Do skylights always leak?

Skylight interior letting in natural light

What is the life expectancy of a skylight?

A skylight can be a wonderful addition to any home. Until they leak. You enjoy the sunshine a skylight filters into the room and make the room seem bigger. Until you wake up one morning after a rainy night and the carpet is soaked. Now you’re facing skylight repair and you’re not sure who to call or what a skylight repair cost will be. Will you need skylight repair or replacement?! Oh, the unknown is frightening with a skylight just as it is when you have a water pipe burst under the house. 

On average, a properly installed and maintained skylight will last up to 15 years. Besides installation and maintenance, the quality of manufacturing plays an essential part in longevity. During the installation, it is important that the contractor make sure the skylight meets the building frame accurately and installs the flashing properly for sealing. If you need skylight repair, always use an experienced, trusted contractor to do the work.

Will insurance cover leaking skylight?

Most likely not, but let us explain. The first thing you must remember is that not all insurance companies are alike, nor or all homeowner’s insurance policies. Just because your neighbor’s claim for skylight repair or replacement was denied, doesn’t mean yours will be. Nor does it mean that if theirs was paid yours will be. You need to review your policy and if you’re still not sure, call your agent and ask. 

Now, with that stated, know that any homeowner’s insurance policy will have exclusions. Insurance companies are to provide you compensation, but they will take into consideration things that can cost them money. They are like any business and want a positive balance at the end of the year. 

One of the common exclusions to any homeowner insurance policy is changes, improper maintenance or neglect. This includes any accessories connected to the roof like gutters and skylights. Once you have your homeowner’s insurance in place, if you make any additions, changes, or upgrades to the roof or the structure of your home that is connected to the roof, you must let them know. 

If you don’t advise your insurance company any of this and update your policy, they may deny any claim, like a skylight repair or replacement. They can even cancel your policy altogether. Your insurance company must pay for normal wear and tear of your roof, but unfortunately, those add-on and upgrades are not covered. 

So, any skylight repair or replacement will be an out-of-pocket cost for you, plus the chance that your homeowner’s insurance will be canceled. The same would hold true if you added a room and didn’t tell them, then a fire starts in that room and destroys the entire house.

How do you repair a leaking skylight?

A skylight is a beautiful addition, until you have problems with it, like leaking. The request for skylight repair is the most common repair in the residential roofing industry. It isn’t so much because they are an eyesore either, but because of the possible damage, a leaking skylight can cause, visible and invisible.

Once you have noticed a skylight leaking, you need to diagnose it and schedule a skylight repair or replacement as soon as possible. There is the possibility that you may have some roofing issues.

Step One: Identify the Skylight Leak 

You need to identify where the leak is by doing a thorough inspection to know where the skylight repair is needed. If you’re lucky, it is nothing more than excessive condensation that has run on the underside of the glass and is dripping. This is a common occurrence in cold climates, or with a skylight with single-glazing, or in rooms that are damp, such as the bathroom or kitchen. 

If you have a skylight that opens, make sure it is completely closed. Check the weather seals are in place and in good condition. Check the roof is clear of any leaves or other debris that could cause the melted ice and snow to back up under the shingles and drip through the skylight. Keep in mind that damage on other parts of the roof could cause a skylight to leak, and the water has traveled to that point to drip. 

Step Two: The Skylight Repairs

Check the seal around the skylight and make sure it is there, in good condition, and most of all, it fits properly. Any damaged, missing, or loose-fitting sealing will permit the skylight to leak. This type of skylight repair is simply by replacing the sealing.

Next, you must climb up the roof, which is why most homeowners rely on an experienced roofing contractor and check the flashing around the exterior of the skylight. Flashing can become weak with the UV rays and weather, and you can replace skylight flashing or have the roofing contractor do it. The same is to be said about skylight repair on the metal roofs as with an asphalt roof. Having an experienced professional roofing contractor is the best solution for skylight repair.      

Do roofers repair skylights?

Yes, in fact, even when a handyman contractor offers their services for skylight repair or replacement, it is recommended by experts to choose a roofing contractor over the handyman.  There may be issues with the roofing around the skylight that could cause the leak or have been damaged by the skylight leaking.  A roofing contractor is the best source for this type of job.     

Skylight from exterior on a shingle roof

How do you waterproof a skylight?

If you’re doing a skylight repair and need to seal the leak, experts recommend the following, based on the leak’s location:

  1. Roofing cement will seal flashing gaps or holes
  2. Applying 100% silicone caulking will seal leaks around the lens
  3. Replace damaged or missing metal flashing around the skylight frame.

If your home already has a skylight, regular inspection and proper maintenance will assure you a long life with your skylight. If you’re considering having one installed, call your insurance company first and make sure it will be covered if any there is any damage.  Looking for skylight repair in Baltimore, MD? Call Recovery Roofing & Home Improvement, Inc. today at (410)-288-1633 for all of your roofing needs.