skylight repair

How to Repair, Remove, or Replace Skylights

Skylights can add additional daylight to a room or roof space, especially where there are few windows. They can add a brightness that makes a room seem cozy and much larger than it actually is. 

The problem is, over time the effects of the extreme Colorado weather throughout the year can cause them to warp, crack, and eventually, leak rainwater. 

The ingress of water is bad enough on its own, but the real problem is the damage the moisture does as it seeps between the various layers of your roof. Over time, your roof begins to develop mold and will rot, presenting you with a much bigger problem than the initial removal or replacement of the old skylight. The thing is, you won’t see most of the damage that is occurring. 

The moral of the story is to correct the issue as soon as you can. As soon as you see the smallest sign of a leak, deal with it. If you don’t, the problem will soon become much larger and more costly. 

Patch and Fix 

The obvious goal is to fix the water ingress. This can be done with a variety of tapes and waterproof resins. However, the problems with this can be: 

  • Those repairs can look very unsightly 
  • These fixes don’t last long 
  • Making these superficial repairs can be expensive in the longer-term 
  • You may have stopped water coming into your property, but the real damage is being done out of sight, between the layers of your roof. 

You may want to call in the experts rather than attempt this DIY job yourself.  

[Protip: To resolve an especially complicated skylight issue, call A-to-Z Roofing. You’ll get an honest assessment of the extent of the leak and the underlying damage, and you can rest assured that any repair we do will be to the utmost high standards.] 

However, if you do want to take this on for yourself, here are some tips. 

Stay Safe 

Of course, these points should go without saying, but let’s mention them anyway:  

  • You’re going to be working at height. Take your time and don’t balance precariously.  
  • Don’t carry too much when you climb your ladder and walk across your roof. 
  • Think carefully about the tools and materials you need and prepare them beforehand. 
  • Don’t compromise on your tool selection.  
  • Make sure nobody walks under the skylight while you are working on it. 
  • Wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including gloves, eye protection, and a face mask. 

Removal of the Old Skylight 

Try to start the job as soon in the day as you can, to give yourself all of the daylight available to you. You don’t want to be working in twilight or darkness at the end of the day. But remember, if you’re going to be noisy, think of your neighbors! 

Remove the old skylight slowly, making sure that you understand the roof system that you will be “making good” afterward. There are many varieties of roof construction. This one may be unfamiliar to you, so you might as well learn as you go along. 

repair leaking skylight

Another reason for taking your time is to fully assess the extent of any water damage. There’s no point in removing more roof material than is necessary. At the same time, make sure you extract all the damaged material. Leaving any water damaged roof decking or shingles will simply create another problem over time. 

Filling the Hole Left by the Old Skylight 

Let’s assume that you now understand the roofing system you are dealing with after taking your time to remove the old skylight and surrounding water-damaged material. 

Now is the time to identify and decide how you are going to replace the damaged parts and ensure that everything is watertight. 

The best way to do this is to measure carefully—both the hole you are trying to fill and the parts and material you are going to fill it with. It’s important not to leave any unnecessary gaps and to make sure that everything is flush with the original structure, such as the roof deck.  

For example, if the existing roof deck is swollen due to water absorption, plane it back to its original thickness before installing the new decking. 

Lastly, make sure you understand the dynamics of the water-repelling mechanism of tiles or shingles

Help with Installing a New Skylight 

To install a new skylight, Use what you learned when removing the old skylight, and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. 

If you are in any doubt at all, contact the roofing professionals at A-to-Z Roofing & Exteriors. We’ll be happy to help, and we guarantee a professional job done right the first time. 

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