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Skylight Installation: What to Know

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Are you performing a skylight installation to bring natural light and visual interest to your home? Before diving into the project, there are several things you should know.

Installing a skylight is an excellent way to bring natural light into your home. It can also add visual interest and make any room more open. But before you begin installing a residential roof skylight, there are some essential considerations that you should be aware of. From choosing the right size and type of skylight to understanding the installation process, it's necessary to do your research to get the most out of this project.

This article will discuss everything you need to know before beginning a skylight installation to ensure success. So, let's get started!

What is a Skylight?

A skylight is an opening in the roof or ceiling of a building, often framed with glass and protected by a glazed structure. They allow for natural light to enter the interior of a home, providing extra illumination and making spaces feel more extensive and more open. Skylights can also create visual interest and add energy efficiency to your home, as they reduce the amount of electricity needed for artificial lighting.

Skylights come in many sizes, shapes, and styles, from large rectangular structures to smaller round windows. Depending on where you live, you may need to consider different types of skylights.

It's also essential to consider factors such as size and placement within the room to maximize natural light while minimizing glare. For example, positioning the skylight at an angle will help deflect direct sunlight away from furniture or artwork that might otherwise suffer damage due to over-exposure.

Why do people choose to install skylights?

People choose to install skylights for a variety of reasons. Some of those reasons are:

Natural Light is a Great Benefit of Skylights

  • First, skylights are an excellent way to bring natural light into a home without requiring additional electricity for artificial lighting. It makes your home more energy efficient and adds natural lighting to your home's interior.

Skylights are Aesthetically Pleasing

  • Skylights can make any room feel larger and more open. The natural light creates an airy feel, making any room seem brighter and more inviting. Additionally, skylights can create visual interest in a room, helping to draw the eye upwards and making the space feel taller.

Vented Skylights Can Help Regulate a House's Temperature

  • Installing a skylight can help reduce cooling costs in the summer months as they allow hot air to escape while keeping the rain out. As a bonus, rain and heat sensors can be installed along with the skylight to further regulate the temperature control inside the home while allowing fresh air in simultaneously.

Skylights are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners looking for cost-effective ways to brighten their homes visually and energetically. Due to its ability to lower energy bills, create interesting visual elements, and provide natural sunlight indoors without sacrificing privacy or comfort – installing a skylight is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after home improvement projects among homeowners nationwide.

Common Types of Skylight

1. Deck-Mounted Skylight

A deck-mounted skylight is a type of skylight that is installed directly onto a roof deck or flat roof. It is typically framed with metal and constructed from durable materials such as polycarbonate, acrylic, tempered glass, or fiberglass. This type of skylight is ideal for garages, sun rooms, and pitched roofs where the slope of the roof is between 14° - 85° pitch.

Unlike traditional skylights installed between two rafters in an attic or other openings in the roof, a deck-mounted skylight requires no structural changes to install. This makes it very easy to install and maintain compared to different types of skylights.

Advantages of Deck-Mounted Skylights

Deck-mounted skylights offer many advantages over traditional models, including better insulation from outside elements due to the airtight sealing around the frame, increased energy efficiency due to their ability to reduce heat loss, and improved ventilation by allowing more natural light into the room below. Additionally, deck-mounted skylights can accentuate outdoor living areas by providing even lighting throughout an entire space without glare or bright spots.

It's important to note that while they are relatively easy to install and maintain, deck-mounted skylights require careful installation to ensure proper performance over time. Properly installing these units requires precision measurements and knowledge of rooftop construction standards. Additionally, these units should be regularly inspected for any damage or wear caused by wind or rain to keep them working correctly in the long run.

2. Curb Mounted Skylight

Curb-mounted skylights are installed onto the roof by attaching them to a metal or wooden curb, which sits on top of the roof and rises above the surface. This type of skylight requires more effort in installation as it must be correctly sealed and spaced away from other structural components. They are ideal for garages, sun rooms, and pitched roofs where the slope of the roof is between 0° - 60° pitch.

Advantages of Curb-Mounted Skylights

Curb-mounted skylights provide many advantages. Similar to the deck-mounted skylight, it includes better insulation from outside elements due to their airtight seal around the frame; and, unlike deck-mounted skylights, they are not subject to damage caused by wind or rain as they are raised above the surface of the building. Also curb-mounted skylights can also add visual interest to any room with their distinctive look.

