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6 Things You Need to Know About Getting a Skylight

July 14th, 2020 | 5 min. read

6 Things You Need to Know About Getting a Skylight

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Are you looking to add natural light to a dark room in your home? If so, you’re probably considering a skylight. 

Before you pick up the phone to call a local roofing contractor to install your skylight, there are some things you need to know. Luckily for you, we’ve got you covered. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has been installing leak-free skylights since 1990. We know what it takes to properly install a skylight every time. That’s why the leading skylight manufacturer, VELUX, certified us to install their products. 

So, what do you need to know about getting a skylight? Always eager to educate, we’re going to answer that question. 

Knowing the two installation methods and hiring someone who has a history of installing skylights are just a couple of things you should know. Continue reading to learn the rest of the 6 things you need to know about getting a skylight. 

1. The misconception that all skylights leak

Skylights have a bad reputation for always leaking. They get this reputation because a lot of installers fail to follow the installation instructions. 

As long as your roofing contractor follows the manufacturer’s installation instructions, your skylight won’t leak as long as the materials hold up (up to 20 years). If your new skylight gets through the first rain without leaking, you’ll know it was installed properly.  

On the other hand, if your installer doesn’t follow the instructions, you’ll have a leak coming directly from your skylight next time it rains. This makes proper installation crucial to your skylight investment. 

Proper installation is crucial to every part of your roof, not just your skylights. To learn more about how proper installation affects your roof, read this article on why proper roof installation is important

2. Hire someone who has a history of installing skylights

Remember, your installer must follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions to make your skylight leak-free. Wouldn’t it make sense to hire an installer with a history of following these instructions?

When investing in a skylight, it’s crucial to hire a local contractor who has experience installing skylights. VELUX, the leading skylight manufacturer, certifies contractors they trust to install their products. But how do you find a great local contractor to install your skylight? 

Look at Google reviews, ask people on Nextdoor, and even ask your installer for references. To help you find the best contractor to install your skylight, read this article on why it’s important to hire a local roofing contractor

3. How long will you skylight stay leak-free?

Remember, your properly installed skylight will stay leak-free as long as the materials hold up. But how long until your skylight’s materials fail? 

The leading brand in the skylight industry is VELUX. When you get a VELUX skylight, it comes with a 10-year No Leak warranty. 

As long as your skylight is properly installed, it’s going to easily make it through the 10-year warranty and stay leak-free up to 20 years or until the materials fail. The materials fail when the factory seal between the glass and metal cladding is compromised, and water is getting in.

To keep an eye out for failing skylight materials that could lead to a leak, it’s crucial to have your skylight inspected as part of your annual roof maintenance inspection

4. Know when to replace your skylight

Replacing your skylights at the right time can save you from a costly leak. If your skylights are around 20 years old, it’s a matter of time before the materials fail.

Even if they aren’t leaking yet, when you get a roof replacement I recommend replacing your aging skylights at the same time. If your skylights were installed 2 to 5 years ago, they shouldn’t need to be replaced. 

Remember, your skylight should stay leak-free for its lifespan as long as it’s properly installed. If you notice your fairly new skylight leaking, I can guarantee your roofing contractor didn’t follow the installation instructions. 

This will lead to needing to replace your skylight well before the end of its life.  

5. Get the Federal Solar Tax credit

The federal solar tax credit allows you to deduct 26% of the cost of installing a solar energy system. VELUX offers the solar federal solar tax credit on some of their products. 

This means you’ll get a 26% tax credit on the skylight itself and installation cost. To get this tax credit, something about your skylight has to be solar-powered. This could be the skylight itself or accessories, like solar-powered blinds. 

Look for the “Go Solar” logo next to VELUX’s products to find a skylight that is eligible for the federal solar tax credit. 

6. The two types of skylight installation methods

There are two skylight installation methods, deck mounted and curb mounted. Both are good methods, but each is right for a specific situation.

A deck mounted skylight is made in a factory and is ready to go in the fitted opening as soon as you open the box.  It’s installed by screwing down the skylight to your roof’s decking over the cutout opening, putting down protective ice and water shield, and finally installing the skylight’s specific flashing kit. 

A curb mounted skylight is built on-site and is (usually) retrofitted to an existing opening. Your roofing contractor will have to build (out of plywood) the curb to fit the specific measurements. They do this to make the curb fit the existing hole inside and fit the skylight on the outside.

Once it’s built, your contractor will install your skylight to the curb. Unlike deck mounted, curb mounted skylights don’t always have a specific flashing kit. Be aware, your roofing contractor might have to make their own flashing to keep your skylight leak-free. 

What are the most common types of skylights?

You just learned the 6 things you need to know about skylights. Remember, it’s absolutely crucial that your skylight is installed properly. You must hire the right local roofing contractor who knows who to install them to get the most out of your skylight investment.

When you start looking for a skylight, you’ll notice VELUX is the top brand on the market. You might be confused by the different types and what they have to offer, leading to you being overwhelmed. 

Always looking to help, we’re going to take the stress off your shoulders. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has been installing skylights for the residents of Nashville since 1990. Our history of leak-free skylight installation speaks for itself. That’s why VELUX certified us to install their skylights. 

So, what are the top types of VELUX skylights on the market today? 

Check out this article on The 4 Most Common Types of VELUX Skylights to learn the top options for your skylight investment.

checklist of questions to ask a roofing contractor

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