A leak is often many homeowner’s worst nightmare. Leaks can turn your beautiful skylight from a source of warm sunlight to a source of headaches and water damage. Worse still is the fear that this will be an extremely expensive problem. After all, you may never have had to deal with a leaky skylight before. Fortunately, skylight issues are usually quite easy to diagnose – and the majority can be resolved with minimal time and money invested. However, the first step to repairing a leaking skylight is to diagnose the cause of the leak.
Sometimes a leak isn’t actually a leak. In colder climates, and especially in rooms with high humidity (like the bathroom or kitchen), moisture can collect on the underside of the skylight glass – eventually dripping back down.
Shingles Being Loose or Lifted
Shingles may become loose for any number of reasons, from heavy wind to gnawing squirrels. If this happens in the region around the skylight (or even at any point upslope), it can cause water to pool around the framing.
Flashing is the material (usually a metal like aluminum or steel) that is placed over roofing joints to prevent water from seeping through. Over time, your flashing may degrade due to weathering and oxidation, or it may become loose due to physical damage or improper installation. Debris collecting in or around the skylight is a major concern here, as it can trap in excess water and shorten the life of the underlying roofing components (particularly in freezing temperatures).
Cracks in the Skylight Itself
Of course, it’s entirely possible that the glass/plastic/fiberglass of the skylight itself has been damaged. This can happen as a result of physical traumas, like hail and falling debris, or even through just normal aging and settling of the material.