Skylights are an affordable way to bring additional light into a home, and fully functional skylights are even more beneficial than skylight windows that do not open. Skylight windows with screens can be placed in areas where heat tends to build, such as the upstairs of a home. In the warmer months of the year they help provide ventilation, and skylight windows also radiate heat on sunny winter days while letting in a valuable source of natural light. Besides helping to save energy, skylights are also beautiful and highly stylish. They are an excellent choice for anyone wanting to increase the value, appeal, and beauty of their home.
The following information explains how easy it is to install new skylight windows and repair simple leaks in existing skylights. It is not necessary to seek the help of a professional when installing skylight windows in a cathedral ceiling. It is easier than many people realize, and adding skylight windows is one of the most impressive ways to add value and style to any home.
Before Getting Started
Keep in mind that the method of sealing skylight windows varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Consult product instructions regarding how to achieve a watertight seal. In addition, use extreme caution when working around electrical wires. The power must be turned off before sawing an opening in the ceiling. Know the location of electrical wires before beginning, and use caution when working on a sloped roof. Secure roof jacks before getting started, and take every precaution to ensure safety when installing skylight windows or repairing an existing skylight window leak.
Steps to Install a New Skylight Window
Begin by determining the best location for a new skylight window. Locate the rafters using a stud finder, and mark their locations with a pencil. The goal is to cut across as few rafters as possible when determining the opening for the skylight window. In addition, space must be reserved for the upper and lower edges of the skylight as well as the header boards. The header boards will have the same dimensions as the rafters and will be attached across the cut ends. Upon determining the ideal location for a new skylight window, measure, mark, and cut out the area of the ceiling that will accommodate the window. Once the ceiling material has been removed, drive long nails through the interior and out through the roof to mark the corner locations for the new skylight window.
Next, remove shingles piece by piece from the predetermined area of the roof. In addition, remove the roofing felt, and saw an opening in the roof that matches the opening in the ceiling. Cut through the rafters, and use the header boards to frame the ends. Join the corners using corner brackets otherwise known as hangers. To bring the headers to the proper height, nail on strips of wood. Apply new roofing felt around the perimeter of the headers, and place the window into the opening. Follow manufacturer recommendations for sealing the window, and if necessary, replace the shingles that surround the new skylight.
Lastly, finish the interior of the new skylight window by adding a wood or wallboard window frame. Carefully cut it to size, and if wood is used, sand along the grain to achieve a smooth and attractive finish. Follow product label instructions when sealing and varnishing wood. Complete the job by sealing any small gaps in the frame with a small amount of clear latex caulking.
You will enjoy having a clear view of the sky every season of the year, and more than likely you will want to install more skylight windows throughout your home. Depending on their size, skylight windows greatly open up a room or space, and the beauty of the sky will become part of the decorating scheme within the home.
How to Locate and Repair Leaks Around Skylight Windows
A new skylight window that has been properly installed and sealed should not have a problem with leaks, no matter how hard it rains. If a new skylight window leaks after proper installation, the window could have a manufacturer defect. Consult warranty information regarding replacement.
If an older skylight window leaks, the problem could be caused by a number of factors. First check the seal around the window. If it appears to have deteriorated, order a new seal from the manufacturer, and be sure to use the recommended adhesive for the job. If the seal appears to be in good condition, check the flashing as well as the area where the skylight window meets the roof. This is a common area for leaks around skylight windows.
Use roofing cement to fill in any gaps, but keep in mind that small leaks are not always visible. Even tiny openings can cause major leaks. Surround the exterior frame of the window with roofing cement, even if cracks or gaps are not found. Leaks do not always originate where they appear, and it may take further investigating to find the true origin of the leaks that seem to come from the area of the skylight. New skylight windows that have been properly installed and sealed should remain leak-free and provide matchless beauty and functionality for many years to come.