Cloudless skies of blue and bright, warm sunshine – the hallmarks of summer! During these warm beautiful months, you may want to spend every moment outside, but the truth is that sometimes you just have to be inside your home. Whether you work from home and need to make progress on a project, have chores to complete, or are quarantined with a summer cold or virus, there are times when outdoor living just isn’t feasible.
Fortunately, there are ways to bring the outdoors inside to you! Whether you enjoy encouraging plants to flourish in indoor planters, or install a wall of windows, you can still appreciate the beauty of the summer weather from inside your home. Of course, the best way to enjoy the glory of summer while stuck inside is the addition of skylights to your home!
What Is a Skylight?
A skylight is a small window that is inserted directly into the roof of the room where you’d like more light and access to the sky above. They range in size from sixteen inches long to sixty inches long – or longer. Some are simply glass panels that cannot be opened, but others come with crank-like openings that allow them to be cracked, letting in the fresh summer air.
Skylights are popular choices in bathrooms, where light is desirable, but windows may not be a feasible (or a modest) option. However, skylights can bring light, style, and architectural features to any room, from kitchens to dining to family rooms.
What are the Benefits of Having a Skylight?
Skylights allow for the addition of natural light even in rooms that do not have exterior walls. Some skylights can also be opened, allowing for fresh air and ventilation during the warm weather months. But more than that, skylights are a fresh, fun architectural feature that will add value and style to your home.
With a skylight, you have the added benefit of mood lighting of sort. Since the sun’s path changes throughout the day, different parts of your room will be illuminated by different types of light at various times. However, make sure that when you install your skylight, you go big – choose a skylight that maximizes the amount of light coming in to your home. There’s no need to put a tiny skylight in, especially in large living spaces.
How Do You Maintain a Skylight?
Built-up dirt and dust can ruin the effect of a skylight. Instead of having a bright, beautiful window that lets light stream in, you could end up with an obscured, grimy eyesore. Proper maintenance and cleaning (at least twice a year) of your skylight is therefore essential.
Since the glass on skylights is often glazed, it is recommended that you make your own glass cleaner using ammonia, water, and rubbing alcohol to clean your skylight streak-free. Clean your skylight on a cloudy or dim day, to prevent the sun from causing the water to dry prematurely and spot or streak. Additionally, never use an abrasive or textured sponge or scrubber, as that can scratch or damage the glazing on the skylight.
In addition to cleaning, you should also inspect your skylight from outside and within, to make sure no leaks are forming and the casing is still in good condition.
How Is a Skylight Installed?
Proper skylight installation is important when adding a skylight. If you don’t take the proper precautions – or get it installed by a professional – you might be at risk for leaking or other damage.
- Cut the opening – you can cut the opening directly into the roof. Be sure to also make sure you cut a corresponding opening in the drywall of the ceiling of the room where the skylight will be installed. Take care with the nails and screws adhering the shingles to the roof, as you don’t want to put yourself in a position of having to re-roof your home after the installation.
- Flash the sill – use a sheet of self-adhesive membrane and lay it along the edges of the four sides of the opening. Fold the top inch over into the exposed interior sill. This will help with waterproofing.
- Place the skylight – lower the skylight into the roof. Be sure to have a helped standing inside supporting the skylight from within so that it doesn’t tilt, tip, and crash to the floor below.
- Seal the sides – use more self-adhesive waterproofing material along the exposed edges of the skylight. Press the adhesive against both the skylight and the roof to create a watertight seal.
- Flash the sides and bottom – nail roofing shingles over this membrane. Then, place the sill flashing that comes with the skylight around the sill as directed by the manufacturer.
- Enjoy the light!
Call a Roofing Company for Skylight Installation
For the best possible results, you should hire a roofer or roofing company for a skylight installation. They know how to use and manipulate the materials in the ways that prevent leaking entirely, and the installation will be faster and more professional. Imagine how awful it would be to try installing a skylight yourself, only to get halfway through and realize you were in over your head – with a hole in your roof and ceiling, to boot.
Professional roofers have the knowledge and experience to get the job done quickly. They’ll also be able to advise you on the best placement for your skylights. In the short term, it may seem slightly more expensive to hire a roofer for this job, but in the long term you will save money in not having to repair or replace your improperly installed skylights.
With summer in the air, now is the best time to consider enhancing your home with the addition of skylights. In your living spaces, you’ll be welcoming the sun and outdoors in a climate-controlled area; in your bathroom, you’ll receive the benefit of natural light without the worry of neighbors being able to see into the room. Skylights are a beautiful and functional addition to any home.