A leak is one of the most common problems one may experience with their skylight. If yours is leaking, you need to take action to fix the problem promptly. Water that leaks through the skylight can cause damage to the wooden structure that holds the light in place. In some cases, you may want to have the skylight repaired to fix the leaking. In other cases, you may simply want to replace the entire structure. Learning what factors to consider when deciding whether to repair or replace your skylight will help you make an informed decision as to what is best for yours.
What is Causing the Leak
If your skylight is leaking, the first thing you will want to do is try and determine why it is leaking. If you are able-bodied and able to go on the roof, you may be able to examine yours and make this determination. Follow these steps to determine what is causing the leak:
- After climbing on the roof, clear all debris, such as leaves and sticks, from the surrounding area. Water can get diverted behind these items and funnel into the area surrounding the skylight. Moving this debris may stop the leak in some instances.
- Examine the seal and weather stripping around the skylight. If you notice cracks or holes in the seal or weather stripping, you will want to have your skylight fixed. This is a common and easy problem to fix.
- If you do not see a problem with the seal, have one person use a hose to spray water on the skylight while a second person stands under the skylight indoors. While doing this, see where the water is leaking in. If the water is leaking through the skylight, yours may have a crack. In this case, the skylight needs to be replaced. If water is dripping around the sides, you will need to consider other factors to determine whether to repair or replace the skylight.
The Age of the Skylight
Another factor you will have to consider when determining whether to repair or replace your skylight because of a leak is the age of a skylight. Most skylights are built to last about 10 to 15 years. As such, if your skylight is under five years old, it is best to repair it, rather than replace it. If the skylight is 10 years or older, it is best to replace it, rather than repair it.
If the skylight is between five and ten years old, you will have to consider the brand of skylight and its estimated lifespan, whether it has been well maintained, and the cost of the repairs versus the cost of a new skylight. In some instances it may make sense to keep a seven or eight year old skylight and in other cases, it may make more sense to replace it based on these factors.
How Many Repairs You Have Had to Make
The last factor you need to consider when deciding whether to repair or replace a leaking skylight is how many repairs you have had to make in the past to the skylight. If this is the first problem you have had with your skylight and the repair is affordable, it may make sense to make the repair. On the other hand, if this is the third time your skylight has leaked, it may be time to replace it. It doesn't make sense to keep dropping money into a skylight that is telling you it is not functioning as well as it should any longer.
A skylight that is leaking needs to be repaired or replaced promptly. Looking at what is causing the leak, the age of the skylight and how many repairs you have had to make will help you determine whether it is best to repair or replace yours. For more information, contact a local contractor that specializes in skylight repair.