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Why Are My Skylights Leaking?

Posted February 20, 2020 by Patrick Morin
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Skylight leaks are more common than most people would like to think. Years ago, skylights were installed in the finest of homes and made to feel exclusive. Because of this, there used to be a specialized market for skylight installation specialists. As time passed, by the beginning of the 90s, it seemed as though every house built had skylights. It is a trend that has remained steadfast since then. Aside from the newer and better-modeled skylights, one thing became apparent: More and more of the older homes with skylights experienced leaks.

As a homeowner, you are probably aware of the varying degrees of quality offered by different manufacturers. A product may carry the same name, but with vast differences in grade and performance, not all skylights are built the same. For instance, a production-type home builder (person or organization that builds a lot of homes) would most likely opt for the cheaper skylight options to save on costs. The quality of the components used in the skylight construction follows the price. In other words, cheap skylights, inexpensive parts, quantity over quality!

Windows, certain doors, and skylights do more than simply adding to your home’s interior beauty. These fenestrations, especially your skylights, aid in lighting, energy efficiency, temperature control, and improved overall comfort. All of that can vanish the moment your skylights begin to leak. Leakage coming from your Skylights can be a number of things. Here are some of the most common reasons.

  1. Cheap Components/Inexperience
    • Property builders may have used cheap skylight components to save on costs when building homes.
    • As more homes began installing skylights, the need for a “skylight specialist” faded as roofers started learning the trade. However, many of the general roofing contractors did not produce sufficient results
  2. Poor Installation
    • Improper placement of the pan metal, sidewall flashing, low nails, top edge screws, etc.
    • The imperfect installation process is usually indicative of contractors’ expertise. 
  3. Worn out Window Seal
    • The seal holding the windowpane in place could be worn from age-related exposure to all the environmental elements.
    • The seal begins to wear out at the corners of the window seal frame, causing leaks.
    • The corners of the frame can expand and contract during weather changes, opening up small inlets for water to run down and into your home.

How to Troubleshoot a Skylight Leak

Knowing the origin of your skylight leak will help you get a better idea of what needs fixing. This information can be helpful in understanding what parts of the skylight require replacing. Here is Patrick Morin, the founder, and CEO of Roof Life, explaining how and what parts of the skylights are prone to leaks.


 One other possible reason for your leaks could have to do with condensation. If your skylights are older, it is probable that it is not as good at insulating heat like newer skylight models. To make sure that your skylight is leaking and not forming condensation, look for the following.

  1. Is my Skylight Fogged?
  2. Is the water dripping from the corners/sides of the skylight or from the windowpane itself?

 If the water appears from the corners or sides of the skylight frame, the odds are that the skylight needs replacement or other forms of remediation. This includes reflashing the sides of the skylight to channel water away from the frame and windowpane, soggy drywall, and much more. For the most part, many homes generally have skylights that are overdue for a replacement. Most skylights are designed to last 15 years, and roofs last longer. So mid roofing cycle, your skylights will need to be replaced.

Roof Skylight Installation and Repair


At Roof Life of Oregon, your satisfaction, and the quality of your experience are our top priorities. Armed with customer-backed satisfaction, and expertise in this field, Roof Life of Oregon began Skylight repairs after seeing sub-par work being done to people’s skylights and roofs. When we started to see the groups of Portland homeowners who needed help with their skylights, we made sure to get the proper training to become the experts we are today. 

Utilizing our very own skylight installation and replacement process, we here at Roof Life have fine-tuned our methods to be as simple as possible so that it doesn’t interfere with your daily routine. Replacing an existing skylight with precision and attention to detail are of utmost importance to us.

Skylight Recycling / Our Mission

A final advantage of working with Roof Life of Oregon is our skylight recycling program. Like many residents of Portland, we are firm believers in conservation and environmentally friendly practices. One of the many ways we practice this is by recycling all the used skylights we replace. 100% of the proceeds we collect from recycling the metals in skylights are donated to the Shriners Hospitals for Children. The Shriners Hospitals for Children specializes in orthopedics, cleft lip, and palate disorders regardless of a family’s ability to pay. 

When you choose Roof Life of Oregon, you’re not only choosing expert, friendly, and professional service, but you’re also giving back to the community and the future. There is no other roofing company that provides a complete experience as we do. We seek to establish a friendly relationship with the community and providers.

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We pride ourselves in doing our best to educate our clients and readers regarding these repairs. In the spirit of transparency, we here at Roof Life are happy to be of assistance to your everyday roofing or skylight needs. 

When speaking to one of our certified experts, you can be assured that you are in the hands of a team with years of customer-backed satisfaction, expert knowledge in all things roofing/skylights, and friendly staff. 

With regard to the health of your roof and skylights, you can call us here at Roof Life to schedule free roofing and skylight inspections every 3-5 years. This helps ensure proper functionality. No matter what you need, our team can help you every step of the way. Do not wait to call us when a storm hits; call us as soon as you suspect a problem!

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