A lot of homeowners don’t know where to look when their roof starts leaking. What they don’t know is their skylight, if they have one, is a primary culprit. Don’t be surprised if the skylight leaks when it rains hard. It happens, and it happens a lot. In fact, it’s one of the first things that you have to check when your roof starts leaking when it rains hard.
Nowadays, more and more people are having skylights installed and for good reasons. First of all, they look beautiful. They provide amazing natural light and that can instantly improve the interior of your home. More natural light will make your home look better and more pleasant.
It can also help you save on energy bills. With more natural light, you’ll be less reliant on artificial lighting. This can help you lower your energy bills.
Unfortunately, there’s a downside to skylights. They sometimes leak. That’s probably what brought you to this article.
By reading this article, you’ll know everything there is to know about this issue. You’ll know the common causes of the leak and the importance of fixing a roof leak so you don’t dilly-dally on getting it repaired. Speaking of repair, you’ll know how the professionals repair a skylight leak. This will give you a better understanding of how complicated it can be and why it’s important that you hire a professional. Should you replace the skylight? That’s another topic that will be discussed in this article.
Towards the end of this article, you’ll know the importance of hiring a licensed roofing company. You’ll be tempted to try and DIY the project and reading this article will convince you otherwise.
Best of all, you’ll know of a free service that will help you find the best deals available to solve this issue. Read on to know more.
Common Causes of the Leak
In most cases, it’s leaking because of a flashing issue. There’s a metal roof flashing that surrounds the window and over time, it can get damaged because it’s exposed to the elements that can wear it down and tear it apart. When this happens, water will find its way through the crevices and into your home.
It could still leak even if it’s in perfect condition. The skylight is not a part of the roof. It had to be installed and a hole had to be put to accommodate it. There will still be crevices even if it was installed by an experienced installer. It’s just how it is. While it won’t be a problem during light rains, heavy rains present an entirely different story.
There are also seals around it that can get worn out. They can’t do an efficient job when this happens so it won’t have a perfect seal.
There’s also a flat surface on top of the skylight. This is where rainwater flows and this is also where debris can get stuck. This can also lead to leaking.
Condensation could also be a culprit. This is especially true if you live in an area with a cool climate or if the skylight covers a humid room. Condensation can build up and this can lead to water leaking.
The Importance of Fixing a Roof Leak
A roof shouldn’t leak. It’s that simple. It’s supposed to protect you from the elements including rain. You’re basically exposing your belongings and more importantly, your family to the harsh element of rain if you don’t fix a roof leak.
Here are other reasons why it’s important to fix it:
- It can damage the roof.
Mold can form under the shingles because of the leak. Experts are saying that mold along with mildew can start growing in as little as 24 hours. This will slowly eat away at your roof if you don’t do something about it and you have to act fast.
As mentioned, your roof is very important and its integrity should never be in question. It’s a major part of your home’s structure and it can be very dangerous to let it deteriorate.
Your roof is a very expensive part of your home. Take care of it and it should last for decades. If not, your investment will be thrown out the window.
- Your health will be compromised.
Mold and mildew can also affect your health. They can find their way from the roof and into the surrounding walls and floor. They will get closer to you, your family and pets and they can pose a serious health risk.
- You could end up spending more.
In most cases, you don’t really have to spend a lot of money to fix this issue. This is especially true if it’s just a minor problem with the skylight. But if you put off repairs, the damages will get worse and it will lead to a higher bill.
With these things in mind, you should be convinced by now to have it fixed.
Repairing a Skylight Leak
We’re providing you with a guide to repairing a skylight leak. This is not an encouragement for you to do it on your own unless of course you’re an experienced DIYer and you’re very confident that you can guarantee a great job and that you’ll be safe. We’re providing this guide to show you how the professionals do it. This will show you that it can be a challenging job and will make you appreciate the job that these professionals do.
Here’s what they do when repairing a skylight leak:
- They do an inspection. They’ll do this so they can check the source of the leak. Here’s what they check:
- Was it properly installed?
- Are there cracks in the flashing? How about tears?
- How’s the pitch of the skylight? Is it sufficient?
- Remove debris and dirt.
