temperatures, skylights can be contributors of excess heat to the building, consequently increasing the temperature of the building interior. One way to address this issue is to install window films, treatments, or glazing. It helps in diffusing the direct sunlight and adds shades, preventing excessive heat.
Too Much Brightness
Similarly, just as the sunlight through skylights contributes to heat, it can become a primary source of too much light. Depending on the skylight placement and the overall positioning of the sun to the building, skylights can throw excessive light and brightness at a certain point inside the building.
Not only does it increase the temperature of that room then, but it makes it impossible to function due to the excessive glare. However, even this matter can be solved if initially skylights are installed facing northward, restricting direct sunlight even on the hottest day. It really is about how you place the skylight that will play a part in solving this issue.
Tips for Upkeeping of Skylights
If your commercial building has a skylight, you must consider the following tips for the safety and maintenance of the skylights.
- Keep the interior and exterior surface of the skylights clean, as it may damage the shine and finish of the skylight.
- Clear out any dust or buildup that may compromise the primary function of the skylight, i.e., to provide direct natural light.
- If your skylight is leaking or you notice any stains around the installation areas, have a roofing expert checkout the curb and the roof itself.
- Inspection of the metal frames is essential as they hold the glass or plastic in place and can weaken over time due to rain, snow, mold, or rust.
- Make sure you use a solid sealant to keep the glass and frame in place and regularly check to ensure it is in working order.
- If possible, the installation of guards around the skylights is helpful.
- Do not coat the skylights with the same color as the roof.
Hopefully, now that you know the pros and cons as well as some maintenance tips, you can keep your skylights functioning for a long time. However, if you are looking for commercial roofing experts to repair and maintain your skylights, then look no further. Skylight installation, repairs, and maintenance to improve daylighting is one of the many roof services offered by Central Roofing Company.