Many people, when they think of installing one or more skylights into their property, assume that an opening unit is the only option. Others may not have a clue where to start and what choices to make. This article looks briefly at the benefits of fixed roof lights and the options available that will assist in terms of their functionality, performance and maintenance.
One of the main attractions of fixed roof lights over opening units comes in terms of the sheer amount of light they admit to a room. The other is that they are less complicated to fit, requiring less structural work to your property. This is because ventilation skylights require additional frame and metalwork to support the casement and also to allow for the mechanism to open them. Additional rafters may also need to be installed to support the casement. With a fixed unit, panes of glass can be larger and sized to accommodate the existing rafters. Bear in mind that the main regret many people have after the installation of a flat skylight is that they did not opt for a larger-sized window. There is a tendency to think that a bigger expanse of glass will cause problems in the longer term, admitting too much sunshine and overheating the room. But this is an issue that can be resolved by choosing the right kind of glazing. Ask your supplier, therefore, about options that block UV rays and so protect your home and furnishings from excessive direct sunlight. Such glazing will not only prevent sun damage to wood, leather and fabrics, but will also ensure that your room is cooler in summer.
This is an especially important consideration if flat roof lights are fixed and cannot be opened to allow ventilation. While on the subject of glazing, it is also worth exploring the options for low maintenance or self-cleaning glass. The choices are applicable to both fixed and opening units, but they are particularly advantageous for the former. The process entails adding a special treated layer to the glazing, which resists rain, dirt and other debris. It’s like the non-stick surface of a frying pan: water droplets hitting the surface spread out and run off rather than pool, and as they do so, they help wash away specks of grime and dirt. Self-cleaning glass also uses natural daylight as a catalyst for breaking down dirt on the window’s outer surface. There are various specifications available, all designed to reduce or even remove the need for cleaning. This is obviously important for hard-to-access surfaces such as roofs; but also offers benefits in terms of preserving the integrity of flat roof skylights. Glass, like most other materials, corrodes with time. But by protecting it with low maintenance or self-cleaning coatings, the skylight’s lifespan will be extended, saving you money over the longer term.
If you are confused about the options, select a firm that designs, builds and fits its own fixed roof lights. That way, you will have the benefit of their extensive expertise. They will be able to advise on the myriad of choices available to you and help you make the right decisions when installing skylights into your property.