Skylights are a great way to improve many homes. They let in light and can add a sense of beauty to a room. However, not all skylights are the same, and not all homeowners have the information they need before they install one. That’s why Lyons Roofing is answering the top questions people have about skylights. Keep reading for what you need to know, courtesy of our licensed, bonded, and insured roofers.
5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Installing a Skylight
- Are Skylights a Good Choice for Every Roof? As we mentioned above, too many homeowners decide to move forward with skylight installation without having all the necessary information. But the fact of the matter is that skylights are not actually right for every single type of roof. Skylights are installed below your roofline, under your shingles. While you might not think they would add a lot of weight to your existing roofing system, some roofs cannot support the weight of a skylight addition. A roof with rafters is better positioned to support a skylight, because the components of the frame are farther apart. With truss-framed roofs, however, installing a skylight may disrupt the structural integrity of your home.
- Are All Skylights Made with Glass? Most skylights are constructed with a wood frame, using vinyl and metal to hold the see-through part of the product – called “the glaze” – in place. The glaze itself may either be made of glass or plastic. A glass glaze tends to be heavier and more expensive. They are also more durable and tend to do a better job of keeping out UV rays. While plastic glazes are more cost-efficient, they do not have as much insulation, and cannot absorb as much light and keep out as many UV rays. That said, there are plenty of plastic glaze options that are durable and provide nice light for rooms you may not spend as much time in.
- Are Fixed or Vented Skylights Better? So far on this blog, we’ve been concentrating on the ability of skylights to add light to a room. But some skylights also open up to let in some air. Fixed skylights, i.e. the ones that don’t open, generally do a better job of keeping out moisture and leaks. They are also more energy-efficient, as the tight seal they have prevents air loss. Vented skylights, aka the ones that open, can add some needed fresh air to a room, either manually or through a motorized function. However, it is extremely important to make sure your vented skylight is tightly shut when it is not in use, as the air loss this kind of skylight can cause may contribute to higher energy bills.
- Does It Matter Where I Put My Skylight? The broad answer to this question is yes, it is extremely important to know where to install your skylight. Some rooms in your house receive no natural light, so you obviously would not want to put a skylight in this type of location. You also have to find a room in your house that can support the necessary slope of your skylight. Generally, your skylight should be installed at a slope that is 5-15 degrees higher than the latitude of your roof. It is also a good idea to install it on a north-facing part of your roof, so you can enjoy more sunlight in your home year-round. Also, if you live near any tall buildings or large houses, you will want to put your skylight in a place where the surrounding structures will not obscure it. And the same goes for any trees you may have in your yard.
- How Much Maintenance Does My Skylight Need? It is good to have your skylight inspected occasionally to make sure it does not have any leaks. If you see discoloration around the skylight or dampness on the floor below it, you could be looking at a big problem. You should also dust your skylight once in awhile to make sure the full effect of the sun is coming through. If your skylight is extremely dirty, you may want to clean both sides of it using soap and water (just be careful when you are actually up on your roof.)
Call Our Skylight Pros Today!
The final question you should ask yourself before installing a skylight is “Am I receiving work from an experienced professional?” Fortunately, our skylight experts at Lyons Roofing are backed by almost 30 years of experience, so you know they have what it takes to get the job done right. Our roofing contractors are highly trained to put in a skylight without damaging your larger roofing system or removing an unnecessary amount of shingles. We will also install comprehensive flashing and provide flashing work to make sure your new skylight stays firmly in place for years to come. Remember, at Lyons Roofing, our award-winning roofers care about making improvements in our community, which is why we have been trusted across the area since 1993.