Lots of experiments have been performed
(by others) when it comes to skylighting and if you have
one that is giving you grief we can fix it - right the
first time - guaranteed. For replacement price
information only, please scroll to the last paragraph on
this page. If you'd like to troubleshoot on your
own, read on as this page details the most common
problems we find.
The head flashing is by far the most critical component because it forms a gutter along the high side of the skylight which has to handle everything that comes running down the roof above it and it usually has to accomplish that task while being loaded with varying quantities of debris.
So, the first order of business is to clean out any accumulations of debris that you find in the head flashing. Second, check to see if the bend in the head flashing which forms the bottom of the "gutter" you just cleaned is corroded. If it is, it should be replaced. Third, check to make sure that the head flashing tails out at least three inches beyond the sides of the skylight. If it doesn't, all of the aforementioned runoff is probably being dumped right into the most vulnerable spot on the system at the corner where the head flashing and top side flashing meet.
Side "step" flashings must be properly positioned and in sufficient quantity to do their job and the most comprehensive diagrams on how to accomplish that task can usually be found on the installation instructions for your type of roofing material (often printed on the packaging itself). In sufficient quantity means there should be a flashing card installed with every course of roofing. Spanning two courses of composition roofing with a flashing card designed for cedar shakes is a serious mistake with potentially dire consequences that is still common practice among roofers today.
If your side flashings are continuous, they must have some form of barrier, usually found beneath the roofing, to keep water on the flashing as it runs from the top of the skylight to the bottom. The foot flashing should extend at least four inches down the pitch from the base of the skylight curb and should tail out beneath the bottom step flashing card at least two inches. Needless to say, all of the flashings should extend upward from the roof deck far enough to be covered by the skylight counterflashing.
If you have a built up roof, the corners at the base of the skylight curb are the most vulnerable and difficult to keep intact as your roofing goes through daily and seasonal thermal cycles.
If you find all of the above to be in order and are still having problems, you may need a new skylight. Lots of them have been manufactured (by others) that do not have a positive seal between the glass and the frame and rely on a gutter/weep system built into the bottom of the frame to get rid of the water and dirt that inevitably gets inside. The weep system is in many cases nothing more than two small holes drilled in the bottom of the frame which can easily become clogged after a time, the result of which is a flooding frame during hard rains. The other problem often created by this situation is the thermal death of the skylight glazing by virtue of the edge being submersed in puddling water, a physical impossiblity with our skylighting systems.
If you are in our NC Washington service area, our replacement skylights sell for $40 per square foot installed on standard roof pitches (4/12 or less) and can be manufactured in odd shapes or sizes for a nominal upcharge. A 10% upcharge is required for each numerical roof pitch increase over 4/12, up to 8/12 maximum on cedar roofing, and up to 10/12 on composition. Steel is absolutely out of the question... If you are unsure of your roof pitch, please contact us for a free quote. Cedar roofing requires a dry weather window or a very recent cleaning to accomplish the replacement task.