How to Fix a Leaking Skylight
LESLIE: Somewhere in Virginia, Randy has a leaky skylight and we’re going to help.
What’s going on?
RANDY: It looks like maybe the glazing around the window.
TOM: Well, is it physically leaking water, Randy, or is it just fogged?
RANDY: No, it’s water.
TOM: It’s water. OK. Now this skylight, is this skylight flush with your roof or is it sitting up a few inches off the roof?
RANDY: They sit up about three inches.
TOM: OK. Do you happen to know what the make of the skylight is?
RANDY: No, I don’t. I’m sorry.
TOM: OK. (clears throat) There’s two ways that skylights are typically made. If you have an Andersen or a VELUX skylight, it’s a wood box and there’s a metal flashing system that goes under the shingles and up against the side and then there’s counter flashing that goes over that. That kind of skylight almost never leaks.
There’s another kind where you have a curb – it’s called a curb and it’s that box that is sort of a one-piece flashing and skylight sort of built in together. And those are sealed to the roof usually with the caulk on the underside of that and then people shingle around them and they always leak and they usually leak by the time they get to be five to ten years old. So it might be that you actually are getting some leaking around the flashing and typically what you have to do is pull the shingles off and then reset that skylight with new mastic.
RANDY: You’re telling me that a VELUX – is that correct?
TOM: Yeah, VELUX – V-E-L-U-X – or an Andersen are excellent skylights. I’ve installed both, I’ve had both in my own homes, and they just almost never leak. They’ve got a really ingenious flashing system that’s completely built into the system and so once it’s put in, it really works well.
RANDY: And you replace the shingles. Is that going to look like new versus old?
TOM: Yeah, you’re probably going to have a difference in the shingle color around it just because of the difference in the exposure. And so that’s certainly something you might want to consider. It will be somewhat obvious. Of course when you drive in, you’ll look right up and see that it doesn’t match but the rest of the people that drive by your house probably won’t notice it. OK, Randy?
RANDY: Yes sir. I appreciate your help.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.