A skylight installation is a terrific way to illuminate almost any area of a home in an attractive, economical and energy efficient way. In the Miami area they are a great use of natural light, using the power of the sun to light up your life without letting in all the heat. It is often more practical to add a skylight than hire an electrician. Skylights are ideal for lighting up almost any room.
Skylight Installation, Repair & Replacements
Skylights get old, just like everything else, and sometimes they leak. On occasion they will leak because the seals of the dome fail or the dome was damaged by impact. In these cases, it’s okay to simply replace the dome it the manufacturer carries them. Sometimes the entire skylight has to go due to unavailability. The good news is that most often skylights leak due to workmanship issues with the flashing details of the original installation. That can almost always be repaired without having to do a replacement. For experienced roofers the replacement or repair of a skylight should be a fairly straightforward project.
It almost goes without saying that it is much easier to replace a skylight while the roof is being replaced. It is also the homeowner’s best time to make a change – to add, eliminate or upgrade. Skylight retrofits, however, present somewhat more of a challenge because now we are getting into the world of design.
Skylight retrofits are a fun challenge for an experienced roofer that takes pride in their workmanship. It’s a chance to be a bit creative while working with the owner on the options that must be sorted through, coming up with a plan, and executing it.
The client will already have a general idea of where they want to put their skylight(s) but it goes beyond that. We must make sure the location is feasible. Most skylights fit between two rafters or trusses. Skylights more than two feet wide usually require some alteration of the structure. There may be electrical conduits in the way, and so on . . .
Once location and size is established most skylight installations are basically the same because of the Code. It’s a matter of cutting the hole in the ceiling, projecting that hole to the roof, installing the skylight and resealing the roof. After that it’s all inside finish work – framing the inside walls to accommodate the drywall or whatever wall treatment the customer has in mind. The framing part of the job is an opportunity for the client to “flare” the opening in the ceiling, make it larger than the skylight which allows for the light to be thrown across the space instead of straight down. Without altering trusses we have no options with the width but the length of the opening can be increased quite a bit. A 2’ x 4’ skylight can project down to a 2’ x 8’ opening or even more while the width of the room is the only definitive limit.
Many Options Available
The vast majority of skylights in South Florida are 2’ x 2’ – 2’ x 4’. They are aluminum, self-flashing or curb-mount with an impact-resistant polycarbonate double-dome and offer a high level of UV protection. For even better energy efficiency there are argon gas-filled skylights with double-glass. Tubular skylights are a possibility for tighter areas. In areas or the roof that are more vulnerable to windstorms a high-pressure skylight may be required by Code.
A myriad of options are available when considering skylights including Lexan, flat glass, laminated glass, circular, octagon, architectural and hip & ridge. BUT … We only install Miami-Dade County Approved impact resistant skylights from top manufacturers such as Velux, BirdView, and Sun-tek.