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How To Fix A Leaking Skylight

Young caucasian worker screwing skylight window handle

Kostiantyn from Adobe Stock

On a bright and sunny day, a skylight allows the sunlight to enter and illuminate your home. Yet on a rainy and stormy day, it shouldn’t let anything in, especially the water from the rain. 

However, if you see water dripping from your skylight, especially during rainy days, it would be best to have it fixed immediately because these leaks may indicate water accumulation around your skylight, which may cause rotting of the roof decking.

In most cases, minor skylight leakages are DIY-friendly. You can often do all the repairs and seals yourself as long as you know the proper techniques, use the right tools, and identify the source of the leak. If you want to know how, this article may be of some help to you.

In this post, you’ll learn and understand how to repair basic skylight leaks properly. Note that repairing roof damage is dangerous, so ensure you follow safety guidelines and use proper gear and equipment. Before you proceed, though, determine if it’s a significant leak. If it is, hiring professional roofing services, like roof repair Katy TX, would be a great idea. They’ll help you address repair jobs effectively. 

Pinpoint The Leak Source

When there’s water dripping from your skylight, the first thing to do is put something under it to catch the drippings. Then, start finding the source of the leak. You may need a strong and durable stepladder to have a closer look from indoors.

Here are the possible causes that you might detect:

  • Condensation

While finding where the leak from your skylight originates, look at the glass panel and check for possible signs of condensation. If you detect any, you’ll most likely notice how it accumulates at a specific location and starts leaking from there. You have to address this as soon as possible. Otherwise, mould may thrive, affecting your indoor air quality.

The best way to address condensation is to improve the ventilation around the skylight. You may open the skylight on cloudless days to allow the air to circulate and prevent moisture buildup. If it doesn’t open, you may use an electric fan to improve airflow. 

Aside from that, you may also check the weep holes of your skylight (small holes in the lower area). Ensure it’s free from any obstruction to prevent the glass from getting cloudy and turbid. These indicate moisture buildup, causing condensation issues.

  • Faulty Skylight

If you can open your skylight, you’ll need to look for signs of mould growth and deterioration around the rubber gasket of the glass frame. If you find any, it indicates that the skylight doesn’t seal properly, allowing moisture to make its way through the frame and the window casing. 

The best way to address the problem is by replacing the gasket of your skylight. While replacing, you may find some debris that may prevent the skylight from closing properly. Eradicating them may also solve the problem.

During your inspection, you may also find cracked glass and moisture accumulating around it. In most cases, removing the cracked portion of the glass may not be possible. Therefore, it’s best to replace the skylight to address the problem.

  • Faulty Roof Flashing

If water remains dripping even after you eliminate the condensation and faulty defects, it may be coming through the roof. Thus, the water is either seeping through the flashing or the seal between the skylight and the flashing. 

If the water comes from the top-most part of the slope, it will be easier to diagnose and repair the problem compared to water from the bottom part of the frame. Water from the lower part would be harder to diagnose as it tends to move around the roof decking. Those that come from the upper part are usually from the frame of the skylight.

 Back view of worker leaning measuring tape on window

Reseal The Flashing

If the water is coming from the skylight flashing, you’ll need to climb up the roof with the correct sealant and a caulk gun. Make sure the sealant you use is appropriate for the roof flashing. Silicone and butyl sealants are not advisable for this repair job.

Start by checking the flashing for any chipped-off and crumbled sealants. Then, scrape them off with a putty knife and apply a new layer of sealant to the affected area. You may also need to apply a generous amount around the edges and corners of the flashing.

Reinstall The Flashing

Check the area around the flashing and see if there are nails, rust, and deteriorated flashing. If you find any, it’s best to rip off the shingles and redo the installation of the flashing. If you reach this point, it’s best to hire an expert to ensure the flashing is installed correctly. Besides, a pro installer may find other causes of the leak and discover some other potential problems—something you wouldn’t notice by yourself.

Final Words

The primary purpose of a skylight is to let sunlight pass through and enter your home. It shouldn’t let anything in, especially water from the rain and moisture buildup. If you find your skylight leaking, you should address the problem as soon as possible. Start by determining the cause of the leak, such as condensation, faulty skylight, and damaged flashing. 

Once you’ve determined the cause/s, start applying the appropriate treatment. Furthermore, don’t hesitate to call professional roof repairs if you can’t address the problem yourself. They may even see other issues you might fail to notice.