Skylight / July 11, 2018 / Nicolas Charlebois
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.
Glass and acrylic or plastic skylights are available. Tubular skylights are relatively new on the scene. The small size allows them it to be used in spaces where full-sized skylights cannot. Hallways bathrooms even closets can accommodate a tubular skylight. They provide a lot of light in spite of their small size. The concept and installation process are basically the same as for a regular skylight except they have an enclosed tunnel of reflective material to reflect the light. They are available in many sizes. The small ones are 10 to 12 inch diameter and the large ones are 24 inches. Flat glass skylights come mounted in a wood or integrated rubber and metal framework and require no additional curb construction.