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Old 05-01-2013, 07:31 AM   #1
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Replace, Repair, Remove skylights?


Hello,

I bought a house early December. The house (split level)was built in 1987 and has two skylights. At the inspection the inspector said that there was signs of leaking but they look like they were repaired with a newer roof (3 years old, confirmed by neighbor). He said it was a simple fix if they were leaking. But being a first time homeowner the research scares me from doing the roofing myself for repairing the skylight.

Fast forward to April and both skylights show signs of moisture. I have a skylight in the bathroom, and one in the kitchen. They are both the dome style skylights, and it looks like the roofing board in the attic that is up against the skylights show signs of rot. Its black and pliable.

So my question is should I remove the skylights and never have to worry about it? Is this something I should hire someone for or could I possibly do it? If I removed the skylights would i have to worry about leaks around the patchwork?

Should I replace the skylights with newer better designed skylights. Are they mostly pop-out, pop-in? Would the leaks just come back at a later date?

Or should I just repair them? Is it as bad as I think it is to repair the flashing and to install water/ice shield and shingles? Also would I have to replace the roofing board?

I know that this is very general information, and I'm not looking for prices. Just wondering what option would Fix the problem with the leaky skylights.

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Old 05-01-2013, 09:33 AM   #2
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Replace, Repair, Remove skylights?


I bought a house early December. The house (split level)was built in 1987 and has two skylights. At the inspection the inspector said that there was signs of leaking but they look like they were repaired with a newer roof (3 years old, confirmed by neighbor). He said it was a simple fix if they were leaking. But being a first time homeowner the research scares me from doing the roofing myself for repairing the skylight.

If a skylight is leaking, it was not installed right in the first place. It is not a "simple fix".

Fast forward to April and both skylights show signs of moisture. I have a skylight in the bathroom, and one in the kitchen. They are both the dome style skylights, and it looks like the roofing board in the attic that is up against the skylights show signs of rot. Its black and pliable.

By Dome Style, we have to assume you mean no curb, flange mount. A curb with a counterflashing is preferred so the skylight can be step flashed. If the sheathing is dry rotted, it has to come out. Again, not a simple fix.

So my question is should I remove the skylights and never have to worry about it? Is this something I should hire someone for or could I possibly do it? If I removed the skylights would i have to worry about leaks around the patchwork?

Whether you remove them or not is your call, but you will probably be amazed at how much light you lose, if you remove them. Were I you, I would throw something opaque over them and check to see if you can live with the loss on a sunny day.

Should I replace the skylights with newer better designed skylights. Are they mostly pop-out, pop-in? Would the leaks just come back at a later date?

I would say yes. Skylights with curbs, that can be opened. No they are not pop out, pop in. They are not light bulbs.
If they are installed properly, they will not leak.


Or should I just repair them? Is it as bad as I think it is to repair the flashing and to install water/ice shield and shingles? Also would I have to replace the roofing board?

Without pictures, it is hard to tell, but roof level dome skylights are generally cheap junk, and the plastic is low grade, and tends to crack in about 7 years. I think you need a professional roofing contractor, and decent skylights.

This is not going to be a "Cheap Fix" Maybe your home inspector can do it for you for "cheap" though, since he led you to beleive that it is no big deal.
Was he recommended by the used car salesman, er........... I mean realtor?

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Last edited by jagans; 05-01-2013 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:27 AM   #3
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Replace, Repair, Remove skylights?


Thank you Jagans for solidifying my fears.

Maybe your home inspector can do it for you for "cheap" though, since he led you to beleive that it is no big deal. Was he recommended by the used car salesman, er........... I mean realtor?

Yes we went with the Realitor's recomandation for the home inspector. He was very knowledgeable about the house and was showing us what issues could happen (skylights might leak) and what other problems might arise.

Skylights with curbs, that can be opened.

Is there a certian brand to go for? Others I should avoid? Is it better to have skylights that can be opened expecially in the bathroom (only source of natural light)?

I think you need a professional roofing contractor, and decent skylights.

Thank you again for letting a "Hammer and Screwdriver" handyman like myself (give me Ikea instructions for a nightstand and I'll have it built in no time), that I should hire the professionals. I will try and get pictures up soon to show the extent of the damage.
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:41 AM   #4
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Replace, Repair, Remove skylights?


Check out Velux. They have been around for a long time.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:27 PM   #5
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Replace, Repair, Remove skylights?


Just to ad to what jagans said, skylights in bathrooms tend to develop condensate and drip. If you intend to keep the skylight there, after upgrading to a nice curb mount velux unit, ensure that you have a bathroom fan functioning and use it, especially during hot showers.
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