Skylight / July 12, 2018 / Odo Vaillancour
Skylight windows are a wonderful addition to a home. Theres no doubt about it. But a lot depends on where exactly the house is located. Skylight windows are best suited for cool climates where the rays of the sun are not very harsh. Fortunately many places in the US have just this kind of weather. When used in such places skylight windows become the most important source of solar heating. And even when the sun is wobbly and there is little sunshine entering the room large skylight windows make the room look airy and bright dispelling the gloom. In areas where there is limited light and heat vertical windows are less efficient than large skylights because vertical sunlight is scant.
The acrylic dome is typically mounted in an aluminum frame which is in turn mounted on a box called a "curb." Once the hole is cut in the roof to the manufacturers specifications the curb is typically constructed on-site to raise the skylight above the level of the roof sheathing. Site-built or factory-supplied flashings are used to seal the roofing around the curb. Domed skylights are available in clear smoked bronze or other tints. Some domed plastic skylights are flush mounted which means that the lens piece and flashing piece are both made of plastic and then placed on the roof without a curb. The problem with this type is that they are loud and very susceptible to leakage.
When these are pulled away and removed the drenched and water damaged roof beams come into view. Moisture comes from both inside and outside. Weather isnt the only thing that causes skylights to leak. Warm air from inside the house can catch in the skylight as it rises on warm air and then drips down onto furniture and valuables below. Modern skylight replacements can come with what is called low-e glass. This low emissivity glass keeps energy meant to heat or cool a room in and helps to reflect heat and cold out and away from the light itself. This is usually done through a special film that the glass is coated with. This film can block out UV rays and comes in many different filtering shades.