leaking skylight or else?


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Old 03-15-08, 06:25 PM
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leaking skylight or else?

i have several self flashing skylights at my rambler. inside, we have vaulted ceilings in the kitchen, so skylights sit on top of fairly deep wells built into attick space.

one of the skylights/well is close to the cooktop in the kitchen, maybe 2 feet away from it vertically.

i can not see self flashing skylight leaking in any manner, and i checked, shingles cover flashing well and house is only 5yo.

we started developing water leaks from the well closest to cooktop. it definitely originates from the upper 2 corners of the well, goes down and then streaks down the vaulted ceiling.

i have several questions:

1. how could possibly a self flashing skylight leak?
2. how do i seal it without tearing roof apart? roofing is brownish fiberglass shingles, i'd rather tar the whole upper corner adjacent to skylight, but don't really want to create large black stain.
3. why do i have that feeling that it's not the skylight leaking, but condensate collecting in the well and dripping down? we cook all the time, steam is always gushing up into that well. but for fairness sake, 2nd leak developed after very nasty rain about 2 mths ago. so now i have the whole upper skylight and up and over the roof ridge covered with plastic.
thank you for suggestions.
 
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Old 03-15-08, 08:12 PM
J
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Mfr's name? any idea......
Does skylight have a frame ( alum-PVC )
You say self-flashing--what does it look like?
What size is it? approx.
 
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Old 03-16-08, 06:28 AM
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Good morning,

Pictures are most helpful. Could you possibly upload some photos to a site like Picasa or photobucket and then post the link, here? Thanks so much.
 
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Old 03-16-08, 08:13 AM
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here's the skylight:
http://www.veluxusa.com/products/skylights/fixed/QFS/

just mine is older and is single pane. otherwise, looks identical.

here's what it looks from the inside, leaking corners are on the right hand side


if you take a careful look at this photo, you can see brownish water streak at the bottom edge of the skylight well.

and the leaking corners themselves

 
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Old 03-16-08, 08:22 AM
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http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/r...20-%20CoatingsHave you called Velux on their good old 20 year warranty??

Part of your problem is condensation because of cooking & having a single pane of glass
in skylight. Also, the EPDM rubber flashing may have broken down allowing skylight to leak.
Link is for rubber roof sealants-- may come in colors or white only?
 

Last edited by j HOWARD; 03-16-08 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 03-16-08, 09:10 AM
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Doubt if they have a warranty on it. If its single pane, it's got to be at least what...15 yrs old, maybe more?? Velux warrants the frame for 10, insulated glass for 20, don't even see any info for single glaze.

Problem is finding the leak, which means either up in the attic if possible, or exploratory surgery.

ukr, if it was condensation, you would probably see streaks and bubbling coming down from the top of the well, not just appearing at the corners.

It wouldn't hurt to get up on the roof with some clear silicone and caulk the glass to frame seal itself. See if that helps.

But to really solve your issue, you should replace those old puppies. I would call Velux and see if they possibly have a double pane retrofit kit? They could also advise you as to certified installers in your area for possible inspections and repairs, if you think its out of your skillset.
 
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Old 03-16-08, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by j HOWARD View Post
http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/r...20-%20CoatingsHave you called Velux on their good old 20 year warranty??

Part of your problem is condensation because of cooking & having a single pane of glass
in skylight. Also, the EPDM rubber flashing may have broken down allowing skylight to leak.
Link is for rubber roof sealants-- may come in colors or white only?
thank you. so, there's a rubber seal underneath the flashing? or, rubber type material? as the sidewalls of the skylight are probably aluminum, painted black and they transition into flashing without any attachments. i reckon the whole piece is stamped out of aluminum sheeting, with flashing bent/shaped at the same time.
i can see that happen, question is - with shingles overlapping flashing, how can water possibly get to that seal?
also, figures i'll have to remove shingles to get to the seal?
sounds like "in depth" investigation to do after a day or 2 of dry weather - who knows when here in seattle.
appreciate info on 20 year warrenty. that might come handy. glass seals broke down from heat anyway, some of it fell down on the floor.
i'll install 2nd glass layer into the well anyway. it is sucking heat out of the kitchen, and the way we are built, kitchen/family/dining are one large room practically without any partitions, so it's sucking heat out of half the house.
once again, thank yo.
 
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Old 03-16-08, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Doubt if they have a warranty on it. If its single pane, it's got to be at least what...15 yrs old, maybe more?? Velux warrants the frame for 10, insulated glass for 20, don't even see any info for single glaze.

Problem is finding the leak, which means either up in the attic if possible, or exploratory surgery.

ukr, if it was condensation, you would probably see streaks and bubbling coming down from the top of the well, not just appearing at the corners.

It wouldn't hurt to get up on the roof with some clear silicone and caulk the glass to frame seal itself. See if that helps.

But to really solve your issue, you should replace those old puppies. I would call Velux and see if they possibly have a double pane retrofit kit? They could also advise you as to certified installers in your area for possible inspections and repairs, if you think its out of your skillset.
house is 5 yo. streaks do come from the upper hand corners. what makes no sense - if it's condensate, and the glass is slanted, why condensate does not drip down into the lower hand side of the glass? unless it accumulates in the upper hand corner as it's hotter there.

glass frame overlapps the skylight frame by about 2 inches, there's no way rain will get inbetween the 2. simply put, skylight is a raised box sitting flush on the roof, with wide base covered by shingles, and another box, containing glass, covering it. that's why it looks totally impermiable to water, as water can not physically get between the upper and lower boxes, and shingles should direct water over the flashing. looking at it, there is no way it can leak, and house is too young to have cracks and leaks anywhere.

i guess i'll just seal shingles in about 2 feet radius around the upper hand side of the skylight with that rubber coating. upper edge of the skylight is some 3 feet from the roof ridge, so i'll just make large patch 3 feet by whatever is necessary to go on either side of flashing.
 
