Everybody knows that a leak in the house is no fun. Whether a slow and steady trickle or a gushing waterfall, unwelcome water has the potential to cause serious, irreparable damage. Leakage not only creates a hospitable environment for mold and mildew that can make you sick and lead to foul odors, but it can also compromise the structural integrity of your home and even create fire hazards.
Old, worn-out windows and skylights — especially those installed in rainy and seasonal regions — are at particularly high risk of leaks, but that doesn’t mean you have to remove them or replace them altogether. Many residential skylights can be repaired with a few items from the hardware store or some replacement parts you can buy online.
How to Repair a Leaky Skylight
Every leak is unique, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach to making repairs. However, there are some things you can do to start the repair process.
- Identify the Problem — The first step in your skylight repair is to identify what’s causing the leak. It could be caused by gaps or holes in the flashing, frame or glass (lens) which might require you to buy certain skylight parts as part of your repair. A leak in your roofing above the skylight can cause water to move downward and settle near the skylight, creating weaknesses and leakage through tiny holes or cracks. If this is the case, you may need a roofing specialist to help.
- Fill Holes with Caulk or Cement — If you were able to identify any holes or gaps in the flashing or lens, you can patch them up using caulking or roofing cement. It’s best to use roofing-specific repair cement when dealing with roofing and flashing. However, this isn’t the best material to repair glass. If you want to patch up holes around the lens, be sure to use a 100 percent silicone caulk because this will create a tight seal between the dissimilar materials used in the skylight, including metal, glass and roofing materials.
- Replace Parts — The great thing about this type of repair is that skylight replacement parts are fairly affordable and generally readily available. If you need to replace a specific part, try to get in touch with the skylight manufacturer to see if they can provide you with replacement parts. We offer essentials, like flashing, crank handles, electric light kits, telescopic rods and more to help you keep your skylight in tip-top shape.
Know When It’s Time to Replace
Older skylights have been subject to many years of moisture, temperature changes and extreme weather, which means they likely won’t last forever. While you should be able to get a few years of extra use from your skylight when you make repairs, it’s important to know when it’s time to take the plunge and do a total replacement. Persistent leaks, cracks in the glass and total seal failures may not be worthwhile to fix. In these cases, you may want to consider upgrading to a new skylight.
One of the great things about today’s skylights is they’re much more durable and weather-resistant than they once were. They are also made to resist leakage and condensation. For example, top-of-the-line VELUX skylights feature special no-leak constructions as well as integrated sensors that close the skylight automatically in the event of inclement weather. They even come backed by a 10-year “no-leak” warranty in certain installations.
Trust Skylights for Less
Regardless of if you want to fix up your existing skylights to give them new life or replace them altogether to improve performance and efficiency, Skylights for Less is here to help. You can always contact us for more information or for advice on whether to repair or replace your existing skylights.