Should You Repair or Replace Skylights?
If it’s time for a roof repair or a roof replacement on your home, you might also consider what other projects can be tackled at the same time. In particular, if your home has skylights installed, a roof repair is the perfect time to upgrade or repair your skylights.
Your decision to repair or replace a skylight hinges on a few factors:
- The age of your skylight — Skylights typically only last around 15 years, so if yours is close to 15 years old, it might be best to replace it rather than repair. Cracks, or discoloration, or issues with condensation, are also indicators that it might be time to look at a new skylight.
- Your skylight’s condition — Have an inspection performed to understand the full scope of work needed to get your skylight back in good shape. Leaks are typically due to issues with flashing around your skylight. Your roofing contractor should be able to give you some direction here.
- Improved energy efficiency. Older skylights aren’t as energy efficient. Newer models feature clean, quiet and safe glass with dual panes, and adhere to Energy Star’s guidelines, improving the thermal envelope of your home. With an airtight seal and proper installation, replacing a skylight while you replace your roof will help achieve balanced indoor temperature control.
- How much you’re looking to spend — Repairing a skylight by replacing the flashing can be cheaper than replacing it altogether. However, if your skylight is close to the 10-year-old mark, it might be worth spending a little more money to install a new one. The difference between the two tends to be only around $500.
When You Should Repair a Skylight
A number of factors could impact your decision to repair a skylight instead of replacing it, including:
Skylight Is New
If your skylight is relatively new and you haven’t had any serious problems up to this point, a repair may be the best option. This is especially true if you’re not having substantial work done to your roof. Check the warranty on your skylight, and call your roofing company to discuss repair options.
Small Leak/Minor Repair
If the damage you’ve assessed is a relatively minor issue, you may want to start with a repair before a total replacement. An example is a small leak you’ve noticed that started after a strong hail storm. This could indicate damage to your flashing. Flashing protects your roof and home beneath from structural issues like rust, corrosion and mold growth.
While the cost difference between repairing and replacing a skylight is modest at around $500, a tight budget could be what determines your path forward. Start by talking with your roofing contractor to see what they recommend, and then you can have an idea of an estimated cost. If your roof is also damaged and you are deciding whether or not you should file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance, also include any storm damage to your skylights.
When You Should Replace a Skylight
Sometimes your best option is to fully replace a skylight, especially if any of these factors apply:
You Need a Total Roof Replacement
A total roof replacement is the perfect time to replace your skylights. Replacing your skylights when you replace your roofing system is the most convenient and affordable time to do so. It is actually cheaper than a normal skylight replacement because the job has an easier install process when the roof deck is completely open. This is also a cost-effective strategy, depending on what kind of roof you have and its condition.
Skylight Is Old
If your skylight is 10+ years old, you might want to replace it even if you don’t notice any damage. Keep in mind that a failing skylight can leak and increase humidity in your home which can allow mold to form. These windows on your roof are not intended to last forever, so your best bet might be to install a new one before any serious damage occurs.
Large Leaks/Major Damage
It might be easy to identify if your skylight has a major leak, which is a sure sign that it needs repair or replacement. You might also notice a crack in the glass, the seals may have rotted, or your flashing may be damaged or missing. These examples of damage could be minor or major, but you won’t know until you’ve had your skylight inspected.
J&K Roofing Has You Covered
The decision to repair or replace your skylight(s) is mainly up to you, but remember to factor in your skylight’s age, condition, and your budget. And above all else, make sure you talk with a professional who has had a chance to look at your roof before you make a decision!
Contact the J&K Roofing team today to set up a free inspection and get the info you need to make the right decision for your home. Call 303-425-7531 or click here to get started.