Tips for Maintaining the Integrity of Skylights on Commercial Roofs

Shedding Light on Skylight Maintenance

Our Top Tips for Commercial Roofs

Skylights are a popular feature in commercial buildings, prized for their ability to fill your spaces with natural light and enhance their aesthetics. By reducing the need for artificial lighting during daylight hours, skylights can help lower energy costs while creating a more welcoming environment for people in your building. However, skylights require regular maintenance to reap these benefits.

Maintaining the integrity of skylights on commercial roofs not only preserves their functionality and appearance but also prevents potential issues like leaks, structural damage, and energy inefficiency. Skipping skylight maintenance can lead to expensive repairs and disruptions, so it’s important for building owners to stay proactive.

In this blog, we’ll list some practical tips for maintaining your commercial roof’s skylights. From routine inspections and cleaning to addressing leaks and ensuring energy efficiency, these tips will help you keep your commercial skylights in good condition for years to come.

Why Skylight Maintenance is Important

Enhancing Natural Light and Reducing Energy Costs

Skylights are designed to maximize the amount of natural light entering your building, creating bright and inviting spaces. Skylights can significantly lower your energy consumption and utility bills by reducing your dependence on artificial lighting. Proper maintenance ensures that skylights remain clear and unobstructed, allowing maximum light penetration.

Preventing Leaks and Structural Damage

One of the biggest problems with skylights is the potential for leaks. Leaks can cause significant damage to your building’s structure, interior finishes, furniture, and more. Regular inspections and prompt repairs are essential to find and fix leaks before they lead to costly damage. Ensuring that your seals, gaskets, and flashing are in good condition is key to preventing leaks.

Occupant Comfort and Productivity

Natural light isn’t just about aesthetics; it plays a big role in your residents’ well-being and productivity. Studies have shown that exposure to natural light can improve mood, enhance focus, and increase overall productivity. By maintaining your skylights, you ensure that the people in your building can benefit from a well-lit, comfortable environment.

Prolonging the Lifespan of Skylights and Your Roofing

Like any other component of your building, skylights have a finite lifespan. However, with regular maintenance, your can extend their lifespans. Addressing minor issues before they grow into major problems helps preserve the integrity of your skylights and the roofing itself. This not only saves you money on replacement costs but also ensures that your building stays in good condition for longer.

Maintaining the integrity of skylights on commercial roofs is vital for optimizing energy efficiency, preventing structural damage, enhancing occupant comfort, and prolonging the lifespan of both the skylights and the roofing. By prioritizing regular maintenance, you safeguard your investment and ensure that your skylights will provide value for years to come.

Our Tips for Maintaining Skylights on Your Commercial Roof

Regular Inspections

Conducting regular inspections of your skylights, at least twice a year, is crucial for maintaining their integrity. Look for cracks, leaks, wear, and condensation, focusing on seals, gaskets, and flashing. Inspections after severe weather are essential to quickly identify and address any damage. By catching issues early, you can prevent minor problems from becoming major repairs, ensuring that your skylights continue to function correctly and protect your building.

Clean Your Skylights

Regularly cleaning your skylights maximizes natural light and maintains their condition. Use mild soap and water or a vinegar solution with soft cloths and squeegees to clean the glazing. Remove loose debris first and gently scrub to avoid scratches. Rinse thoroughly and dry with a squeegee. Regular cleaning not only increases the amount of light that gets through but also helps you find potential issues early, keeping your skylights efficient and your building bright.

Check for Leaks

Inspect your skylights regularly for leaks, focusing on seals and flashing. Water stains, dampness, and mold around the skylight and ceiling are all signs of leaks. It’s especially important to check for leaks after heavy rain or snow. Address any leaks immediately to prevent water damage and structural issues. Properly maintaining seals and flashing ensures your skylights remain watertight, protecting your building from leaks.

Inspect Seals and Gaskets

Check the seals and gaskets around your skylights for signs of wear and deterioration, such as cracks or brittleness. Seals and gaskets are crucial for preventing leaks and maintaining energy efficiency. Replace any damaged or worn-out seals right away to keep a tight, weatherproof seal. Regular inspections and maintenance of seals and gaskets help prolong the lifespan of your skylights.

Monitor and Repair Glazing

Regularly inspect the glazing of your skylights for cracks, chips, or cloudiness, which can affect energy efficiency and roof integrity. Even small cracks should be repaired immediately to prevent further damage. Clean the glazing thoroughly to ensure maximum light penetration and spot any potential issues early. Maintaining your glazing helps improve the longevity of your skylights.

