How to prevent skylight leaks during winter

How to prevent skylight leaks during winter

Skylights, or windows installed in roofs, are an excellent way to warm and brighten up your home, especially during winter. Not only do they allow natural light in and give you a spectacular view of the sky, but they also reduce the need for electric lighting. If you’re looking for ways to reduce energy costs and improve your house’s aesthetics, you’ll find skylights to be a great addition to your home.

But skylights can also be troublesome when they’re leaky. Any roof installation that breaks the slope of the roof is prone to leaks, as moisture or water can seep into even the tiniest gaps between the roof and the installed roof structure. Skylights can also leak due to misplaced or damaged flashing, roof damage, and poor roof maintenance.

Here are some ways to prevent your skylight from leaking during winter:

Schedule regular roof inspection

Conducting seasonal roof inspection allows you to catch and fix many skylight problems before they cause severe damage. It’s recommended to conduct at least two roofing inspections in a year, with one scheduled ahead of the winter season.

Conducting seasonal roof inspections allows you to catch and fix many skylight problems before they cause severe damage.

Regular roof inspection involves checking for and replacing damaged or missing shingles, fixing dented or misaligned flashings, and cleaning gutters and downpipes. Doing these before winter arrives ensures that your roof is in perfect condition to withstand harsh weather conditions.

Another roof inspection should be done after winter to assess the damage sustained by your roof due to high winds, storms, and snow.

For more information on winter roof care, check out our article, “Roof maintenance and repair tips for winter: A checklist”.

Conduct skylight roof maintenance

Before winter arrives, trim trees that overhang your property to reduce the likelihood of leaves, branches, and other debris blocking your skylight’s drainage. Throughout the season, also clean the surface of your skylight regularly to prevent blocked drains. Letting water sit on your skylight can cause it to seep into your home and damage your ceiling.

After every storm, remove snow from your roof as quickly as possible to prevent ice dams from forming. Ice dams can force water or snow into the cracks where the roof meets the skylight, possibly causing leaks and rot.

Ensure proper attic insulation and ventilation

Ice dams are also caused by uneven roof heating, and a well-insulated attic guarantees that the entire roof is evenly heated from its apex to its edges.

Proper ventilation, on the other hand, prevents excessive indoor humidity from building up. Humidity can be a problem when it causes skylight condensation, which is often accompanied by leaking around the frame of the skylight. These can lead to peeling or bubbling wall paint, mold and mildew formation on walls, and furniture damage, among other things.

Hire trusted roofing contractors

Improper installation is one of the top reasons why skylights leak. Inexperienced roofers may make poor planning choices, such as choosing a location that can't accommodate a skylight. They may also overlook the integrity of the surrounding roof structures. If what’s holding the roof isn’t strong enough to support the weight of the skylight, the roof can collapse.

With over 40 years of experience in roof maintenance and repair, we at D&D Roofing and Sheet Metal, Inc. have learned a thing or two about skylight installation. We know how to install skylights at the right angle so that they catch significantly less water, thus reducing the chances of leakage. We also know which underlayment best protects against water, and why it’s critical to use flashings for maximum protection against moisture.

Skylights — and the rest of your roof — need extra care during winter. You can count on Nevada’s most trusted roofing contractor, D&D Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc., to deliver exceptional workmanship where your roof needs it. From skylight installation to regular roof maintenance, we got you covered. Schedule your FREE roofing assessment today.

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