How to Repair Skylights

October 11, 2010

The warm glow of skylights can brighten up any room in your house, but what do you do when they spring a leak? If you've checked to make sure the water dripping from your skylights isn't just condensation, which can happen in cold climates or damp areas like bathrooms, then you may need to address the problem.

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Gathering Information on Leaky Skylights

If the leaks in your skylights occur only in winter, when there is snow or ice on the roof, a small natural dam of leaves or debris may have formed, blocking the downhill flow of water from your roof peak and causing it to puddle near your skylights. Check behind your skylight for buildup.

Most manufactured skylights have specially designed flashing kits specific to the skylight brand and the roofing material in which it's installed. Take a look at the factory-provided literature on your skylight kit and make sure it's set into the roof correctly. You may have to tease up a few shingles to get a good look at the skylight's seals. If it's installed improperly, contact the company that installed your skylights and let them know.

Flashing Repairs on Your Skylights

If you notice any gaps or corrosion on the metal flashing around your skylights, you can try a simple repair. An experienced roofing professional might be in order if you're uncomfortable working on skylights, or if you have trouble with heights.

Gather some replacement flashing and some asphalt flashing cement. Trim the flashing into patch-sized sections with metal shears and coat the bottom of your patches with the cement, using a putty knife. Smooth out the extra adhesive around the edges and wait for it to set. If you continue to have problems after patching your flashing, contact either the company that installed your skylights or an independent professional.

With these tips, your skylights can continue to light up your life without raining on your parade.

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