When installing a curb-mounted skylight, ensuring enough space between it and any other components is essential to function correctly. Also, proper measurements must be taken during installation to ensure the skylight is perfectly sealed and spaced away from other structural members.

3. Fixed Skylights

Fixed skylights do not open, making it ideal for rooms without ventilation, but additional natural light would still be beneficial. These types of skylights are typically installed between two rafters in an attic or other openings in the roof, making them a popular choice among homeowners looking to add extra light without sacrificing energy efficiency.

Fixed skylights cannot do this, unlike traditional skylights, which can be opened and closed to allow for ventilation. This means that precise measurements must be taken during installation for the skylight to fit correctly into its designated space and maintain a tight seal around the frame.

Advantages of Fixed Skylights

Fixed skylights can also increase energy efficiency since they don't require structural changes to be installed and improve light distribution throughout an entire space without glare or bright spots.

It is important to note that, although they are relatively easy to install and maintain, these units should also be checked more often compared to other types of skylights for any seal leakage or other potential issues that could affect their performance.

4. Automatic Skylights

Automatic skylights can open and close automatically and be included in smart homes, allowing for ventilation of stale air from the building when necessary. This modern innovation provides many advantages over traditional manual skylights, such as enhanced energy efficiency due to the double-insulated glass, increased convenience since no manual action is required to open or close the skylight, and better light management.

Automatic skylights comprise a double-glazed unit with an insulated double seal around the edges, situated inside truss-framed roofs. The double glazing creates an airtight seal when closed, reducing heat loss and creating an insulation barrier against outside elements. Additionally, the double seal ensures that no air seeps out or enters during operation.

Why Automatic Skylights are the Most Advanced Model of Skylights

The automatic opening system itself is powered by electricity – either through solar panels or mains connection – and typically consists of several components: a motorized actuator connected to a drive shaft that opens and closes the window with its gear system; a control panel that receives commands from physical switches or remote controllers; sensors which monitor external conditions such as precipitation levels, temperature, wind speed, and direction; and lastly, weatherproof shutters which provide extra protection against strong winds or heavy rains when closed.

With all these features working together, automatic skylights offer reliable performance with minimal maintenance requirements for many years. The good news is they can be installed in any residential or commercial structure without requiring structural changes.

FAQs about Installing a Skylight

What are the chances that the area around the skylight will eventually begin to leak?

The chances of skylight leaking depend on several factors, including the type of skylight chosen, the quality of installation, and maintenance over time. Manual skylights are renowned for their ability to open and close easily, but if not correctly sealed during installation, they can be prone to water leakage. Similarly, fixed skylights do not open and close, so a higher level of accuracy is required to maintain a tight seal around the frame.

What are some of the pitfalls and hazards of installing skylights on my home's roof?

For starters, cutting out a portion of the roof structure to fit the skylight increases the risk of water leakage or condensation, which could cause severe damage over time. Proper measurements must be taken during installation to ensure the skylight fits snugly and forms an airtight seal around its frame to avoid this. Additionally, if installed on an upper story or attic space, there may also be additional structural changes needed for support.

Furthermore, depending on the type of skylight installed, exposure to direct sunlight could result in excessive heat build-up within the home, leading to fading furniture and floors and higher energy costs from cooling. One way to combat this issue is by opting for tinted glass or other protective films installed on windows which help reduce skylight glare and ultraviolet ray penetration.

Can you install skylights on a metal roof?

Yes, you can install skylights on a metal roof. The main factor to consider is the weight of the skylight itself, as it adds to the load of the roof structure. To ensure the top is structurally sound and ready for installation, consult a professional engineer or architect before beginning work.

You must account for thermal expansion and contraction when installing skylights on a metal roof. The metal expands and contracts as temperatures change which can cause warping or cracking of the material if not appropriately addressed. This is why it's essential to use specialized fasteners explicitly designed for this purpose when attaching the skylight frame to the roofing system.

The type of metal roofing material will also play a part in determining what type of skylight frames are suitable for installation. If using corrugated steel panels, aluminum frames are preferable due to their lighter weight and greater flexibility compared to other materials such as brass or copper alloys.

Are you now going for a new skylight? Make sure to also research local building codes and regulations before heading out to purchase a skylight for your home. We want the authorities to avoid stepping in the middle of a skylight installation.

It's also crucial to look for the right roofing contractor, and Green Home Installations is your best choice if you live in Knoxville, TN, or North and South Carolina. Book us now so we can help you right away!

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