Skylights are a great roofing feature that allow you to use natural sunlight to illuminate your home. Unfortunately, they're prone to developing leaks as they age. While skylight leaks are typically small and intermittent, they can still lead to your home suffering from water damage. If you have a skylight in your home that's leaking, read on to find out what may be causing it and how you can fix it.
1. Worn Weather Seal
One of the most common reasons why skylights leak occurs when the weather seal surrounding the skylight begins to deteriorate. Direct sunlight will cause the weather seal to become brittle, which makes it easily crumble apart during high winds. Water can make its way through the cracks in the weather seal, causing your skylight to leak.
Thankfully, it's easy for a professional roofer to repair a skylight that's leaking due to a weather seal failure. The weather seal simply needs to be removed and replaced with one that isn't damaged. Once the weather seal is restored, your skylight will stop leaking.
2. Corroded Flashing
The metal flashing that surrounds your skylight is more durable than the weather seal, but it can cause leaks as well. The flashing will eventually begin to rust or corrode due to exposure to moisture, which causes tiny holes to form in it as the metal is worn away. The holes in the flashing allow water to enter the space between your roof and the skylight, where it will drip down into your home. In order to fix the leak, you'll need to have the flashing replaced by a roofer.
3. Cracked Glass
Falling tree branches or debris carried by heavy winds can crack your skylight, allowing water to seep through. This results in a very slow leak coming from your skylight and often causes it to fog permanently up due to moisture entering the space between the two panes of glass. You can fill the crack with silicone putty in order to stop the leak. Unfortunately, this repair won't fix the fogged glass — you'll need to replace the entire skylight in order to improve visibility through the skylight.
Finally, it's common for a skylight leak to be caused by condensation rather than a problem with the skylight itself. You'll most often encounter this leak during colder months. The glass cools down rapidly in cold temperatures, which allows condensation to form on its surface. Eventually, this condensation will drip down the skylight and enter your home.
In order to prevent condensation from forming on your skylight, you'll need to keep water vapor away from the surface of the glass. You can reduce humidity in your home by taking shorter showers, keeping a lid on boiling pots of water, and using a dishwasher rather than washing dishes by hand. If condensation continues to be a problem, you can install a dehumidifier in the room with the skylight. You also have the option of having it replaced with one that has better insulation since it will be more resistant to the temperature changes that cause condensation.
If you have a skylight that's leaking, it's important to have it inspected by a professional roofer. Water entering into your home unchecked can quickly lead to mold or other forms of water damage, and leaking skylights can be fixed quickly and easily by a professional. In addition to repairing your skylight, a roofer can also tell you how to best prevent condensation from forming on the interior glass. Regardless of what's wrong with your skylight, you'll minimize the chances of your home suffering damage as a result of the leak.
For more information, contact a local roofer.