Skylight is one of the most efficient and stylish solutions to let in more natural light into your home and boost its curb appeal at the same time. When installed properly, a skylight can be a source of both daylight and fresh air, but most importantly, it shouldn’t let any moisture in, especially rain and other precipitation.
If you’ve noticed that your skylight’s leaking, you have to fix the issue right away; otherwise, the excess moisture could rot the roof decking. The great news is that in most cases of leakage, you can fix it yourself.
First of all, you’ll have to determine the source of the leak (it can be condensation, faulty skylight, or faulty roof flashing) so that you can address the issue accordingly. You might also need to reseal or reinstall the flashing. In the article below, we will guide you through the whole process of fixing a skylight, along with some safety guidelines – keep reading to do it properly.
When dealing with any kind of roofing issue, safety should always be your top priority. After all, you’ll be working on a sloped surface, which means that one wrong move and you could fall off the roof and seriously injure yourself.
That’s why it’s essential to take some safety precautions before starting the repair process:
- Wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt to protect your skin from the sun and sharp edges.
- Wear gloves to avoid cuts and scrapes.
- Wear non-slip shoes with good tread to prevent slips and falls.
- If possible, ask someone to help you – it will be much safer.
If you’re not confident about your DIY skills, remember that you can always hire a professional to get the work done for you. Alternatively, you should also browse some guides online – for instance, you can find a lot of tips in the blog of Sunlux – Roof windows, skylights, and loft ladders supplier in the UK.
Inspect the Flashing
In most cases, a leaking skylight is caused by faulty flashing – the metal strips that are installed around the skylight to create a watertight seal. The good news is that you can usually fix the issue by simply resealing the flashing.
Once you’re on the roof, the first thing you should do is inspect the flashing around the skylight. If it’s damaged or missing, it could be the source of your leak. If you can see any cracks, holes, or gaps, you’ll need to repair or replace it immediately. You could go to a nearby DIY store, or use a CNC mill service instead, which is a preferable option if you want to have the necessary parts customized to fit your needs.
To do that, you’ll first have to remove the old flashing – use a putty knife to scrape away any old sealant and then apply a new layer around the skylight. Or, if you decide to replace the flashing altogether, clean the area once you’ve removed the old one and then install the new flashing. Make sure that you apply it evenly and that there are no gaps left so that water can’t get through.
Inspect the Skylight
If the flashing looks fine, the next step is to inspect the skylight itself. Check for any cracks or holes in the glass – if you find any, you’ll need to replace the pane of glass. Alternatively, you might be able to repair the crack with a special sealant, but it’s usually better to replace the pane to be on the safe side.
When it comes to replacing the glass, you can do it yourself if you feel confident enough. However, it’s always better to hire a professional to do it for you to avoid any accidents.
Inspect the Roof and Decking
If the skylight and flashing are both in good condition, the leak might be caused by a problem with the roof or decking. In that case, you’ll need to inspect the area around the skylight for any damage.
If you find any cracked, loose, or missing shingles, you’ll need to repair or replace them right away. You should also check the area around the skylight for any signs of water damage – if you see any, you’ll need to repair the decking before proceeding with the repairs.
Check for Condensation
If you’ve checked all of the above and you still can’t find the source of the leak, it might be caused by condensation. In that case, you can try to reduce the amount of condensation by opening the skylight to let some air in or, if you have a non-openable skylight, by using a fan to improve air circulation.
If the condensation problem persists, you might need to replace the skylight with a new one that’s designed to reduce condensation. Alternatively, you can install a venting skylight, which will allow the air to circulate and prevent condensation from forming in the first place.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, fixing a leaking skylight is usually a relatively easy and straightforward process. You will need to determine the source of the leak and then address it accordingly. In most cases, it’s enough to simply reseal the flashing or replace a pane of glass, and sometimes the only thing to deal with is condensation.
You should also remember about your safety and use the proper safety equipment like non-slippery shoes and gloves while working on the ladder or roof. Still, if you’re not confident about your DIY skills, remember that you can always contact a professional service in your area to get the job done for you.