Skylights are an excellent addition to any home but how do they perform in relation to your roof?
In a nutshell, a skylight can equity to your home, BUT a leaking skylight can thousands of dollars of damage to your roof.
So with that, let's talk now about what causes leaks, the dangers of leaks, and what you can do to prevent the problems from happening to your skylight.
The Causes of a Leaking Skylight:
Flashing That Is Damaged
The flashing is the seal that bonds the skylight and the roofing system. When the flashing is in good condition, it creates a watertight seal between the skylight and the roof. Wear and tear will cause a skylight to corrode or develop cracks and leaves an opening along the edges for water to seep into your home.
Bad weather will take its toll on a skylight. Surface cracks to the glass aren’t uncommon, and they can come from a hailstorm or branches landing on the skylight during a weather event. When a crack is established, water droplets will accumulate as puddles.
Clogged Weep Holes
Weep holes are the drainage system for a skylight. Water and condensation need to be moved to prevent pooling around the skylight. If the weep holes are clogged, the water will eventually end up in your home.
If your skylight has been improperly installed, leaks are likely to be an issue over time.
Poor Insulation or A Lack of Insulation
Certainly, condensation will build up from time to time, and that is why you have weep holes. But if you notice condensation on days without precipitation, it is a clear sign that you need insulation to stop the problem from getting worse.
Dangers Posed by A Leaking Skylight
Water is a problem when it sits and bacteria will grow. There are many dangers associated with leaking skylights that we will outline here for you.
Wood absorbs water, and when it does, it a petri dish for mold growth. When you are exposed to mold for any period of time, you can expect health problems.
The paint will bubble and peel when exposed to water, and even a small amount of water will wreck the paint’s finish. Watermarks and stains that dot your ceilings will reduce your home’s livability and the cost to re-paint the room is an expensive proposition.
Wood Rot and Warping
You have wood in the roofing system, and it absorbs water. Too much water absorption will cause the wood to warp and weaken your roofing system structure and ceilings.
Weakening the Structural Integrity of Your Building
It isn’t just the rafters and joist that your need to worry about with a skylight leak. The walls and studs can be impacted when water is making its way through your home.
Other Water Damage
Furniture, flooring and other valuable assets will pay the price for a leaky skylight. If the problem is in the kitchen, electrical outlets can be compromised.
Prevention, Now and In the Future
Skylight leaks are dangerous for a homeowner, residents, and the building’s structure. By annually inspecting them you will be able to make sure things are looking good. If in doubt, it is a great idea to call a local roofing company to take a look and fix the issue professionally.
Skylights when done right are fantastic. However, problems small or large need to be identified as soon as possible to prevent major damage.
For a free inspection on your roof or any other of your home exterior's needs, my team at Class Eh! Roofing would be pleased to assist. Please give us a call at: 289-687-6924 or fill out a form online.
Wayne Jeffreys is a native of Niagara-On-The-Lake and owner of Niagara based roofing company Class Eh Roofing!