By the time you see water damage in your ceiling, a lot of water damage has already occurred in the materials between the exterior of your roof and your ceiling's drywall. The best way to minimize water damage is through frequent maintenance and inspections. Additionally, knowing which roof features are the most likely to leak, particularly skylights, can help you stay abreast of potential damage.
Why are skylights more likely to leak than the rest of your roof?
Any time there is a break in the protected surface of your roof, leaks are more likely to happen. A shingled roof has multiple layers of water-proof and water-resistant material to keep the moisture at bay. Fixtures like chimneys, skylights, and even flashing abruptly stop that protection and have less cohesive materials blocking water.
Depending on your skylight, it might also be heavier and larger than any other fixture on your roof. The weight is concentrated along the edges because it can't have centered supports, also drawing water.
Where should you inspect for skylight leaks?
Check the barrier between the glass and the exterior support.
Skylights have a watertight seal between the glass and the edges. Like the caulk along your windows, this material can get scratched, torn, or removed by the elements and neighborhood
pests. Make sure checking that seal is part of your regular roof maintenance, so it doesn't have a chance to degrade.
Check the flashing around the opening.
When your skylight was installed, flashing was put in place around the glass, so the break in the shingle line wouldn't cause leaks. The metal extends up under the last row of shingles above the skylight. Routinely check for raised edges, bubbled shingles, and any signs of damage. If the flashing has shifted or there's a gap, water can slide underneath and into the hole in your roof.
Maintaining a skylight should be relatively easy with regular care and upkeep. A skylight takes a little extra caution in monitoring, but it can add a great appeal to your home. Contact Midwest Roofing to learn more and to schedule an estimate with professional roofing inspectors who can install the right protective materials to keep you and your family safe and dry.