Skylights have become more and more popular as of late. You may have them yourself or seen them in a friend’s or neighbor’s house. They can give the interior of a home a great look with lots of natural light, but what are the real pros and cons of skylights? Below we take a look at the benefits of skylights as well as some of the challenges involved in their installation and maintenance.
The Benefits of Skylights
First let us consider the positive side of having one or more skylights installed in a home.
Natural Light: Skylights can bring natural light to areas that are otherwise dark. Rooms like interior bathrooms, which may not have any windows, can benefit from a skylight. A bathroom skylight also brings the advantage of leaving the room unseen from the street. In other cases, large rooms in the house which may have too few windows or whose windows may face out onto an enclosed porch can also be better lit with a skylight or two.
Aesthetics: Skylights are aesthetically pleasing. They bring brightness and a new atmosphere to the entire room. Natural light is also proven to be beneficial to humans’ physical and mental well-being.
Fresh Air: Venting skylights are available on the market which can provide fresh air to a room, just like any window. Venting can let in a cool breeze in the summer and help lower temperatures in a room. It is important; however, to make sure that the mechanism to open and close the vents is close at hand, since otherwise vents left open when heating or air conditioning is on can lead to energy waste.
Solar: Solar skylights can also provide heating or cooling assistance depending on their location on the roof and the climate in which the building is located. Additionally, east or west facing skylights can provide heating or cooling effects in the morning and evening respectively.
The Challenges Associated with Skylights
Expenses: Skylights can be fairly expensive, depending on their size and style, and they will increase the price of future roof replacements. While skylight quality has been going up in recent years, so have their prices. Material price, excluding labor, ranges from about $300 to $1000 depending on elements like size, type, glass quality, safety rating, and so on. Skylight styles also frequently change, which means that the skylight you get now may not have a matching replacement ten or twenty years down the line when it needs replacing. In this case, replacement will require converting the skylight tunnel, which can be quite pricey.
Roof Leaks: Skylights are a notorious cause of roof leaks. If they are old, improperly sealed, or improperly installed they will cause leaking and interior damages. It is extremely important to make sure before installing that you buy high quality tempered or laminated glass skylights with e-coating to control UV rays and heat. Stay away from cheap skylights which will discover and crack over time. Also, hire a qualified and experienced contractor for installation who will give you a reasonable warranty. Skylights must be installed with a raised trim, proper flashing, and proper sealant to prevent leaks in the future.
Interior Damages: As mentioned before, skylights have a great potential for causing leaks, which can sometimes get quite severe. These, if not immediately fixed, especially in a rainy environment like central Florida, can cause significant interior damages to ceilings, floors, and furniture. Direct sunlight can also cause damages to certain furniture types and floor types, so it is important that the glass be tinted correctly and that light sensitive items are not placed in direct line to the rays coming through the skylight.
Structural Concerns: Installing skylights on an existing roof, as opposed to concurrently with a new roof installation, can be damaging to the structural integrity of the structure if not done correctly. Roofs constructed of trusses, which is mainly the way houses are built in the Flagler Palm Coast area, must be carefully analyzed and inspected by a structural expert before a plan for installing a skylight is put in place. Compromising the structural integrity of a roof is not only dangerous but also will result in extensive expenses.
Overall, the decision to install skylights must be considered carefully. While the benefits are significant, care must be taken in dealing with the challenges to avoid potential pitfalls. If you have any questions about skylights or want a free estimate for your roof repair or replacement in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give Florida’s Best Roofing a call at 386-263-7906!