Managing Condensation

Keep an eye out for condensation on skylights, especially in areas with poor ventilation. While some condensation is normal, excessive moisture can lead to mold growth and damage. Ensure proper ventilation around skylights to reduce condensation buildup. Address any ventilation issues promptly to maintain a comfortable and healthy indoor environment.

Inspect Flashing and Roofing

Regularly inspect the flashing around your skylights for signs of damage or deterioration. Damaged flashing can compromise the integrity of the skylight and lead to leaks. Check the surrounding roofing materials for wear and tear, particularly after severe weather. Repair any damaged flashing or roofing right away to prevent leaks and structural damage.

Preventive Measures

There are also some preventive measures you can take to protect your skylights from damage. Trim overhanging branches to prevent them from falling onto skylights during storms. Use protective covers during severe weather or roofing maintenance to shield your skylights from damage. As we mentioned before, make sure you have proper ventilation around skylights to prevent condensation buildup.

Energy Efficiency Considerations

Invest in energy-efficient skylights to maximize energy savings and sustainability. Opt for skylights with high-quality glazing and seals that provide superior insulation and reduce heat transfer. Upgrading to energy-efficient skylights not only lowers energy costs but also contributes to a more comfortable indoor environment. Consider the long-term benefits of energy efficiency when selecting skylights for your commercial building.

Keep Records of Skylight Maintenance

Keep detailed records of skylight maintenance activities, including inspections, cleanings, and repairs. Documentation helps track your skylight’s condition over time and provides valuable information for warranty claims. Review the warranty conditions provided by the skylight manufacturer to ensure compliance with maintenance requirements. By maintaining accurate documentation and adhering to warranty conditions, you can protect your investment and receive coverage for any potential defects or issues.

Get Professional Help

Need help maintaining your skylights? One of our specialties is maintaining the integrity of skylights on commercial roofs. Contact DeMarco today to schedule an inspection by calling (614) 444-7366. We’ll visit your property, conduct a thorough inspection, and quickly repair or replace your skylights as needed.

Common Skylight Issues and How to Address Them

Cracks and Damage

Cracks and damage to skylights can result from various factors, including severe weather conditions like hailstorms, thermal stress from temperature fluctuations, or physical impact from debris. Minor cracks can often be repaired using specialized sealants or adhesives designed for skylight glazing. However, extensive damage may require professional repair or replacement to ensure the skylight’s structural integrity.

Seal and Flashing Failure

Seal and flashing failure can happen as a result of aging, exposure to UV radiation, or poor installation. When seals and flashing deteriorate, water can leak in, leading to water damage. Regularly inspect seals and flashing for signs of wear or deterioration, such as cracks or gaps. Replace damaged seals and flashing to maintain a watertight seal around the skylight.

Condensation Management

Condensation forms on skylights when warm, moist air comes into contact with the cooler surface of the glazing. Poor ventilation or high humidity levels within the building can make condensation issues worse. Improve ventilation around skylights to promote airflow and reduce moisture buildup. Consider installing venting skylights or incorporating mechanical ventilation systems to improve air circulation and reduce condensation.

Glazing Deterioration

Glazing deterioration can occur over time due to exposure to UV radiation, chemical pollutants, or abrasive cleaning methods. Bad glazing can compromise the skylight’s energy efficiency and structural integrity. Regularly clean skylight glazing using mild soap and water to remove dirt and debris. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can accelerate glazing deterioration. Consider applying UV-resistant coatings to protect your glazing from sun damage.

Ventilation Challenges

Ventilation challenges around skylights happen when there is inadequate airflow, blocked vents, or obstructions within your building’s ventilation system. Poor ventilation can lead to moisture buildup and indoor air quality issues. Inspect your building’s ventilation system to find deficiencies or obstructions affecting airflow around skylights. Install additional vents or ductwork as needed to improve ventilation and maintain a healthy indoor environment.

By addressing these common skylight issues, you can ensure the longevity and performance of your skylights while maintaining a comfortable and efficient indoor environment in your commercial building.

Contact DeMarco Today for Commercial Roofing Services

At DeMarco Inc., we specialize in maintaining the integrity of skylights on commercial roofs. Our team of experts conducts thorough inspections, cleanings, and repairs to ensure your skylights perform well year-round. Whether you need routine maintenance or want to upgrade to energy-efficient skylights, we’re here to help.

Don’t wait until minor issues escalate into expensive repairs—schedule maintenance with us today and protect your investment. We can help you enjoy the benefits of natural light while maintaining a safe, comfortable environment for the people in your building. Contact us today to schedule a skylight inspection and learn more about our skylight maintenance services.

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1160 South Front Street, Columbus, OH 43206