Q: Are there any major concerns, such as leaks, with skylights?
I would like to add skylights to my house. Do skylights pose a leak threat? Are there any other concerns that I should be thinking about when adding one or more skylights to my home? Thanks.
A: Sky lights
The first thing to understand is that any penetration is a roofing system has a potential to leak. That being said, the average home has 3-6 roofing penetrations from plumbing and heating vents alone. When a quality skylight is installed properly by a qualified technician you can expect it to be leak free for the life of your roof. Some things to consider include layout of your existing roof rafters, existing condition of your roof system, and the desired locations of the skylights. It is unlikely that the spacing of your rafters will allow you to install the skylight (which is installed in between rafters) exactly where you want it. This will lead to some framing and structural changes to your rafters to facilitate the desired location. Structural changes to your roof should be done by an experienced framer or tradesman familiar with structural framing. What is the condition of your existing roof? Is it less than 10 years old and in good enough shape to tear apart and patch back? If not, I would recommend waiting until you are willing to replace your roof to install new skylights. You may want to consider a solar tube option if you have good attic clearance. Solar tubes mount to the drywall of your ceiling and can more easily be placed where you want the light. Solar tubes disturb you roofing system less than skylights, but the condition of your roof should still be considered before moving forward.
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