Whether it’s a cosmetic or functional fault, when you have an issue with your skylights it can affect the way you enjoy your daylighting. Skylights are generally a great investment that bring clear, natural daylight into your home for years to come. However, like many features in your home, they can wear out and require repair. Choosing the right replacements can also be a great way to solve leaks or correct weakness in your insulation. Here we look at the five signs to watch out for that indicate you need to replace your skylights.
Depending on where you live, the local climate, and the internal conditions of your home, condensation can be a serious problem. When there is environmental humidity or big differences between internal and external temperature, there will probably be some condensation that forms on the skylight glass. If condensation goes away quickly on its own, it may not present a problem for you. But if you repeatedly get condensation on your skylight, or this condensation pools to create leaks or ice dams, you will need to have your skylight evaluated and potentially replaced. Choosing a skylight with a sealed one-piece construction such as a Solatube can help to avoid condensation issues.
2. Water Leaks
The expansion and contraction of skylight materials on exposure to heat or water, combined with weather conditions, can cause your skylights to leak. Even with the best flashing and insulation, traditional skylights are especially prone to leaks. Leaks are indicated by dripping or pooling water around or under the skylight, discoloration or bulging of the surrounding interior drywall, and signs of water damage such as mold. Whether small or large, any skylight leak should be promptly evaluated and corrected to prevent damage to your home. Circular tube skylights are stronger and less prone to leaks than traditional skylights which use separate frames and glass.
3. Expanding Cracks
The glass of your skylight is exposed to all sorts of weather conditions including rain, snow, hail, sleet, and humidity. Fallen tree branches or other debris could also hit your skylight and cause damage, such as chips and cracks. Certain older skylights made from acrylic, also become more vulnerable to cracking as they age. Cracks are often visible, but sometimes they can be too small to notice without closer inspection. Have your skylights regularly inspected and choose to install skylights with reinforced glass. Tube skylights that have shatterproof dome-shaped light collection areas are more resilient and less prone to cracking.
5. Heat Transfer
The older a skylight is, the leakier and less energy efficient it is likely to be. This is typically due to the outdated designs of older skylights. Inefficient skylights weaken your insulation, wasting air-conditioning and heating in your home. With cooling and heating accounting for up to 50% of a home’s energy bill, your old skylights could be costing you. You can test for airflow leaks yourself by holding the back of your hand about an inch away from the skylight glass (if safe to do so). If it feels warm or cold compared to the rest of your air temperature, it’s likely there is excess heat transfer. A new skylight will not only be more energy efficient, but you may also qualify for a federal tax credit if it includes a solar-powered light.
6. Getting a New Roof
Depending on the construction methods, materials, and shape, your roof could last between 20 and 30 years. Eventually, you will need to have your roof replaced. Additionally, if your skylight is twenty years old or more, there are guaranteed to be newer, more energy efficient materials available, and better construction methods that could be used for installation. Getting new skylights when you have a new roof installed saves time and money because the skylight installation will be easier and more efficient.
When you’re ready to replace your skylights, choosing an efficient, insulated and economical model makes the most sense. With a wide range of Solatube skylights and accessories available from Solatube, the skylight professionals at Solabrite can help you find the right fit for your home.