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.
- opening mechanisms that fail to open properly
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 start looking for roof repair contractors for an unexpected skylight repairs. Typically, homeowners think a simple repair is a viable option over a full skylight replacement. Some local roof contractors will do this for you. However, there are some things that homeowners should consider that make skylight repairs inadvisable. After all, new skylight costs may be daunting to most homeowners. Additionally, homeowners must consider the warranty terms of their current unit. For example, if a skylight is still under warranty when it fails, repairs won’t save money. Therefore, skylight repair is more expensive than a new skylight replacement. Finally, although skylight repairs may seem easier on both the wallet and disruption to your life, 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. Skylight or roof repair contractors provide a best estimate based on what they see as the issues with a roof. Related, skylight repairs are no different. Your local roofing contractor may not observe obvious issues present. Therefore, they rely on their experience to make these skylight repairs. Finally, and importantly, the unit will not be removed during the repair process. As a result, it is impossible determine if the issue compromised anything else in the roofing system. In particular, some skylight repairs can inadvertently damage 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. However, band-aiding problems by using temporary fixes that will not last presents a possible long-term issue. If the glass on an older skylight breaks, repair is a futile effort to get a small amount more time out of the unit. Related, repairing leaks is also a futile effort. If there is a small, obvious issue, a patch might 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 sustained major damage from storms 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 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!