Skylight Repair vs Replacement: How to Make the Right Decision
February 5, 2023
Many factors can lead to the need for a skylight repair. Poor skylight installation can create a skylight leak, and a skylight contractor needs to come in and repair the leaking skylight. Skylights are an excellent addition to any home. Still, they require care and maintenance from time to time, and a skylight repair in Toronto could be necessary when wear and tear affect a skylight’s performance. You will know you have problems with your skylight when you see discolouration on the ceiling or drips on the floor. Depending on age, a skylight replacement may be the cure for the problem rather than a repair. This guide will help a homeowner determine whether to invest in a new skylight – replacing an old one – or repair a relatively new skylight that has just been installed.
Skylight Replacement Types
Like your standard windows, this type of skylight is the same, except it is affixed to the roof.
Vented skylights can be opened or closed to let air into a home, and the opening and closing are done with a crank and latch or with a small electrically powered motor.
A tubular skylight is a small dome-shaped skylight that lets sunlight into small areas that need brightening.
Skylight Repair Types
When a leak is discovered, it may not demand a replacement; it could signify that the flashing needs to be serviced. The flashing overlaps the skylight and the roof and is essential for moving water to the shingles when it rains, so keeping a tight seal is imperative. If you see a leak, call for service immediately, as water damage to the surrounding area and drywall could come to pass.
Discolouration can indicate two things, the skylight needs to be cleaned, or exposure to UV rays or old age may require a reglaze for the skylight. A replacement skylight might be in order if reglazing doesn’t rectify the problem.
Excess Heat & Light
When you stand under your skylight, does it feel like you are standing directly in the sun? If it does, you may need to reglaze your skylight to prevent UV ray penetration and heat absorption under your skylight.
Skylight Repair vs Replacements
- Short-term answers for problems
- Repairs work best for flashing problems, cracked window panes or other minor problems.
- The cost can be anywhere between $500-$700, depending on the size and extent of the repair.
- A replacement is a permanent solution.
- If the problems are considered major, a replacement is the best course of action or if the skylight is 15 years old or older.
- The cost can be $1000-$2000 for a replacement based on the size and amount of work to seat the skylight on the roof.
The extent of the damage to your skylight will tell you whether a repair is warranted or you need an outright replacement.
Tiny leaks that yield little in the way of drips mean that applying caulking can be the remedy, but if you see puddles under your skylight, you might need a replacement.
If you have a cracked window pane, a repair will generally suffice, but not for a skylight. If you have a crack in your skylight, it means a replacement forthwith.
Some discolouration is expected for a skylight, and cleaning is the best solution to the problem. It will need to be replaced if the skylight is old or exposed to intense UV rays.
Trouble with internal ventilation can cause condensation, or it can be a problem with the sealant around the skylight. To illuminate what the problem is, a skylight repair contractor should investigate to determine the nature of the problem.
The shelf life for a skylight at optimal performance is 15-20 years. A small leak in a skylight that is 15 years old means you should replace it, as the erosion of the functioning skylight will accelerate quickly. Costly repairs will pile up, and you will throw good money after bad repairing an old skylight.
Replacing a skylight can cost between $1000-$2000 all in. It can be $500-$700 per repair for general repairs. Removing a skylight can cost $200, creating large upfront costs. But, it is a long-term solution, preventing repair costs over the long haul and a one-time payout.
What to Avoid in Repairing Your Skylights
Never apply mastic materials or tar to a leaking skylight; they are ineffective and won’t stand the test of time. Generally, the leaks occur because the flashing wasn’t replaced when a new roof was put on, and the quickest, cheapest solution for the roofer is a quick tar application for a short-term solution.
The Worst Type of Skylight Repair
Tarring the perimeter of a skylight is the worst thing you can do. Skylight manufacturers don’t make skylights waterproof; they are designed to move water to the shingles and eavestroughs. If you block the drainage paths, the water will find its way into your home, and you will have bigger problems arising from a substandard repair. An acrylic skylight expands and contracts; if tar is trimmed around it, it stops the expansion, and the acrylic will crack.
DIY Skylight Repair/Replacement vs Hiring a Pro
Using DIY solutions for skylight repairs or replacements should not be attempted. One slip on the roof can be fatal or cause permanent injury if you’re not careful. Also, fitting a skylight properly is no easy task; leaks happen if it isn’t perfect, and you are spending more money to call in a repair team to make the necessary adjustments. To avoid headaches, calling a professional at the first sign of trouble is best. A skylight repair/replacement contractor has the expertise and experience to complete the job correctly the first time without hiccups.
Count on Integrity Roofers for all Your Skylight Needs
We can install, repair or replace a skylight, and you can customize it to serve your needs. We have a solid reputation in the business, and our professional craftsmanship combined with out-of-the-box thinking will bring your home improvement project to a successful conclusion. What we offer is advanced skylight technology, easy installation, reliability and longevity, great pricing, installation and repair of skylights, glass replacement, modernization of current skylights, skylight maintenance plans, leak investigations, and emergency services. For more information about our array of services, contact us for a free consultation, and we will help you let the sunshine in at Integrity Roofers.