Your Skylight and Roof Maintenance: What You Need to Know 

Rooftop view of residential asphalt shingle roof, skylight, roof vents, fall foliage in background

In a sunny place like El Paso, Texas, skylights are popular features in homes. They illuminate a room with natural light and can make a home appear cozy, warm, and inviting. Having a skylight or installing a skylight does pose some important questions for your roof. After all, a skylight is a protrusion of your roof and the edges of it must be carefully installed and sealed to ensure that it is not a place where moisture begins to seep in and do damage. 

A History of Skylights and How They Became a Modern Favorite 

Using the glowing illumination of our milky way’s hottest and brightest star is not a concept of modern society. Ancient peoples utilized natural light in their humble abodes. Ancient Romans used a round opening at the top of the iconic Pantheon to let in the sunrays. These were open-air skylights. When the production of glass reached a level of accessibility, societies began making these enclosed structures. 

Built between 1763-1767, the Halle aux bles in Paris, France was an early example of using skylights as a stylistic architectural feature that utilized glass. Architects realized the appeal of such features as well as their function. Locating a skylight on the ceiling avoided the shadows cast by nearby buildings that would obstruct sunlight at certain times of the day or through different directions. The Palace of Versailles showcases one of the earliest and gorgeous examples of modern glass skylights. It traverses an entire hallway and enhances the aesthetics of the entire structure. 

As the Industrial Revolution improved many manufacturing processes, the use of glass as a structural feature became much more common, accessible, and safe. During this time, advances in the sealing and installation process advanced the effectiveness of skylights.

Common Skylight Repairs 

It is not uncommon for a skylight to be a source of leakage on a rooftop. When this happens, it will usually be attributed to two main reasons: 

  • Damaged and leaky flashing: When a skylight is installed, flashing is lined beneath the shingles to protect against moisture. If there are significant leaks, this will break down over time and it will collect moisture and seep into the asphalt roof shingles. 
  • Worn out or damaged frame: Your skylight will typically have some kind of frame around the perimeter that houses the glass and protects the surrounding area. This might often have to be re-caulked or re-sealed. If it is broken, it may have to be completely replaced to avoid the seeping and trapping of moisture. 

How Do I Know if My Skylight is Leaking Or Causing Problems?

If you spot rust in the surrounding nails, damaged shingles in the immediate area around the skylight, you may have a leak somewhere. Because a skylight tends to be on the high end of the roof, people don’t often get up there to investigate or take a look. It can be a good idea to hire a roofer to take a look and ensure the skylight is not causing trouble for the rest of your roof. When not attended on time, leaks from a skylight can cause: 

 

  • Mold: This is a bad consequence of a leaky roof. If it becomes airborne or is released into the atmosphere of your home, it can cause health problems. 
  • Rot: The rotting of wooden materials around your home and roof. Accumulated moisture will create the wood to rot and become compromised. 
  • Damaged ceiling: If you see any wet spots around the area of the ceiling where your skylight is, you want to get it checked out. 

What Does Skylight Repair and Maintenance Look Like?

Depending on the extent of the damage, you may be able to replace the flashing around the skylight. If the damage is extensive or the moisture has collected within the glass or the frame, you might have to replace that as well. It is a good idea to regularly inspect the roof area around your skylight so that you catch any leaks early before they cause considerable trouble for your roof. 

Maintenance for your skylight will generally include:

  • Careful inspection of frame and glass
  • Careful inspection of the surrounding flashing
  • Assessment of caulking and sealant to ensure there are no gaps

If you replace your skylight, you want to have a roofing professional ensure that it is installed properly and that the surrounding flashing and shingles are also well installed. 

A skylight can be a beautiful and functional feature for your living room or entryway. Keep in mind, however, how a skylight impacts your roof and the things you have to watch out for if you choose to install one. 

  • Might increase the possibility for leaks, so it requires some extra maintenance. 
  • More susceptible to storm damage. If you live in an area with a lot of heavy rains or even frequent storms, you want to ensure the integrity of your skylight installation. 

Guard Your Investment By Taking Care of Your Roof 

If your home has a skylight installed, make sure to have a roofing professional inspect it regularly. If you’re considering installing a skylight on your roof, consult an experienced roofer to provide you with options and ensure a proper installation. 

Think you are due for a roof inspection? Experiencing leaks or moisture collection on your roof or near your skylight? Call El Paso Roofing and get a professional out there today.

 


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