Properly installed skylights can brighten any home by infusing the interior atmosphere with natural outside light, making the interior feel more inviting and expansive. To ensure years of enjoyment, proper skylight maintenance is required. As one season trips into the next, changes in outside temperature can cause the skylight to expand and contract, at the point where the unit comes into contact with the roof.
At times, the changes in temperature can crack the caulking, or open up the area increasing the chance for potential leaks. Performing a fall maintenance inspection on the skylight is a simple way to be sure the unit is functioning properly, so it can continue to provide sunlight to the interior of your home.
The following fall skylight maintenance & repair tips will take you through the process of determining the operation of your skylight, and what to do if you find a problem.
Routine Cleaning – It is important to clean your skylights inside and out as part of a maintenance routine. To perform the process for optimal result, soak the plastic or glass on the exterior using soapy water with a mild detergent. This will loosen the debris and dirt attached. Rinse the glass thoroughly before applying a glass cleaner (non-abrasive). To achieve optimal results, clean the glass when it is not in direct sunlight.
Checking the Glass – Once the glass or plastic has been cleaned, check for any breaks or cracks that might have been caused from windblown debris, fallen branches, and other incidents. Any crack found in the glass or plastic needs to be replaced by a professional, licensed roofing company.
Checking for Leaks – Leaks are often found around skylights, especially as they age. On the interior, you might see signs of leaks by looking at the drywall that might show signs of bulges, stains or mildew. Sometimes, the flashing (used as a barrier between the roof and the interior) becomes compromised, causing leaks.
Checking the Gears – If your skylight can be opened by hand or with the motor, check its gears. Operate the skylight by completely opening and closing the unit, so you can determine if the gears are performing correctly.
Checking the Motor – Skylights installed in high, out of reach, locations are often controlled by an electric motor. The motor will either open/close the skylight, or maneuver a shade in and out of place. Perform a motor test as part of a maintenance routine. If you find it is not operating properly, use the services of a trained professional licensed contractor to repair the unit.