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Old 03-16-08, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by j HOWARD View Post
http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/r...20-%20CoatingsHave you called Velux on their good old 20 year warranty??

Part of your problem is condensation because of cooking & having a single pane of glass
in skylight. Also, the EPDM rubber flashing may have broken down allowing skylight to leak.
Link is for rubber roof sealants-- may come in colors or white only?
howard, i did take a look at the recommended materials - which one you think will work for me? frankly, i am not sure.
 
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Old 03-16-08, 09:40 AM
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if possible-get a hose up on roof -let it run wide open & see what happens........
Remember: if it's on a roof it can & sometimes will leak...
They have an 800 #--call............
 
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Old 03-16-08, 10:14 AM
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sorry ukr, missed the age of the house in the earlier post and where the streaks were originating.

Before you start slapping roofing cement on a roof that new, get one of the company reps to come take a look. They were always real good about warranty items back in VA. Esp if you had pieces of seal falling out? Heat?, up in the Pacnorwest? If they hold up down here in AZ and back in VA, they should last just fine up there. You should be able to be absolutely sure if its a Velux, and when it was made, by getting the nameplate data off it. Most times you can see it from the roof thru the glass in the corner.

I'm not that familiar with the QFS model, but dealt with a lot of the VS and FCCM type. Almost looks like an FCCM with an attached curb and flashing system. I can hardly believe that they built a single pane skylite in the last 5 yrs, but like I said, not familiar with the QFS. I do know the FCCM and VS models were not even available with anything but their version of LoW E double pane glass as far back as 2001

Also, if it was condensing steam and such, you should be able to see it on the glass itself when its a cooler day out. Use a pair of little binocs if you can.

And you are right, if it was installed correctly, the shingles and flashing system should direct water around the outside.

It can't get that much worse in the time it would take to get a rep to come look. And I so hate any type of chemical sealant, eventually, it's going to breakdown, and the problem is back.

We'll take any extra rain you don't want.....
 
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Old 03-16-08, 10:30 AM
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Also, try & get an extension ladder in well while you are hosing skylight so someone can take a close look at what is happening..........
have fun.
 
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Old 03-16-08, 10:31 AM
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There is no such thing as a self-flashing skylight. Some have flanges on their sides, but even those really should be step-flashed. And if it was one of those with a flange, it won't have a back-pan to redirect water hitting the top of it.
As for a sealant.???? Their only purpose is to make sales. Not to fix leaks, irrgardless of wwhat is written on the can.
 
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Old 03-16-08, 12:37 PM
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thank you, folks.
indeed, the glass pane has a white plastic, probably vinyl gasket around the edge where the glass rests on the upper frame, and it's all crooked and twisted, and pieces of it fell down on one.
i don't think it's pacific NW heat. it's a HIGH well and it will accumulate heat in it, just like a chimney. plus sunlight and UV rays. it is pouring heat in summer time through those. and yes, we almost always have droplets on the glass.

well, with this being said, i have to deal with design that is per concept flawed: builder put 2 large skylights into kitchen area to lighten it up, adding several feet deep wells, ending in a heat/humid air collector. folks, keep in mind - we are immigrants family. for average american family, it wouldn't have been a problem, as they don't really cook. we do cook, and cook from scratch, so pots do steam a good bit. of course, my wife is a stubborn great gal who does not like fan noise, so she'll not turn it on or shuts it down if i have it turned on. and you can explain physics of humidity collection and condensation all you want to her, she knows better.

anyways, here's my final plan:
1. wait until several dry days for roof/shingles to dry.
2. find matching color shingles
3. get a can of mastique or similar
4. from the mid skylight up to the roof ridge, raise shiges up as much as i can, apply mastique so it covers current shingles/skylight flashing, an add 2nd layer of shingles on top of it, all the way up into the roof ridge.
5. seal glass pane from the outside in the frame, caulk or something like that
6. install 2nd layer of glass from the inside into the wells, about half way well's height, to seal them and prevent air from escaping into the well.
i am not professional roofer or such, but it is no rocket science and some things are better kept simple and fixed with simple methods. i do not believe that skylight leaks, not the way it's made. it can't, unless there's a hole in the flashing or crack in the shingles, and that's not the case. i bet my money on condensate, and i'll get that fixed once and forever.

with this being said, appreciate y'all's help, have a nice weekend and cloudless home ownerships. for the person that believes that there is no such thing as self flashing skylight, just google it. homedepot has some 4 varieties of those to start with.
 
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Old 03-16-08, 01:29 PM
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The first two things I look for when I encounter a ''self-flashing'' Velux skylight at a home inspection in my Chicago climate are:

1) Is the required piece of underlayment installed overlapping the flange at the head of the skylight below the shingles?

2) Did someone nail through any metal portion of the skylight including the flanges?

Because if the installer did not do 1), or did do 2), or both, it's likely going to leak.

See the installation instructions here
 
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Old 03-16-08, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
The first two things I look for when I encounter a ''self-flashing'' Velux skylight at a home inspection in my Chicago climate are:

1) Is the required piece of underlayment installed overlapping the flange at the head of the skylight below the shingles?

2) Did someone nail through any metal portion of the skylight including the flanges?

Because if the installer did not do 1), or did do 2), or both, it's likely going to leak.

See the installation instructions here
excellent reply, thank you. i am not sure i have seen the underlayment on the upper flange. this means nothing, as i'll need to pull my ladder out and get up on the roof to find out. i am just saying - i do not remember seeing it.
but one thing for sure - i will find out, now that i know what to look for.
my light well looks exactly like 2nd design on picture 1 in the installation instructions.
ok, up on the roof we go.
 
 

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