Skylights, also called roof windows, are special windows that are built into the roof of your home. They provide aesthetic appeal, enhance the natural lighting in your home, and can improve energy efficiency. Some also open, which allows for improved home ventilation.
This review discusses how long skylights last on average, what can cause skylights to need replacement, and what the signs are that you need to replace your home’s skylights.
What Is The Average Skylight Lifespan?
The skylight lifespan ranges from 15 to 40 years, and the average lifespan is around 20 years. However, there are many factors that affect the durability of your home’s skylight. The most important factors include:
- The type and quality of the skylight
- The quality of the installation
- The amount of weather exposure
A professionally installed skylight is likely to last much longer than one with a DIY installation. Certain brands offer higher quality skylights than others as well, so consulting with a professional about which type is right for your home is important. The climate you live in may also impact the lifespan of your skylight as well.
What Causes A Skylight To Need A Replacement?
The most common reasons skylights need replacements are natural wear and tear, poor installation, irregular inspections and maintenance, roof replacement, and extreme weather.
Natural Wear And Tear
Skylights that are properly installed and well cared for should last for at least 10 years in most cases. However, eventually, all skylights are vulnerable to weather damage. At first, this may only affect the aesthetic quality of the skylight, although over enough time it may lead to issues with energy efficiency or leaks.
Poor installation is often the cause of a leak or gap in the skylight. Skylight installations are more complex than traditional window types, so working with a reputable and experienced roof and window contractor is important.
DIY installation is discouraged for skylights due to the possibility of faulty installation that could lead to water damage or issues with energy efficiency.
Irregular Inspections And Maintenance
Improper DIY repairs can lead to skylight damage as well. The first instinct when there is a leak is often to seal or caulk the opening. This is not always an option for skylights as they often require room to expand and contract as the weather changes. Instead, it is important to hire a professional for any required maintenance and have the skylight inspected annually for optimal function and appearance.
Skylights most often require replacement during a complete roof replacement. This is because roof replacements often impact the structure and integrity of the skylight. To ensure optimal function and appearance for the roof as well as the skylight, it is recommended to replace it anytime a roof replacement is necessary.
Skylights do not typically last as long in areas where there are drastic weather changes throughout the year. Snow accumulation can also increase the risk of a leak. However, early damage due to weather elements can often be minimized or prevented with regular inspections and maintenance.
Signs That Indicate A Need To Replace Your Skylight
You may need to replace your skylight if you notice stains and discoloration with your skylight, cracks and gaps, leaks, or an undesirable appearance. You will also need to replace your skylight during a complete roof replacement as well.
Stains And Discoloration
Skylights are designed to fill your living space with natural light. As skylights age, they develop stains and natural discoloration that can impact the amount of natural light that shines through. If you begin to notice stains, discoloration, or a lack of sunlight in your home coming from the skylight, then it is time to consider a replacement.
Cracks And Gaps
Large cracks and openings are apparent with skylights; small cracks and gaps are more subtle. Inspect your skylight regularly for any openings that may allow water or outside air to enter your home, increasing the risk of water damage or increased energy costs.
If you ever notice water or air coming from your skylight, then it is time to have your skylight repaired or replaced by a professional. This is generally subtle and requires an inspection to detect.
You Desire An Aesthetic Upgrade
As is the case with any home window, the aesthetic appeal can wear down over time. If you notice your skylight does not have the visual appeal it once had, then replacement should be considered.
Get Assistance With Skylight Installation & Replacement
Our experienced and professional team at Adelphia Exteriors offers skylight installation and replacement. We also offer inspections to provide a professional recommendation as to whether skylight replacement is necessary. So why wait? Contact us online today if you are considering skylight installation or improvements to your existing skylight.