A growing trend in commercial buildings is to install skylights, and the importance of skylight maintenance is key for building owners who have retail or commercial space occupied by tenants, employees, or customers.
In Colorado Springs, even cold days can feel warm as the sun beams in through lofty skylights.
Newer commercial office buildings often place skylights in their lobbies to let in natural light and create a warm and inviting entrance. But the beautiful aesthetics are not the only reason why businesses and homes are including more skylights, there are numerous other benefits, including:
Reduced Energy Consumption
When natural light is streaming in it reduces the need for electrical lighting during daylight hours. Most quality skylights are insulated and, if well maintained, can lower the cost to cool or heat a space.
Increased ProductivityNatural light brings the outdoors inside, and research has shown that it elevates people’s mood, energy level, and ability to work longer hours without a break. Both direct sunlight and diffused light ease the harshness of artificial lighting.
Increased Retail Sales:
When there is a natural light source in a retail environment, people are more relaxed, and statistics show that customers tend to spend more.
Skylight Maintenance: What You Need to Know
Most of the time skylights are embedded in high ceilings. Since it is not easy to get to them there may be maintenance issues that go unnoticed until it is too late. For many reasons, skylight maintenance cannot be dismissed.
If there are leaks in the skylight, it is typically due to two things, either poor installation or weather damage over time. It can be easy to see from the naked eye if there is some discoloration around the sealant surrounding the skylight. Another sign is if the sealant begins to bubble or crack. In this case, it could mean that the leaks can be resealed. The best way to determine if a skylight needs maintenance is to have a roofing company perform an inspection.
Many people want to know if the quality of the skylight can impact the amount of repair needed over time. On average, a high-end skylight will have a 20-year lifespan. If the skylight is made of acrylic, it may only last 7-10 years. This assumes that there has not been any unnatural damage to the skylight, such as man-made destruction, tree limbs falling on the roof, or damage from flying debris in a storm. In Colorado, we often see damage to skylights from hail. If there has been a recent hailstorm, is it important to have a reputable roofing company inspect your roof and skylights.
The Process Towards Maintenance or Replacement
A trustworthy roofing company will want to understand how to best service your skylights. Most of the time repairs are the best option, but occasionally a replacement will be necessary.
They will ask you for the obvious signs that you are seeing in the skylight, such as cracked sealant, discoloration, and leaks as well as questions about the age of the skylight, the type of material (acrylic, fiberglass, plastic), and the size. They will also want to know the type of roof the skylight is on (flat, angled, steep, etc.), and whether the roof can be accessed easily.
The answers to the above questions will help the roofer determine the materials to bring along for the inspection. More than likely the estimate will not be provided until the roofer has visited the location and inspected the skylight (or skylights) in person. Once the type of damage and the circumstances are established, the roofer will know whether the skylight needs maintenance, repair, or replacement.