Sample skylights

How To Seal A Skylight

Unfortunately, we often do not know that repairs are needed to our home until after the damage has been done. Consider that you are sitting at home and a storm moves in. You are in the kitchen and cooking dinner for the family when you notice some water drips coming from the ceiling. As you look up you realize that the water is coming from the skylight. You need to contact a professionally licensed roofing contractor and ask the following question. How to seal a skylight? Check that the skylight is closed and there is no debris in the track area. Make sure that the window is not damaged.

Let’s take a look below at the steps necessary to seal your skylight window to prevent future leaks.

Insulating a new skylight
Insulating a new skylight

What To Inspect

Check the flashing around the skylight. If you’re sure the water is getting in from the outside of the skylight, look to see if the shingles and flashing around the skylight are properly installed and holding up. If you have any shingles that are loose or lifted, seal them down and secure them to the roof sheathing.

The purpose of the flashing is to make a watertight seal between the skylight and the roof. Visible damage (like corrosion or pinholes) is a sign that your flashing needs to be replaced. Check to ensure that the roofing material extends around the flashing, including each side and the top.

Any spaces between the roofing and flashing around the skylight will allow water to enter the home. Be sure to seal those spaces between the roofing and flashing around the skylight. Seal the metal flashing, seal weep holes, seal the frame that supports the skylight, and double-check the area around the skylight.

Follow These Steps

Make sure to follow the steps listed below to ensure that you have looked over every possible leaking point. Trusting a professionally licensed roofing contractor is also a great idea at this point.

  • Lift the shingles that surround your skylight and remove any debris. Do this one at a time.
  • Use sealant and caulk under the shingles in the area where the metal flashing meets the roofing felt.
  • Seal all obvious holes. These can be found around the metal flashing, under the shingles, and even the skylight itself.
  • Do not seal weep holes that are designed to carry the water away from the skylight and the roof itself.
  • Check the seal where the skylight frame meets the glass. Make sure that the seal is not cracked and intact. Use clear silicone to seal any cracks or obvious openings.

Ultimately, if you are not handy, we recommend contacting a professional to help you with this. Unprofessional workmanship may lead to further damage and leaks.

Finished opened skylight
Finished opened skylight

How Much Does This Cost

Believe it or not, sealing your skylight is rather inexpensive. The national average cost range is $300 to $600. The cost depends on the professionally licensed roofing contractor that you have selected to complete this project for you. Fully replacing the skylight can cost you $500 to $2,000 or more, depending on the type and size of the skylight window that you have selected. Keep in mind, that prices range by location as well.

Other Recommended Maintenance

You should read up on roof leaks in heavy rain. Once the new skylight is installed you may experience a possible leak if the professionally licensed roofing contractor missed sealing portions of the skylight during the new installation. If the skylight or roof leaks during rain storms, you need to know what to do.

Should your problems persist use a roof inspection checklist. The checklist shows what areas of the roof to check for maintenance and finds issues before they become problems.

Lastly, check out what the top roofing problems are that occur in cold weather. Knowing how to handle these issues will save you time and money. Cold weather can cause seals to crack and this allows energy to escape the home and water to sneak in. Read up on the top five cold weather roofing issues.

New skylight installation
New skylight installation

When Do I Call A Professional

A professionally licensed roofing contractor knows what the requirements are for the new installation or repairs to your skylight needs. They also are aware of other issues that can go with the new roof. Hiring a professionally licensed roofing contractor is your best bet to ensure that the skylight is installed or sealed correctly. Using your local home inspection company, Colorado Inspection Team for a roofing inspection can allow you to gather recommendations from the Inspection team for a quality professionally licensed roofing contractor.

Conclusion

Skylights do not take a lot of maintenance. Always keep an eye on them for any leaks, just as you would any other window in your home. Maintaining the areas of the window such as the dirt in the tracks or the sealants allows you to get a lot of years out of your beautiful skylights. Reach out to Colorado Inspection Team can take a look at your skylight and roof during a home inspection in Castlerock, CO, and the Front Range areas.

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