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How Much Does It Cost to Repair or Seal a Skylight?

Skylight Repair Prices

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While skylights provide an infusion of natural light to living spaces and offer fantastic views of the outdoors, they’re vulnerable to leaks and can incur damage from debris. If you have a broken skylight it’s important to have it repaired as soon as possible to prevent water damage and avoid costly drafts.

Skylight Construction and Common Repairs

Installation Procedure

Skylights are installed from on top of the roof. The interior finish (the part of the skylight you see from inside the house) is inserted into the roof framing and is supported by a flange that sits on the roof deck (the plywood covering roof rafters). The flange should be “flashed” (flashing is a metal or rubber material designed to keep water out) on all sides first with modified bitumen and then with a more decorative metal flashing that comes with the skylight.

Skylight Repairs

Problems with skylights are typically the result of one of the following causes:

  • Faulty Installation: The skylight installation procedure described above must be followed exactly and some skylight manufacturers recommend additional steps for their particular product. Skipping a step can result in a problem with the skylight, as can incorrectly applying the rubber and metal flashing.
  • Inferior Materials: In years past, asphalt paper was laid down on top of the roof deck during skylight installation. Nowadays well-respected roofers recommend ice-and-water shield, a durable rubber bitumen product that adheres directly to the roof surface and is also self-sealing should it ever tear. Make sure that your contractor uses a bitumen ice-and-water shield as well as a bitumen flashing product for your skylight installation to avoid problems down the road.
  • Falling Debris and Weather Damage: Storms can bring hail, falling tree limbs, and wayward debris hurtling towards your skylight. While the unit is designed to withstand impacts, even tempered glass can break if struck hard enough.
  • Skylight Operating Mechanism Failure: If your skylight is designed to open, whether manually or automatically, moving parts can get jammed or simply fail from overuse.

Skylight Repair Costs

Skylight repair contractors charge different rates depending on the state they work in, so repair prices will vary according to the area of the country where you live.

  • A typical skylight exterior repair averages $100 to $200 and takes about an hour or two to complete. More complicated repairs that involve removing the surrounding roof covering and replacing flashing can cost as much as $500 and take a day to complete.
  • If a leak has persisted for some time and is showing up inside your home in the form of water spots, an interior repair must be performed as well. On top of exterior repair costs, be prepared to spend an additional $200 to $1,000 for interior repairs depending on how extensive the damage is.
  • Repairing a skylight operation problem might cost as little as $75 but can be as much as $300 if multiple parts need replacing.
  • Broken or damaged glass generally necessitates replacement of the entire skylight. Depending on the size of unit installed, expect to pay $300 to $800 for installation of a new skylight (not including the cost of the skylight itself).

Author: Brian Eckert

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