A skylight is an essential feature of any home, adding a touch of aesthetic charm to the space while also letting in natural light. Unfortunately, skylights can sometimes develop leaks that cause water damage and other problems. If your skylight leaks, it’s important to address it quickly before more serious issues arise.
How A Skylight Works
To understand why your skylight is leaking, it’s important to know the basics of how a skylight works.
Skylights are typically made of either glass or acrylic material, and they have an air gap built into them to let in natural light while still providing insulation and protection against the elements. The air gap helps to keep water out by creating a seal around the skylight.
Why Your Skylight Is Leaking
There are many possible causes of a leaking skylight, so it’s important to identify the source of the leak to fix it properly. Common causes include:
The most common cause of a leaking skylight is poor installation. If the air gap isn’t installed properly or the flashing is not sealed correctly, water can seep through and cause leaks.
Incorrectly angled skylights
Skylights that are tilted too far will put extra pressure on the seal and allow water to get in around the edges. This is because the seal is designed to be flush with the roof and not angled.
Holes and cracks in the sealant or flashing
Over time, the sealant around a skylight can weaken or crack, allowing water to enter and cause leaks. You can check for signs of damage by inspecting the flashing and sealant around the skylight.
Another common cause of a leaking skylight is age. Most skylights are designed to last between 10 and 20 years, after which time they may start to deteriorate and cause leaks.
How To Fix A Leaking Skylight
Once you’ve identified the reason for your skylight’s leak, it’s time to take action. Here are a few tips on how to fix a leaking skylight:
Replace the Weather Seals
Weather seals are the rubber strips that line a skylight’s edges and help create a watertight seal. If these seals are worn, cracked, or missing, then water can easily get in and cause leaks. Replacing weather seals is an easy fix and can often solve the problem.
Replace The Flashing
Flashing is the metal strips around a skylight’s edges that help create a watertight seal. If this flashing is damaged either by age or poor installation, it may need to be replaced in order for the skylight to be properly sealed.
Check the Insulation
Insulation around a skylight can help to keep the air gap-sealed and prevent water from getting in. If there is not enough insulation or if it has become damaged, it may need to be replaced in order for the skylight to remain properly sealed.
Replace The Skylight
In some cases, the best solution may be to replace the skylight altogether. This is especially true if the skylight is old or damaged beyond repair. Installing a new skylight will ensure that your home is properly sealed and free from water damage.
Can You Prevent A Leaky Skylight?
There are a few steps you can take to prevent a leaky skylight. They include:
The most important step is to regularly inspect and maintain your skylight. This includes checking the sealant, weather seals, flashing, and insulation for signs of damage or wear. During your inspection, you should also look for any gaps or holes that may be allowing water in.
Ensure Proper Installation
When installing your skylight, make sure that the flashing and sealant are properly applied. This will help ensure that the skylight can withstand any weather conditions it may be exposed to. Also, use a clear silicone adhesive sealant around the frame of the skylight to further waterproof it.
Check for Water Damage Signs
Regularly inspect the area around your skylight for signs of water damage. If you notice any spots or streaks on the walls or ceiling, this could indicate that there is a leak in your skylight. Take action as soon as possible to repair the leak and prevent further damage.
Choose Quality Materials
When selecting materials for your skylight, choose ones that are of high quality and designed to last. This will help ensure that your skylight is better able to withstand the elements and prevent any future leaks.
Following these steps can help you prevent a leaky skylight. However, if the damage has already been done and your skylight is leaking, contact a professional to assess and repair the problem. Don’t wait too long, as this could lead to further water damage in your home.
With proper maintenance and preventive measures, you can keep your skylight leak-free and ensure that it lasts many years!