leaks around a skylight

Old 05-28-02, 07:42 PM
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leaks around a skylight

the skylight on my roof is starting to leak. a contractor who provided an estimate got up on the roof and said the leak is around the sides of the skylight. his solution is to re-roof, which is a lot more than what i was preparing for. the roof is about 18 years old.

my question is "is a new roof really necessary as that's the only place it's leaking?" is it possible to change the flashing around the existing skylight to prevent it from leaking?

one note about the existing skylight: it has a relatively low profile, it only protrudes about a couple of inches (i think, from looking at it from the ground,) above the asphalt shingles.

would a new skylight, with higher edges, work better? i live in ny so there's alot of snow to contend w/ in the winter.

also, if a new roof is needed, what are the advantages/disadvantages of roofing over the existing shingles? what should i be aware of?

lastly, a contractor proposed replacing the roof (not shingle over old shingle) only on the east side (where the skylight is.) while that is cheaper than doing the whole roof, i think the west roof would need to be replaced within the next 5 years, considering how old it is, so will the savings be justified? or should i bite the bullet and do both at once?

Old 06-02-02, 09:31 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
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Installing new shingles over old, although frequently done, is not recommended.


Newer model skylights, I have been told, tend not to have the leaky problems of older models. An 18-year-old asphalt shingle roof may be nearing the end of its life expectancy. Most folks wait until the roof leaks before they replace their shingles.

"The sky is falling!"

If you've been feeling that way lately, either you're Chicken Little or you live in a home with a leaky skylight.

Unfortunately, that's a common problem with some cheap plastic-domed skylights. Now, skylight manufacturer Velux offers custom-sized replacement skylights to replace your defective one.

Velux retrofit skylights are available in the most common sizes, like 2-foot by 2-foot, and 2-foot by 4-foot, or you can have them custom-made.

Just measure the length and width at the frame (the "curb" in skylight language) and call the measurements into your local home improvement center. In 30 working days, Velux will deliver to the store a new skylight ready for you to install.

Installation is made easy by a special closed cell sealing foam that is attached to the frame of your new skylight. This seal sits on your curb and makes a perfectly weather tight seal -- no caulk required.

And the prices are not sky-high: A 2-foot by 4-foot stock skylight retails for $147, while a custom 26-inch by 48-inch custom skylight costs $410.

Retrofitting a skylight would be a simple task for a veteran weekend warrior -- but working on a roof is hazardous to your health if you fall off..

News You Can Use. homestore.com. Retrieved 03 June 2002. http://www.homestore.com/remodel/fea...e/20000421.asp
Old 06-03-02, 07:26 PM
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: South Dakota
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You really have two problems, your roof is old, and your skylight leaks. If you are going to replace your roof, do a complete tear off and that way the sub roofing can be inspected. Do not do a piece now, and a piece of it later. Do the whole thing. If you do not do a complete tear off, your new roof will not lay flat. Now to your skylight. The reason it is leaking is probably do to the seal on the skylight. The seals are made of an oil, rubber product, and over time the sun dries it out and makes it brittle thus a spot to leak. Seals are not hard to replace, but I have found as a rule, most roofers do not know how to do it correctly. Call someone who installs skylights and have them replace the seal. If you replace your roof, and not the seal, your skylight will still leak. Good Luck

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