As a property owner, you understand the importance of weighing the pros and cons of home improvement projects. How much will it cost? Will it be worth it?
If you’re asking these things as you’re contemplating whether or not to replace your roof’s skylights, don’t worry. This article will shed light (no pun intended) on skylight replacements.
Signs You Need to Replace Your Skylight
There are telltale signs that your skylight needs to be replaced rather than repaired. To ensure that your property is in pristine condition year-round, watch out for the following:
#1 Age of the Skylight
Your skylight has a lifespan of ten years. Hence, you should take note of when your home was built. If you aren’t sure when your building was built, you can check with your county records office.
As windows age, they will show signs of yellowing. You’ll also be able to see bubbling around the skylight. Due to the discoloration of the glass, not enough light will be able to pass through. Since the purpose of a skylight is to let the light in, this is a sure sign that it’s time for a replacement.
#3 Cracked Glass
Don’t wait for the entire window to shatter. Cracks across the surface of the window indicate that it needs a replacement. They seem small, but they can allow water to pass through them. This, in turn, can cause mold and mildew in your attic. Leaks can also cause the paint to peel. This can be a pain in property management, so you better replace your skylights before things become worse.
Condensation is another sure sign that you should replace your skylight. This tends to happen when the window isn’t sufficiently sealed or if the sealant has “worn off”. You should address this issue ASAP as it could result in the entire roof needing replacement.
#5 Roof Replacement
If you’re planning on replacing your roof in the first place, then you should replace your skylight, too. This can save you time and money. Below, see some of the reasons why you should replace your skylight with your roof.
Reasons to Replace Your Skylight With Your Roof
Sometimes, homeowners want to salvage their skylights to save money. However, this can result in plenty of problems down the road. That’s why a reputable roofing company and property management company would always recommend replacing your skylights when replacing your roof.
#1 Save Money
Replacing your skylights when you’re replacing your roof is cost-efficient. Some companies will charge you double to replace your skylights separately from your roof. This is because it would’ve been easier for them to replace them while they were working on the roof. Plus, a worn-out skylight can cause leaks, leading to mold and mildew. Why would you risk ruining your brand-new roof simply because you want to save your skylights?
#2 Buy in Bulk
Skylights can be expensive. For example, a single tubular skylight can cost anywhere between $450 and $1,300. Fortunately, some companies allow you to buy in bulk. If your roof has several skylights, consider replacing all of them when you replace your roof. Buying in bulk can be costly, but consider this — it’s better than having to rip up your brand-new roof to replace the skylights one at a time.
#3 Risk of Seal Failure
Another reason to replace the skylight at the same time as the roof is it prevents seal issues. This can cause leaks, which can damage the property and cause danger to your tenants. Remember, your tenants can sue you if they slip on your property, so you should do what it takes to prevent this from happening.
Besides, who wants to go through the trouble of repairs? Even though your property managers are handling it, your tenants will have to suffer through weeks of loud construction work. They won’t be happy about that.
#4 You’ll Have to Replace Them Anyway
Skylights won’t last longer than ten to fifteen years. Choosing to repair than replace, especially when you’re re-roofing anyway, is not a cost-efficient solution. On the other hand, if you replace your skylights at the same time as your roof, you can save more money in the long run. You no longer have to hire contractors who’ll charge you twice.
When to Repair Your Roof Skylights
Sometimes, it’s more cost-efficient to repair your skylights than to replace them. If your skylights are less than five years old, then your skylight may only need slight repairs. However, if your skylight is five to ten years old, and you’ve suffered from persistent leaks, it may require more serious repairs. If your skylights are ten to fifteen years old and always leaking, then replacing them is the cheapest solution.
Furthermore, you can choose to repair your skylights if your roof doesn’t need replacement. A standard asphalt shingle roof typically lasts twenty years. Other types of roofing systems such as slate, copper, and tile tend to last longer.
Tips to Maintain Your Roof Skylight
Don’t worry, you don’t need to clean them daily. However, you do need to clean them twice a year. Whether you have glass or plastic skylights, cleaning them thoroughly can allow light to pass through optimally.
To clean the skylights, simply use soap and water. Do not use chemical cleaners as these can damage the surface. If you can’t reach the skylights, you should consider hiring professional cleaners to do it for you. Similarly, if you’re a landlord, you shouldn’t leave this task to your tenants at the risk of them falling off the ladder.
You should also consider hiring a property management company. They can create a comprehensive maintenance checklist that includes what needs to be cleaned, and when they need to be cleaned. Professional property managers can also set reminders regarding when your roof and lights need replacing or repairing. In other words, they’ll handle the heavy lifting for you.
The Bottom Line
To sum it up, you should replace your skylights when it’s time to replace them. However, even when it’s not the time, you should always replace them when you’re replacing the roof, anyway. This is the most convenient time to change your skylights.
If you’d like professionals to take a look at your property, don’t hesitate to contact Luxury Property Care. Our property managers can help check if your home is ready for repairs or replacements. We’ll make sure that your home is taken care of so that you — or your tenants — can make the most out of it.