Everything You Need to Know About Skylights
When you see a property that has glass windows on the roofline, you’ll have an idea that it has a well-planned architectural design. If you’re located in an area where you receive limited sunlight, having skylights or roof windows is just like a luxury. Whether you want to benefit from the natural sunlight or you want to improve your home’s exterior and interior finishes, it’s important to choose the right kind so you can maximize its use.
Choosing the best skylight for your property can be overwhelming with the wide variety of options to choose from. It may have advantages, but it also has disadvantages that you need to consider. So, if you’re thinking about installing a skylight into your property, but you don’t have an idea about what to install, here is all you need to know.
Types of Skylight
Before deciding to install a skylight, the first thing that you need to do is to choose the type of skylight that’s suitable for your space. There are a total of five types of the skylight. Each type has its own benefit and drawback. Choosing the right one affects your skylight experience.
- Fixed Skylights
As the name implies, this type of skylight only provides light and a beautiful view of the sceneries or the sky, but it can’t be opened to get fresh air. Fixed skylights are usually installed on the roof where it’s not easily accessible. One of the downsides of this skylight is that it can’t provide ventilation and that it doesn’t give humidity control for the room.
- Vented Skylights
This type of skylight is similar to a fixed light, but the only difference is that it can be opened through an electronic control or by hand. A vented skylight is a suitable choice if you live in an area where excess humidity and too much condensation are a concern. The place where it can be installed provides moisture control.
It’s usually installed in the kitchen or in the bathroom where moisture usually builds up. In some architectural designs, vented skylights serve as an emergency exit that complies with the building codes.
- Tubular Skylights
This skylight is also known as solar skylights. It may not look like the traditional skylight, but its installation is usually lower, and that it’s easy to install. It’s usually installed in small spaces like in the hallways, bathroom, closet, or in attic or roof that has obstruction because its size is just suitable to fit in those obstructions.
- Deck-Mounted Skylights
In this type, the skylight’s frame is flashed directly into the roof. It’s usually made from galvanized steel or extruded aluminum. Compared to other types of skylights, the installation of deck-mounted skylights is more complicated that requires help from a roofing professional.
- Curb-Mounted Skylights
One of the issues encountered by skylights is water leaks. One of the best options if this concerns you is the curb-mounted skylight. It’s flexible in size and may offer more glass area. Compared to other skylights, this type is known to be brighter and also more expensive. It’s a double-walled glass that gives more insulation that helps retain heat.
Styles of Roof Skylights
The different styles of skylights refer to the layout and shape of the glass. The style of the skylight is the one that improves the exterior of your home. Another thing to consider in choosing a skylight style is the budget that you have. Each style has varying prices. Here is some of the styles of roof skylights.
- Flat-roof skylights. As the name implies, it’s flat and it follows the pitch of the roof. It’s mounted on the roof or on the wall so it doesn’t interfere with the roofline.
- Round skylights. This style is round that can be seen on the home’s interior but appears flat on the outside.
- Dome skylights. When this skylight is viewed from the outside, it’s usually viewed in a rectangular shape. It’s made from acrylic (Plexiglass) making it resistant to hail. This type of skylight is suitable for almost all types of skylight.
Pros of Skylight
- Extra Daylight
One of the most positive aspects of having a skylight is that it brings extra daylight into a room, particularly during the winter months when days are shorter, there are fewer hours of sunlight, and the sun is at a lower angle than during the summer. Since you have access to extra daylight, you tend to be more productive.
- Energy Savings
Because of the increase in natural light from skylights, the use of artificial lighting and electricity can be reduced, and during the colder months, skylights can contribute to the heat gain of space and reduce the need for heating. Aside from the positive environmental impact that comes with using less electricity, the use of skylights has the potential to even reduce electric bills.
- Design Options
Another asset of skylights is their flexibility and range of design options, which can vary in location, size, shape, and angle so that they take advantage of local conditions. A skylight can be designed to capture early morning sunlight to help heat a space, but also so that it misses the strong afternoon sun that might make a room too warm. Some skylights come with shades or coatings to prevent overheating.
- Design Impact
Finally, skylights have the potential to either dramatically enhance a design or act as the main design feature in a space. Traditionally, they’ve been placed in spaces that were otherwise unable to have access to natural light through traditional windows, as the top of a staircase. However, they can also have the bonus effect of creating dramatic lighting and a sense of upward ascension that can still inspire designers today.
Cons of Skylight
- Overheating and Over-Lighting
Though this abundance of rays can be a lifesaver in some spaces, it can also lead to potential problems related to bringing too much light and heat into your space. Make sure you keep this in mind when you need to decide on placement, size, direction, climate control, and how you’ll be using the space. A way to deal with over-lighting is to install blinds or curtains, but it can be a challenge, especially if there isn’t allotted space for it.
- Installation Issues
Even if a skylight is insulated, there are frequently problems with sealing the shaft properly and making sure that it’s properly installed. All too often, a skylight isn’t correctly installed, leading to moisture problems and leaks that can not only drip into spaces below but also spread leaks to other parts of the roof that were previously dry. What might have seemed like a minor leak could eventually lead to a much larger, complex issue.
- Cleaning Troubles
Skylights can be tricky to clean. If you’re in the habit of spring cleaning and like to embark on the annual ritual of washing all your windows, you’ll probably find cleaning your skylights to be difficult, if not downright unsafe. To reduce the number of regular cleanings, you’ll want to make sure that they’re installed in areas where they aren’t likely to have leaves or branches falling on them, which would require frequent cleaning or cleaning.
If your room is restricted by windows, the utilization of skylight is the best option that you can have to maximize the use of natural sunlight. Before deciding to install it into your roofs, there are building and fire safety protocols that need to be considered to ensure that having a skylight will be beneficial to your home.