Water entering house from skylight gutter

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Old 12-25-10, 10:28 PM
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Water entering house from skylight gutter

Thank you in advance for taking a look at my issue and offering any advice you can!

I have recently completed construction on a 1000 SF roundhouse with a 5' diameter, round, double-paned, aluminum frame skylight in the center of the sloped metal roof. Skylight is made by Tam Skylights - Residential and Commercials Skylights . The house is well-insulated and located in central California--no snow or ice, just a fair bit of winter rain.

Though the building has been dried-in for over a year, I've never had a leak problem until the past month. Hose test was negative when done at install. Since taking occupancy though, on two occasions during heavy rains on cold nights, water has entered the house from somewhere associated with the skylight. We are only in the house part-time, but there is no sign that there has been any water entry except when we have been present.

There are two points where rain has come into the building through the ceiling at the skylight--one a steady drip, the other more like a stream. I traced both leaks to the skylight; not the roof or flashing. The skylight is installed on a 5" high round metal frame that is above the level of the roof and the water was clearly coming into the house above this ring where the skylight is installed. But I am not sure how the water gets in! I was able to see that both sides of the bottom inner gutter of the skylight (where it is screwed into the metal ring) were full of water, so somehow water got in there. The top of the metal ring (to which the skylight is attached) was also wet and water was streaming down the inside of the metal ring in the two places and then behind the wood ring upon which the metal ring sits.

Diagram and photos at:
Skylight pictures by jstewart7 - Photobucket

After this, I put Henry's 208R at the connection between the skylight glass and aluminum frame and over all connections in the external skylight aluminum frame. I also siliconed the installation screws in the skylight's inner gutters thinking water may have gotten to the metal ring from there. Unfortunately, a couple of weeks later, I had another (albeit less significant) leak. Again, the gutters within the skylight frame were full of water--the leak into the house/ceiling occurred when the gutters overflowed. I can't think of a way that water is coming in from the outside--the window and frame completely cover and overlap the gutter AND I just added the caulk and Henry's! Could it be something else?? Possible idea:

I should note that there is significant condensation on the skylight window and on the inside of the frame during cold weather and rain. Is it possible that this moisture accumulates to the point that the gutters fill and overflow--causing what appears to be a pretty good leak? During the heavy rain, cold water sits on the base of the outer window and keeps the window cold allowing for increased condensation inside. Remember that the only evidence of leaking has happened when our water-emitting bodies have been present and only at night when its been colder out. When we are inside cooking and breathing (and humidity is high with the rain outside), it seems possible that condensation could really accumulate. But that much?

Anyone have experience with anything comparable to this?

Please help! This sucks.

Thanks.
 
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Old 12-26-10, 03:14 AM
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I would say its condensation, you can get quite a bit of water accumulate.About 6 mos. ago I had a homeowner call for a roof leak and turns out the skylight tunnel in the attic was not insulated and was causeing condensation. I have seen it other times where insulation was not a factor and to be honest with you, I dont know how to correct the issue. Is that a standing seam roof with Zac screws on top of the seams? Never seen it done like that, the whole idea of standing seam is to conseal the fasteners. Maybe had to be that way because its round????
 
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Old 12-26-10, 09:54 AM
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Thanks for the reply. I would appreciate others chiming in with their thoughts about whether it is possible that this much condensation could be accumulating. I would say it it has been as much as a number of full glasses of water's worth and only noticed during heavy rains...

As far as the install, I used self-drilling hex head screws (not sure what "Zac" screws are) to install through the skylight gutter/base (is that the standing seam?). This is what I was instructed to do by the round house manufacturer (the round house exterior--including roof and skylight--are a kit).
 
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