Having a skylight creates lovely natural light in your home. It brightens up bathrooms without sacrificing privacy, it creates an open, light feeling in your living room, and truly brings the outside in. However, like most window additions, with improper installation or age, there may be some potential leaking issues on the horizon. Here are some of the top causes of leaking skylights and how to fix them.

  1. Flashing: If you have an old skylight, chances are over time the flashing (the metal around the skylight connecting it to your roof) will corrode due to continuous exposure to different kinds of weather and water. The best solution to this is to replace the flashing with a more durable, modern version available on the market today that can withstand harsh weather longer.
  2. Improper Installation: If your skylight was installed during the summer, you perhaps had no idea that it was leaking until the fall or winter rain started. If your skylight is brand new, chances are the leakages are due to improper installation. Certainly, if it was installed improperly, the company that originally installed it should come fix it, free of charge. Most businesses would want to stand by their product, and make sure it was installed correctly so they can continue to have your business and your trust.
  3. Roof Cement: Leakage may not be due to your skylight at all. If your skylight is installed with roof cement, it may be beneficial to check to see if there are cracks or tiny pinholes that have formed in the cement. If this is happening, there are quick fixes available on the market. Depending on how small they are, you could use a winterized plastic sealant available in a variety of home improvement stores.
  4. Condensation:  Condensation often happens with skylights due to the temperature differences between the inside and outside of your house. If a skylight is made properly, they have “weep holes” around the perimeter of the glass, letting the water leak out of it efficiently. However, if the weep holes aren’t working or are clogged, the water can collect and then leak indoors. This is a particularly large problem for bathroom skylights, as bathrooms are in general more humid. There isn’t an easy, permanent fix for this weep hole problem, except for replacing the insulated glass completely.
  5. Drywall problems: If you checked off all of these issues and you’re still experiencing leaking, it may be best to get a contractor to rip open the drywall surrounding your skylight. The space between the skylight and the frame was likely not properly insulated, causing leakage in your home. A contractor will then spray in an expanding, waterproof foam that dries hard, forming a barrier around your skylight.

Sometimes there are a number of small issues regarding your skylight that could equal big problems down the line. If you notice condensation but no leakage, it could still amount to mold buildup or corrosion. Acrylic skylights that were installed fifteen years ago in older homes should be inspected, as they tend to last only 15-20 years, perhaps longer if inspections and upgrades were made in the past. Newer skylights have a different warranty and design, and are made with materials to withstand years of outdoor wear.

Call on Tom Byer Roofing for Help

If you see a leak, even a small one, it’s best to get it checked out as soon as possible to avoid further damage. The sooner you get it fixed, the sooner you can again enjoy the beautiful natural light the skylight provides for your home. Tom Byer can help with this. With over 60 years of experience, we are Southern California’s go-to roofing service. Give us a call today!