There could be debris and dirt hiding under the shingles where the flashing is. They will masterfully lift up the shingles one at a time so they can remove the debris and dirt hiding under them.
- Seal the shingles tight.
Find the roofing felt. You can find this underneath the roofing material. There should be mastic where the felt meets the flashing underneath the shingle. Force this upwards. Afterwards, the professional will use a caulking gun filled with roofing cement to seal the shingles tight. They will press down to really seal them tight.
- Seal the other holes.
This is where their expertise can really help. They have a trained eye to spot holes. They will also seal them using the same caulking gun. They will also do the same for joints and seams.
- They will check the seal between the frame and the glass.
If they find a gap, they will use silicone caulk to seal this.
- They will repair the flashing.
In most cases, it’s the flashing that’s causing the leaking. It will crack and break in time. This is why a roofing professional will repair the flashing as needed. If needed, they will replace it.
These steps may seem simple and yes, any experienced DIYer can do it. However, a professional will do a better job 100% of the time because it’s what they do for a living. They also have the right skillset and tools to make sure that the job is done the right way. You’re also protecting yourself from potential injuries.
Besides, you’ll also be paying for their trained eye that can easily spot the cause of the leak.
Dangers of a Leaky Roof
We’ve touched on the reasons why you should have a leaking skylight fixed, no matter if it’s installed on a beautiful clay roof like the one above, or another type of material.
Just in case you’re not convinced, here are some more specific dangers of a leaky roof:
- It can wreak havoc in your attic and in the ceiling.
Water doesn’t sound as scary as fire. However, water damage can prove to be as problematic as fire damage. It can wreak a lot of havoc as well. Worse, it’s usually too late for a lot of homeowners before they spot that there’s a problem.
This is why you have to fix the issue ASAP. Your attic and ceiling will be the first to get damaged. You have a lot of stuff in the attic. You have appliances, sporting goods, out-of-season clothes, and more. While you probably don’t use them anymore, they’re still important or else you would have thrown them away.
The ceiling will get damaged as well and they can be very expensive to repair and replace. This is especially true if the damage is wide. You’d also have to worry about damages to ceiling fixtures like lights and fans.
The damage won’t stop there. The rafters, house framing, fascia boards and more will deteriorate because of the water. The entire frame of the roof will be affected and you’ll be living in a home that has a roof with a questionable integrity to its structure.
- Mold and mildew will spread all throughout the house.
Mold and mildew will start at where the leaking starts. Unfortunately for you, your home and your family members, they will spread all throughout the house. They will find their way to the rest of the home’s structure, affecting their integrity and in turn affecting the integrity of the home itself. Soon, you’d be worrying about more expensive repairs.
They will also find their way to your home’s HVAC system. This means that whatever nastiness they bring will be spread throughout your home and in the air that you breathe. The indoor air quality will suffer. You already worry about outdoor air quality. Do you really want to worry about indoor air quality as well?
Soon, they’ll find their way to your carpeting, fixtures, furniture and in your cabinets where your clothes will be affected as well. You can only hope that it’s not toxic black mold but even if it’s not, it’s still a huge problem.
More importantly, they can wreak havoc on your health. Here are just some health issues that you could encounter if you don’t do something about it:
- Upper respiratory tract infections and other respiratory issues
- Eye and skin irritation
- It can cause an accident.
So you’re walking around your home with a mug of hot chocolate in hand with heavy rain and thunder providing the background noise. Suddenly, you find yourself seemingly in slow motion as the ceiling slowly gets into the picture as you slip until you hear a loud thud of your hips coming into contact with the floor. This is of course followed by a sharp pain that may lead to hefty hospital bills.
It’s not just you. Your very active children could also get into an accident. The injury can be minor but it can also be a major one especially if they slipped while going up or down the stairs.
- It can lead to a fire.
Water can lead to a fire? Yes, it happens. Think of your electrical wiring as a network and a big part of this network is in the attic or ceiling. The wires can short and that can lead to a fire.
- Higher energy bills.
Should You Replace the Skylight?
This is a question that’s on a lot of homeowners’ mind when they skylight leaks when it rains hard. It’s on a case to case basis. Don’t automatically assume that you should replace it when it’s leaking. For starters, it can be something as simple as a condensation issue.
