Skylights are designed to seal tightly into your roof, but they can still leak if their sealants start to wear away or if your roof has other problems. If you feel comfortable with tools and doing home repairs yourself, you can fix many of the problems yourself. Leaking can happen on new and old skylights alike, and water damage can get serious quickly, so finding the source of the leak is your top priority.
If you live in a cold climate and keep a warm house, you might have an excessive amount of condensation; this happens when warm air from your house touches the cold glass. Many skylights have a condensation channel designed to catch dripping water, but sometimes these channels can overflow, and dripping will happen anyway.
Condensation issues aren't necessarily a defect with your skylight. If this is the only problem, you can install a dehumidifier in the room with the skylight to keep moisture to a minimum.
An actual leak in a skylight can occur in a few different places. Water can come in through the glass frame if the insulated seal is cracks, damaged or old. This is one of the easier leaks to fix because it only requires replacing the glass, not the entire skylight. You can attempt to re-seal the glass pane yourself, but while it may keep water out, you may still have fogging and condensation issues until the glass is replaced completely.
The leak can also come from the roof's flashing, and this can happen in two different ways.
- The skylight's flashing is no longer working correctly and will need to be re-sealed. This requires taking up the shingles around the skylight and replacing it.
- Your roof's flashing is no longer working correctly. If your roof itself is the problem, your skylight can start leaking even if it's sealed properly because water tricking down from higher on the roof can get under it.
Flashing issues are best repaired by a professional, like those at Accurate Roofing, since replacing the flashing can be a difficult task.
Debris Around Skylight
Water from your roof typically flows around the skylight down to the gutters, and if properly sealed, this water won't cause any damage. If there is any debris collected around your skylight, such as leaves, dirt and twigs, this could block the flow of water, causing it to collect by your skylight. While seals normally protect against typical weather and even heavy rain, puddles of water may eventually start to drip inside.
Before any storm, or even as part of a monthly cleaning practice, use a hose or air blower to clean the area around your skylight and make sure there's nothing in the way. Be especially thorough near the skylight's highest point, because this is where most of the water will come from.