Home Repair

Leaking skylights

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Dear Guru,
Is it ever possible to discover the source of leaking skylights?
They do not leak every storm, but heavy rain storms with high winds
are a problem. We have had 2 home repairmen evaluate and
seal them, but still have a problem. When they checked, the flashing
looked ok. They are small, but persistant leaks & its a mystery as
to wear the exact problem is.
Raindrops keep falling on my head Crying or Very sad Crying or Very sad
Dear Raindrops,

I have some questions...

Are these venting roof windows or just lites? In other words, do they open?

When they leak, where does the water come in?

What brand are they? How old are they?

How old is the roof? What kind of venting do you have on the roof? Is there anything else sticking out of the roof (chimney, vent pipe, etc.) above the window?

You use the plural, do you have more than one? When they leak, do they both leak at the same time?
Hi Ron,
We have a total of 6 skylights.

Two do not open and are in the living room area-so far, no problem
with these.

The other four are in a sunroom. The two in the middle are
the ones we have problems with. All of these are venting skylights.

The water comes in at the top (thats why we thought it was the
flashing). Although they vent, we don't open them.

The brand is one popular in our area 20 years ago and
made in Europe. It is not available now according to local suppliers.
The skylights are 20 years old.

The roof is 20 years old and in good condition, according to both
fellows who checked it.

There is a chimney above these two skylights.

I'm thinking that there's a leak around the chimney or the roof vent (Is it a ridge vent? and if so, is it a metal cap over it instead of shingles?)

I also have 6 skylights and have had leaks with several. When the skylight is leaking, the water has always come from the bottom of the skylight. Usually the bottom corners. (Mine are Roto-Franke).

Also, since they are venting skylights, they can be affected by slamming doors and other rapid changes to the air pressure inside the house. I assume that they checked the seals in the window to ensure that they were clean and in good shape. But again, it would be on the sides, and you're saying it's coming in at the top.

Can you be a little more specific about from where the water is coming?
The water stains are on the top lefthand side of the inside frame.
There are no stains on the sides or bottom of the inside frame.
Hi Guru,
Any ideas ???
Well you said the roof is like 20 years old. What type of roofing is it? If it's asphalt, that's about the end of it's life. You could give it the "rule of thumb" test. What is the "rule of thumb test" you ask? If the space between the shingles is wide enough so that when you press your thumb over the space it touches the shingle below, time for a new roof.

If the skylight is also 20 years old it may be leaking around the gasket at the top of the sash (moveable part with the glass) some of the skylights have the gasket on the frame instead so look there also. If water is getting in below the roofing above the skylight, then there is no way to find this unless you have a good experienced roofer look and diagnose the roof - chimney - ridge vent - flashing in that area. A handyman can look and tell a lot but a roofer knows all. At least that's what I have found over the years dealing with hard to find leaks. All it takes is one small little hole where water gathers a little or where the wind would blow it and you have a hard to find leak.

Good luck and keep me posted
PS I was letting Ron help you because it seamed he had the same problem too!
Thanks so much !
We appreciate the advise from you and Ron !


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