Skylight repairs versus replacement is often a hot topic in the roofing industry. While not exceedingly common, skylights can and do fail during their lifetime. These failures come in many forms that can include but are not limited to: cracked glass, leaking in either the unit itself or flashing, and opening mechanisms that have failed. Much like a roof lifespan, skylights also possess a lifespan which may also impact their watertight integrity. When a unit does fail, many homeowners immediately move into the thought of embarking on skylight repairs rather than full unit replacements. Some contractors will do this for you, however, there are some things that homeowners should consider that make repairs inadvisable. The cost of a new skylight may be daunting to most, and they must consider the warranty terms of their current unit. If a skylight is still under warranty when it fails, repairs won’t save money, and therefore replacement is the right option. Skylight repairs may seem easier on both the wallet and disruption to your home, but the long-term cost is negated with these following examples.
Skylight Repairs May Not Fix Everything
Much like roofing repairs, most projects are an educated guess on what the contractor is seeing to best determine the issues with a roof. Skylight repairs are no different, where contractors may not have obvious issues present, and therefore will make these fixes based upon guesses. As the unit will not be removed during this process, it is impossible determine if the issue has compromised anything else in the roofing system, most namely the rough opening that it fits in.
Some Repairs Are Possible
Make no mistake, if a skylight is newer with replacement parts still available, glass and hardware can be repaired rather than fully replaced. This is most common with hinges and cracked glass. The issue here is band-aiding problems by using temporary fixes that will not last. If the glass on an older skylight breaks, repair is a futile effort to get a small amount more time out of the unit. In this case, repairing leaks is also a futile effort, as described above. If there is a small, obvious issue, a patch may be put in place to rectify the issue, but as a whole, leaks and major damage require full skylight replacements.
Unit Damage Requires Replacement
Much like larger leaks, repairing a skylight unit that has sustained major damage from storms for example is nearly impossible. If the unit becomes bent, no amount of work will be able to ensure the skylight is fully leak proof. This also negatively affects the structural components surrounding it, and often the unit must be removed to ensure no structural damage has occurred to the roof itself. Once a skylight has been pulled from its rough opening in the roofing system, it is unlikely to ever fit properly again.
As a whole, skylight repairs are possible but not advised in most situations. All costs will balance out on larger projects, when contractors may have to chase leaks before fully determining the proper course of action. Quality roofers are trained to identify issues that the average homeowner cannot see, but skylights are more difficult to gauge. Ranch Roofing prides itself on its quality skylight installation, for more information, or to talk to a sales representative, contact us today!