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Repair a Leaking Skylight

Skylights let light in your home – lovely, free, eco-friendly, solar-powered light. If you find yourself being showered with water rather than sunshine, then it’s time to repair your skylight. Before calling in the professionals, take a moment to analyze the problem. It may only entail a simple repair which any competent DIYer can do.

skylights repairHandy tools

  • Ladder
  • Mirror
  • Flashlight

Use this checklist to scrutinize the leak:

  1. Is it excessive condensation? This can occur in colder climates, in damp rooms or with single-glazed skylights. The condensation pools on the underside of the glass and can drip into the interior opening.
  2. Is the skylight fully closed? Are the weather seals still in good condition?
  3. Does the leak only occur in the colder months? If so, check that there is no leaves or other rubble blocking the flow of water, causing it back up under the roofing.
  4. A leak can travel far, so check the flashings and the roof.

Do you need help with your skylights in LA, San Diego, Orange County or Riverside County? We can help you with cleaning or installing or repairing your skylights.

Leaks in factory-built skylights

  1. Grab the installation manual for this make and model. Skylights have flashing specific to that model and roofing type.
  2. Take a look at the installation. Does it match the installation instructions? Use the flashlight and mirror to check hard to see spots. Carefully peek under roofing tiles if necessary, being careful not to damage them.
  3. If the installation looks as it should, then check the flashing for damage or flaws.
  4. If it doesn’t appear to be installed correctly, then you have three choices:
    • Contact the builder or installation company to come fix it.
    • Repair the skylight yourself.
    • Hire a recommended professional.

Leaks in custom-made skylights

  1. Custom-made skylights are often non-opening so you need to inspect the flashing. Check:
    • The soldered/folded top flashing. It should wrap around the corners and extend a minimum of 6 inches (15 cm) under the roofing at the top and 4 inches (10 cm) at the sides.
    • Soldered/folded base flashing wraps around the lower corners and covers a minimum of 4 inches (10 cm) under the roofing at the sides and below.
    • The extensions for step flashing, which is interwoven with roofing shingles, are 3 inches (7.5 cm) to the sides, and 4 inches (10 cm) above. Any overlap to another piece should be a minimum of 2 inches (5 cm).
    • Counter flashing – sealed or bonded to the skylight and corner soldered – should extend an inch (2.5 cm) all round.
    • There shouldn’t be gaps between the roofing and the flashing because gaps collect debris which trap water.

Check for Damage

  1. Is there any damage to visible to the eye? Look for things like erosion, and holes. Again, your mirror and flashlight comes in handy here when searching for damage.
  2. Can you see any former repairs? Is the sealant dry or stiff?

Skylights Repair

  1. If you’re any experienced DIYer:
    • Remove and replace any old, leaking sealants.
    • For damaged flashing contact us.
  2. Otherwise it’s time to call in professional help!