I started removing the wet sheetrock around my skylight to try and
find out exactly where the leak is coming from. I found the leak
coming from the bottom 2 corners of the skylight. It might be hard to
see in the pics, but there is an opening in the corner with what
appears to be some yellow caulking inside.
I confirmed this by spraying a garden hose on the roof on the bottom
corners of the glass, and my son inside confirmed the leak was coming
from those 2 gaps in the corners.
So my question is, what are these 2 openings for? I would like to fix
the leak before I go ahead and finish the sheetrock. I thought about
maybe caulking those 2 openings on the inside, but it is obvious the
leak is coming from the outside on the glass. Can the seals be
replaced? It is at least 20 years old.
In the second pic, are those shingles under the frame of the
skylight?!!!??? What a mess. Only skylight I've seen installed was on
top of a boxy frame with flashing around the frame. Previous one had
rotted out and blew away when H'cane Charlie blew through :o)
That skylight looks awful flush to roof surface, where driven rain or
ice dams in winter would get up under it. I wish you had included an
establishing shot of the entire skylight from outside, with something in
picture to show the scale.
At 20 years, I'd bite the bullet and replace the whole damn thing,
including any mushy wood. I'd also reconstruct it so the skylight bubble
and gaskets were 6-8 inches above roof surface, so water could never
pond against them. I'm no expert, but I understand they now have prefabs
that go on as easy as a roof vent, and all you have to do is figure out
how to make the tunnel up to them. BTW, regular drywall is a poor choice
for the tunnel, in case of any condensation or similar issues. The
fancy bathroom drywall, or even heavily sealed plywood (like on a boat)
will hold up a lot better.
Here are some pics from the outside taken about a year ago.
And yes, those are the old roof shingles its resting on.When the
previous owner wanted a new roof, he also added thses skylights, so
he, or the contractor, cut a hole in the roof and just rested the
skylight on the old shingles, and put the new ones around it.
Those two openings are most likely scuppers. Kind of odd in a
skylight, but that's the only thing they could be if they're part of
the skylight's original design and manufacture. Depending on the
slope of the roof, and how high the metal cap flashing sits proud of
the glass, water would puddle there. Scuppers let the water out so
there's no standing water on the skylight. Like I said, never saw
that in a skylight before and it's very odd.
Norminn picked up a good one...well, bad for you, but a good
observation. Putting the skylight on top of the roof shingles is a
hack job any way you cut it. Considering the state of affairs you'd
be throwing effort and money at a losing situation, so bite the
bullet, yank the skylight and drywall, fix what's wrong, and install a
Velux skylight the way it's supposed to be installed and you won't
have any more problems.
In my opinion, the only way to do this job right is to tear out the
both layers of roof and start from scratch.I don't know if I got a new
skylight if it can be installed below the old shingles without
damaging the new shingles up there now.
My roof is still in good shape with no issues. I would hate to start
opening up a can of worms by replacing the skylight, plus money is an
issue for me right now.
Is it possible to tear out the old caulk/gasket surrounding the glass
window and recaulk or re-seal? Is there a special caulk for skylights
or is it statndard caulk?
I know the leak is coming from the seals. If I could somehow just re-
seal it, that would solve the leak. And also what if I tried to seal
those holes from the inside, would I make matters worse.
Thanks again for all your inputs.
Captain, the skylight is dead. Let it go. There's no guarantee that
you have only the leaks you think you've identified. From the looks
of things I wouldn't be surprised if there is some rotted sheathing.
Opening things up will allow you to investigate.
Opening up the two layers of roof is more time-consuming but no more
complicated. Assuming you have some extra top layer shingles, or they
are available, just unpeel the roof in two layers. Building up the
lower layer of shingle is not as critical and you can use new shingles
or reusue the ones you pulled.
As far as your question about resealing the skylight - no, It is not
possible to reseal the glazing unless you are willing to disassemble
the skylight to do it. Goobering caulk (any type) on the skylight
will at best be a very short-lived temp fix, and could make things
worse in a couple of different ways.
At this point we're in therapy mode. People here are trying to help
you get over your relationship with your old, leaky skylight and move
Agree with the above. And when replacing, consider ones that open
with electric motors. I have that type from Velux, which is the brand
I would recommed. They've been working perfectly for 17 years now.
I open them enough that it was worth the extra money. They also
have a rain sensor that closes them with the first couple drops of
rain if they happen to be left open when it rains.
I wouldn't go with ones that open manually, as unless they open
with a button I think I wouldn't use them much at all. Either motors
or else just fixed ones.
Hey, you've already been spoiled by electrically operated self-closing
skylights - you no longer can be objective! ;) The first time I
installed a Velux with the rain-sensor for a client I realized I
wouldn't be doing any more installations with other brands. Velux
makes a roof window - Cabrio or something like that - that has a small
fold out balcony railing. I'd love to have one of those installed in
a house with a steeper roof.
There may be equal or better brands of skylight compared to Velux, but
I don't know of any. They're not cheap, but they're quality and the
installation is logical and straightforward though not the simplest.
The simplest skylights are also called "sieves" or "future leak
how old is the roof? if its in doubt AT ALL first replacing the roof
would be job one.
at some point patch jobs end up costing more than just do it right do
it onc and forget about it......
the skylight has failed, the sheathing is rotted......
timew to start over.
why risk a later roof leak? damaging all your nice new drywall:(
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