If you have a commercial real estate and you are looking to upgrade it, adding a skylight is a great way to bring natural light to your building and to open up the space. As great as they are, skylights do create weak spots in the commercial roof which can cause leaks. If you think there are problems with your skylight, these are some tips to help you solve the issue.
Skylight Repair Tips
1. Find Out What is Wrong
The first thing to do is identify what is going on with your skylight. Examine the caulking around the skylight to see if there is any damage that could be causing the leak. Repairing caulking is something you can do yourself with some sealant, but if there is no damage to the caulking, the problem could be something else. Anything else will likely require a professional.
2. Is a Leak from Inside?
You can tell the type of leak you are dealing with by looking at the inside of your building. Any signs of water around the skylight will identify a leak in the skylight. You need to determine if this is from a leak or condensation and identify how deep the leak goes. Cut into the drywall to examine the insulation for any signs of water damage such as mold.
3. What To Look For Outside
After looking at the leak from the inside, it is time to go outside. Check the rest of the roof for any visible damage such as:
- gaps in the flashing cement
- flashing cement that is not bonded
- expansion or contraction
- pinholes in the flashing
Many leaks are caused by problems with cement, so if you notice any holes or cracks, this will need to be repaired first.
4. Test the Leak
If you are ever not sure if the leak needs maintenance you can perform a quick test. Run your garden hose on a dry day, letting the water spray or as if it is raining. If any leaks appear, then you know which type of problem you are dealing with.
5. Fix the Leak
A leaking skylight can be a big problem if not addressed right away. Any gaps can be filled with roofing cement and frame damage can also be repaired. If you are unsure about the damage or how to repair it, reach out to a professional. We can inspect your skylight and provide the best and most efficient solution.
Should you find that the frame or flashing is not the problem, you may need to replace the skylight. This is similar to replacing a window but with a little more work involved. You will need to replace the roofing and flashing around the skylight to replace the entire thing. Once the replacement skylight is installed, it needs to be caulked into place and then the flashing is installed. The waterproof membrane is also installed at the same time as the flashing for a watertight seal and the layers are extended up around the rim of the skylight.