In most cases, it’s an issue with the flashing. If this is the case, then you don’t really need to replace the skylight. You can either repair the flashing or replace it entirely. Either way, you don’t really need to replace the whole skylight.
The question is – should you do it on your own whether you only need to repair or replace the flashing or replace the whole skylight? You can do it if you want to save money and you’re experienced when it comes to roofing. However, there are risks to doing this. You’d be working on your roof and one wrong move could lead to a fatal accident.
At the very least, you could make mistakes that would lead to an ineffective job. You won’t solve the issue or worse, you can make things worse. When this happens, you could end up spending more money that you would have spent if you rightfully hired a contractor in the first place.
Importance of Hiring a Licensed Roofing Company
Roofing is a lucrative business. This is why you can see a lot of roofers ready to offer you their quotes. Unfortunately, not all of them are qualified to do the job. It’s either they don’t have the right skillset and experience or they could be trying to scam you.
You’re hiring a roofer to solve the problem of the skylight leaking when it rains hard. If they don’t know what they’re doing, then how different is it from you trying to do the task? They can also make it worse.
The best way to ensure that only a qualified roofer will work on the task is to ask for quotes from licensed roofing companies. This is because these companies have passed the strict licensing requirements that include passing trade exams and having the right number of years as far as experience is concerned. Only asking for quotes from licensed contractors is a good way to limit your search to only qualified contractors.
As mentioned, you can also fall victim to a scam. A lot of money exchanges hands when it comes to roofing. A scammer can (and will if given the chance) run away with your money.
The best way to protect yourself from scammers is to only limit your search to licensed roofers. This is because you can easily verify their information. One quick check of their licensing details and you can get the details that you need to do a background check on them. Most states have a lookup tool so you can easily do this.
Do you think scammers will be bothered to get licensed? No, because they know that it will create a paper trail to them and that’s the last thing that they need. They want to scam people cleanly and they don’t want to risk getting caught.
In addition, you’ll also get additional protection provided by insurance and bond. The insurance will protect you just in case something bad happens and the bond will guarantee that you’ll get what you pay for.
At the end of the day, hiring a licensed roofing contractor is the only way to go. Not hiring one is a huge risk that you shouldn’t be willing to take.
How to Find the Best Quotes
It’s not enough that you hire the first licensed roofer that you find. You still need to make sure that you’re taking advantage of the best deal. This is why it’s recommended that you shop around. Contact the best licensed roofing contractors nearest you and ask them to send you an itemized quote for their services.
A lot of homeowners don’t do this because it takes a lot of time and effort. They contact these companies one by one and even drive to their offices so they can talk to them. This is counterproductive because doing so will take up a lot of your time, effort and money. You want to save money by taking advantage of the best deal, right?
This is why we’ve put together this service that allows you to get in touch with the best licensed roofers in your area. All you need to do is to fill out the form with your basic, accurate and complete details. Send the form and a request will be sent to these companies for them to send their best quote.
They have the incentive to send their best quote because they know that they’ll be competing with other companies. They know that you’ll be receiving around 4 of the best quotes so they’re not going to waste time trying to get hired for an insanely high rate. They know that for them to be considered, they have to send their best quote.
Just wait for them to get in touch with you. They’ll send you an itemized quote so it will be very easy to compare them so you can choose the best one.
Just make sure that you provide as many details as you can to make the process more efficient. Describe the issue so these companies will know what to do.
Best of all, this is a free service. Yes, you don’t have to shell out money in order to use this service. We’re giving you free access to our database of the best contractors in the country. Soon, you’ll have around 4 of the best companies knocking on your door with the best quote in hand.
Go ahead and try it today. There’s no commitment involved. Yes, you don’t have to hire any of the contractors that will send you a quote. They understand that you’re simply shopping around. If you find a good licensed company with a great quote to hire, then great. You’re on your way to fixing the problem. If you don’t, then you can simply move on and try to find a company to hire another way. But based on feedback, there’s a good chance that you’ll find someone to hire.
As mentioned, don’t wait until things get worse. When a skylight leaks, you have to fix it right away. Now that you know of a free service that can help you do just that, there’s no reason for you to try to do things DIY or to hire an unlicensed professional that can do more harm than good. Try it now!