Getting Your Home Repaired

Skylight Leaking? How To Diagnose The Problem

Any home with a skylight has a risk of water leaking through it at some point.  That is why you want to investigate the skylight if you sense that water is getting into your home.  Fixing the problem early will limit the damage and make the repairs affordable.  Here is what you need to know for diagnosing the problem.

Inspect From Inside

Start by looking around your skylight from inside your home, since there should be clues that water is leaking in.  In extreme situations, you'll be able to see light coming through a crack that is near the window.  If the water has not come completely through, there will be water stains in the ceiling that surround the skylight.  Start to trace these stains to the highest spot on your roof to locate the potential water leak source. 

Look around edges where your skylight meets your ceiling since this part is likely to become damaged by water leaking through.  Make sure you make a distinction between water coming in from the outside and condensation. If the skylight is in a bathroom, you do not want to confuse a leak in your roof with high humidity left behind from showering.

Inspect From Outside

If you do have easy access to the part of the roof with the skylight, you can perform an inspection to look for signs of a leak.  You'll easily be able to spot open seams that surround the skylight, which is the main way that water is getting into your home. 

Next, look at the flashing that surrounds the skylight to ensure it is not coming apart.  If it is not completely bonded to the roof and now leaving a gap, that is where water can get inside. There may be tiny pinhole within flashing cement that is causing water to get through. This can happen when sealants no longer have the elasticity they once had.  This would require replacing the flashing cement with new material.

Test With Water

You can try testing the skylight by running water over it, and checking for any signs of water leaking from inside.  You can do this by spraying your garden hose on specific spots around the skylight, with someone else on the inside checking for water leaking in. This can help you pinpoint the precise place that water is getting in. 

 If you don't feel confident in your abilities to track down a week, hire a commercial roofing professional to do it for you.