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Skylights on flat roofs. Explaining why skylights leak. Pittsburgh Stamford

Why are skylights leaking?

It’s common to find skylights on a roof. They are more likely to be the cause of leaks on a flat roof.  They provide needed light in a house, but with this benefit also comes problems. We repair skylights from  Stamford to Westport to Greenwich and Darien to Pittsburgh and Westmoreland County.

Skylights are known to cause roof leaks. There are two parts to a skylight that needs to be discussed. The skylight itself or the glass and frame part and the base part called the “curb”.

Skylight frame and glass.

Not all brands of skylights are equally built. There are those that comes with tempered glass and those that are made of acrylic or plastic. Read this article on skylights.

Here are a few tips what to look for when the glaze part of the skylight is leaking:

  • Check for cracks in the plastic glaze part.
  • Check the metal frame that holds the glass or plastic in position for defects.
  • Make sure the sealant that secures the glass and frame is still good.

It is not easy to find a leak on a skylight. It takes experience and the knowledge of all skylights to detect problems.

skylights on flat roofs - Glass glazed skylights are pretty and are more durable than plexi glass.

Corners on skylight causing leaks

The image on the right shows where a skylight will leak. Special curbs are needed to install these type of skylights.

This is a common area for a skylight to leak. Specially skylights that can open up.

Plastic Dome Skylights

These skylights are relatively easy to install. They are less likely to leak. If a leak does occur, check for a crack in the plastic. These type of skylights are less likely to leak and have less maintenance over time than other skylights. Because of the dome shape, no debris will collect on top, and they will always be clean

These type of skylights are less likely to leak and have less maintenance over time than other skylights.

Curb Flashing

There are times when water pools around the curb flashing. It is critical to ensure that the roof membrane is correctly attached to the flashing of the skylight.

The most common problem is when the rubber roof is not correctly attached to the flashing.

This is what the curb flashing looks like before the membrane is attached. If the membrane is not correctly attached to the copper flashing, the roof will leak. When an old roof is removed and prepared for a new rubber roof, care must be taken to clean the existing flashing.

The Curb flashing of a Skylight is what could leak. When flat roof doesn’t have good drainage, then water could pool around a skylight causing a leak in the weakest part of the roof


The Curb flashing of a Skylight is what could leak
Curb flashing of a skylight before the membrane is attached
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