My Skylight is Leaking: What Should I Do?

Have a leaking skylight?  Not to worry, read the below article for the likely causes and what steps you can take to resolve it.

Rain falling on a skylight that is slightly opened

Reasons for a leaking skylight and fixes

Below are a number of reasons why your skylight may have sprung a leak.  As always, we recommend that you contact your local roof plumber to perform such checks, however, if you’re DIY inclined here are a few things to check for:

1. Is the skylight window closed properly?

If your skylight has a window, check that it’s closed properly.  You’ll be surprised how many people report a leaking skylight to find out it was because the window of the skylight wasn’t closed properly.

2. Is the skylight window cracked?

Sometimes the glass or acrylic cover of your skylight can become cracked or damaged which provides a way for rainwater to get in.  The cause of this can vary from large hailstones hitting your skylight during severe storms to deterioration of the cover over time as it endures Australia’s harsh climate.

If this is the cause then the recommendation is to contact your local roof plumber for assistance who will likely organise a temporary cover over the skylight until a replacement is sorted.

3. Does the sealant around the skylight flashings look okay?

Another way a skylight can leak is if the sealant around the skylight flashing begins to leak.  What do you mean by this you may ask?  Well, when a skylight is installed there is a flashing (usually metal or lead depending on your roof) that sits around the base of the skylight.  

To avoid water going under the flashing and into the roof space, roof plumbers apply sealant, or roofing silicone, in between the flashing and your roof.  Over time this sealant can break up causing a leak around your skylight.

If this is the cause then your roof plumber, or yourself if you are DIY inclined, can apply a new sealant over the hole.  Note, if the sealant is reality old it doesn’t always hurt to scrap the old silicone off with a Stanley knife and replace all of it at the same time to ensure other areas don’t break up in the future.

Is a leaking skylight covered by insurance?

In the past, I’ve found that as a rule of thumb, a leaking skylight is covered by insurance when the cause of the leak is related to unforeseen circumstances, such as storm damage (including hail storms), falling objects such as trees, the weight of ice or snow or vandalism.  However, if the cause is found to be a lack of maintenance then you may struggle to get your insurance company to pay up.

As always in these situations, it’s recommended to contact your insurance company to understand your policy and to find out exactly what you’re covered for.

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