You come home after a long day at work, but something isn’t right. Straining your ear, you hear dripping, and see water pooling underneath your roof window. While stressful and scary, a leaking roof window is not unsolvable.
Leaking windows can happen anywhere in your home, whether you have standard windows or skylights. If left unattended, they can lead to water damage, rot and a whole host of other problems. That’s why we’ve put this guide on how to fix a leaking roof window together. We’ll show you how to handle the process of getting a leaky roof light fixed, as well as explore some possible causes.
The first thing that you need to do, when you spot a leak, is to grab a bucket and put it under the leak. If your floor soaks up the water instead it could result in rot and mould, as well as potentially ruining any carpet under the skylight.
If any water has already pooled onto the floor, lay down some towels to soak up as much as you can.
Leak or Excess Condensation?
If only a small amount of water has collected underneath your skylight, you may not actually have a leak. Condensation can collect on certain points of the skylight and then drip. If you notice that it drips during cold weather, even when it doesn’t rain, the issue is more likely to be condensation, rather than a leak.
If it’s condensation, you should also notice condensation on other windows and mildew around your property.
Condensation can be ameliorated by improving ventilation. Opening your windows can help a lot, but if you’ve got a non-opening skylight, running a fan in the room can help. If it’s safe to do so, you could also go on the roof and clean out the weep holes, which are small holes that allow condensation to drain.
Problems With Flashing
If you think that the issue isn’t due to condensation, the first place to look is the flashing. Clear away any debris around your window and check it for any holes or gaps. To examine the flashing fully, you may need to remove the shingles surrounding the skylight. It’s also possible that it’s the caulking that is damaged. If it’s crumbly, and you can easily scrape it away, you should remove this caulking and reapply external-grade silicon caulking. If you find any, your next action will depend on the size of the hole or gap. Even small holes can cause a leaking skylight!
If the hole is only small, you may be able to fix it with caulking. If the hole is larger, you’ll need to replace the flashing. This is a larger scale job, and if you’re not completely confident in your skills, one that we’d recommend hiring a professional for.
Damaged or Badly-Installed Skylight
If you’ve checked the flashing and it’s in good condition, you should instead have a closer look at the skylight itself. One common issue that can cause leaks is a skylight that doesn’t close properly. Get up on a ladder and have a closer look at your leaking roof window. Is it open at all or is it sat flush to the frame?
If it’s open, even a crack, it’s possible that leaves, sticks or other debris are blocking the window from closing. Open it up and inspect the seal – is there any debris? If there isn’t any debris, it’s possible that the rubber gasket has broken, breaking the seal. If the latter has happened, you will need to replace the gasket.
The problems may possibly go beyond the gasket, however. It’s possible that the skylight is damaged or was badly installed. If this is the case, you will need to either get a new skylight or reinstall it. It’s possible that these tasks will be covered as part of the skylight’s warranty, which will severely reduce the impact of these tasks on your wallet.
Is it the Skylight?
If none of these issues are presenting themselves, it’s possible that the problem isn’t actually with the skylight. A leaky roof may leak water around the skylight, making it appear as though the skylight is the source. If this is the case, you will need to hire a roofer to take care of your roof’s problems.
How to Fix a Leaking Skylight: Explained
We hope that this guide on how to fix a leaking skylight or roof window has been helpful. There isn’t, unfortunately, a single reason that can cause leaking skylights. We’ve covered the most common reasons, but if none of these apply, you should call a professional to come and diagnose the issue before taking any action.
One way to avoid the bulk of issues is by buying your skylight from a trusted company, such as Toughened Glass Systems. We supply top quality skylights with strong warranties. If you have any questions about our products, we would be happy to help – contact us and our experts will do their utmost to help you.
Leaking Skylights: FAQs
Where Do Most Skylights Leak?
If your skylight is goin to leak, it will likely leak at the sealant and the flashing. However, they can also leak where the glass joins the frame or even be the result of a crack in the glass.
Is a Leaking Skylight Covered by Insurance?
If your skylight abides by the necessary regulations and standards, home insurance should cover any damage caused or necessary work, particularly if it was installed professionally.
We sell a range of rooflights and skylights, including: