Unfortunately, over time, the seals and flashing on a skylight can deteriorate. This provides an opportunity for water to penetrate your roof. Rain and debris can further accelerate the process. Modern skylights are less prone to leaks, but even the best skylight can leak if it isn’t installed properly. When purchasing and installing a skylight keep these 9 important points in mind
So How Do You Decide On The Right Skylight That Will Not Leak?
Unfortunately, over time, the seals and flashing on a skylight can deteriorate. This provides an opportunity for water to penetrate your roof. Rain and debris can further accelerate the process. Modern skylights, if incorrectly installed ,can lead to leaks, therefore it is essential when purchasing and installing a skylight that a qualified reputable installer is used. Following the top 9 ways avoids skylight leaks:
1. Be aware your roof profile and material will effect installation ease
2. Be aware of other roof penetrations surrounding your proposed skylight location
3. Select a product with tailored or custom roof flashing (not one size fits all)
4. Select a quality installer recommended by the manufacturer of the chosen skylight
5. Select a product with a warranty 7 years plus.
6. Avoid products that use flex ducting
7. Budget accordingly as you get what you pay for.
8. Avoid DIY kits, non-customisable.
9. Listen to the professionals
1: Your Roof Profile and Material Will Effect Installation Ease
Concrete tile terracotta tile all-products and corrugated roof profiles will account for about 80% of Australian roofs and many of the top Australian manufacturers will provide custom roof flashings. Other roof profiles such as Klip lock, speed deck, ect. can vary significantly. And with minimal numbers in the marketplace, many manufacturers choose to provide a universal flashing. However, the most secure way of ensuring no leaks is by creating a dry pan or over flashing to the top of the ridge line.
2: Be Aware of Other Roof Penetrations Surround Your Proposed Skylight Location
While a skylight is often the only known roof penetration as it is seen inside the home, there are often many others. These penetrations include plumbing vents, solar panel wiring, solar hot water plumbing, roof ventilation products, air conditioning systems and more. As skylights are usually the main item connected from the roof line to the ceiling it is often blamed for other poor product installations from installers who have little experience in roofing.
3: Select a Product with Tailored or Custom Roof Flashing (not one size fits all)
One-size-fits-all flashings are common in off-the-shelf products. As a result, they require shaping to fit the roof profile and it is very difficult to create a strong seal to the roof. Many skylight installation professionals will not install these products due to their common issues. Tailored or customised flashings can be easily identified and specifically ordered based on the shape of the profile.
4: Select a Quality Installer Recommended by the Manufacturer of the Chosen Skylight
While there are many options in the marketplace for installation such as roofers, local handyman and single tradesmen, the best option is to select one of the manufacturer's recommended installers and look for the number of years they have been in business.
While a competitively priced roofer or handyman might be a tempting choice, professional skylight installers will have undertaken comprehensive training on how to correctly install skylights, plus they install many more skylight products over the year and their entire business relies on quality products that don’t leak.
5: Select a Product with a Warranty 7 Years Plus
Product warranty is often a good indication on the quality of materials in a product with many products only offering 1 to 2 years. You should look closely at this to avoid buying an inferior product which could cost you more to replace with a better quality product.
6: Don’t Choose Product with Square or Round Flex Ducting
Flexi-tube products come in a variety of shapes and sizes and often a common choice or suggestion by builders due to the cost of these products. You should avoid these due to very poor light output, significantly deterioration of the ducting material and often cheaper components used to lower costs.
7: Budget Accordingly - You Get What You Pay For
There are lots of different options when installing natural lighting products but don’t cut corners and select cheap products for your most valued asset. While many customers will select a cheaper skylight, the product will often cost significantly more to install due to the difficulty of installation in comparison to more expensive high-quality products. A homeowner should expect to pay more than $600 for a quality skylight product installation.
8: Avoid DIY Kits, Non-Customisable
DIY, cheap kits are often the main reason Skylights have such a bad reputation for leaking. While the initial product price is cheap they often cost significantly more to install as it’s very difficult to waterproof. Further, tradesmen/handymen are often the main installers of skylights. As a result, the installation often does not focus on longevity.
9: Listen to the Professionals
Essentially there are many variables when installing a skylight. Roof construction can change based on the age of the home, materials used, shape, pitch and many more variables. Its always a good ideal to listen to the professional and the recommendations they make when it comes to product selection and location.
To ensure the installation of quality products in your home we test our products through NATA approved test facilities that ensure our products meet Australian Standards 4285. Water penetration test on our new Trimdek formed soaker and hob flashing.