How to stop a skylight leaking?

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Old 02-09-05, 09:54 PM
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How to stop a skylight leaking?

Well tonight is our first rain after all the cold snow, etc from the winter, and I have my first leak coming from one of my skylights. The skylight is angled to the slant of the roof and I have water coming down the bottom sides of the skylight and dripping into buckets at the moment. I went up in the attic and can't hear any other leaks so I think it's just coming from the skylight itself.

How do I go about fixing this problem? Will I need to tear down the sheetrock that got wet and put up new sheetrock, etc? or is it okay to let it dry out and then repaint it?
 
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Old 02-10-05, 05:16 AM
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Areas to look at:

The corners of the skylight curb flashings. Many times water can run into the upper corners {where the backside flashing is snipped, then folded around the side flashings} and run down either side till it finds its way in, showing up lower. If these appear as though they might be "open", remove any loose caulking, clean off dirt, etc. and dry it thouroughly. Pump caulking INTO the openings and smooth out, forming a "skin" .
Other possibilities would be improper/insufficient tie-in with step flashings, back side flashing, lower curb flashing corners, flashings not running completely up the sides of the curb under the skylight frame, etc.
Other things to look at if still baffled...... other points of poosible entry above the skylight, such as other protrusions though roof, or hidden crack in plexiglass {if it's plexiglass} under the skylight frame..........and a multitude of other, less likely possibilities.
Half of skylight leaks I've run accross are from the curb flashing corners. About 40% have been related to incorrect installation, with the remaining 10% falling into many smaller catagories...including the weird.
 
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Old 02-10-05, 05:27 AM
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Forgot this...........
I'm no drywall journeyman but have repaired a number of badly-damaged skylight "shafts".
When deciding whether to rip out drywall or not I just determine {my opinion obviously} whether the drywall is still solid. If it's still solid with nothing more then minor tape buckling, nail/screw heads "showing up", etc. I don't see any reason to do anything more than cutting out buckled tape, resecuring with new screws, retaping, muding, sanding, etc. etc.
My rule of thumg is if it can be made just as solid as it was prior to leaking, AND not look like a patch when it's done, just repair it as is.
Instructions on repairing this stuff are readily available "everywhere".
 
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Old 02-10-05, 08:50 AM
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okay thanks, what stuff would I use to go around all the sides of the skylight and reseal with? should I get Tar from Home Depot, etc?

I think there is black tar stuff around the skylights now... the house is only 2 years old
 
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Old 02-11-05, 06:53 AM
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If a skylight is installed correctly on a pitched roof, using flashings adequate to the pitch, there's no reason to have tar here and there. I only say this so that if you ever have your roof redone down the road make sure the person you're dealing with actually knows the correct way to install your roof.

There are more more "shinglers" out there than roofers.


You can use that plastic roof cement from a 1 gallon can or purchase tubes for use in a caulking gun. Buy yourself one of those 2in. disposal plastic putty knives. After applying the goop to the areas you want to seal, pack that tar in good, pushing out any air bubbles and smoothing it out . It tends to last longer before "splitting" or "opening up" if you do this.
 
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