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A growing trend in commercial buildings is to install skylights, and the importance of skylight maintenance is key for building owners who have retail or commercial space occupied by tenants and employees.

Newer commercial office buildings often place skylights in their lobbies to let in natural light and create a warm and inviting entrance. Aside from the aesthetic appeal, let’s consider other reasons why commercial properties, schools and retail establishments are increasingly looking to install skylights. It’s not just for aesthetic reasons.

Energy reduction:

if there is natural light streaming into the ceiling of a building, it can reduce the need for electrical lighting during daylight hours. Most quality skylights are insulated and, if well maintained, can lower the cost to cool or heat a space.

Productivity:

Natural light brings the outdoors inside, and whether it is direct sunlight or diffused light, research has shown that it elevates people’s mood, energy level and ability to work longer hours without a break.

Increase in retail sales:

when there is a natural light source in a retail environment, people are more relaxed, and statistics show that customers tend to spend more.

Most of the time skylights are embedded in ceilings that are pretty high up. It is not easy to get to them, so there may be maintenance issues that go unnoticed until it is too late. For many reasons, the importance of skylight maintenance cannot be undervalued.

If there are leaks in the skylight, it is typically due to two things, either poor installation or weather damage over time. It is somewhat easy to see from the naked eye if there is some discoloration around the sealant surrounding the skylight. Another sign is if the sealant begins to bubble or crack. In this case, it could mean that the leaks can just be resealed. The best way to determine if a skylight needs maintenance is to have a reputable roofing company perform an inspection.

Many people want to know if the quality of the skylight can impact the amount of repair needed over time. On average, a high-end skylight will have a 20-year lifespan. If the skylight is made of acrylic, it may only last around 7-10 years. This assumes that there has not been any unnatural damage to the skylight, such as man-made destruction, tree limbs falling on the roof, or damage from flying debris in a storm.

Here is the process that takes place when determining whether a repair or replacement is necessary for a skylight:

  1. A qualified roofing company will likely ask you for the obvious signs that you are seeing in the skylight, such as cracked sealant, discoloration, and leaks. Other questions that may be asked are the age of the skylight, the type of material (acrylic, fiberglass, plastic), and possibly the size. Another question that will likely be asked is the type of roof the skylight is on (flat, angled, steep, etc.), and whether the roof can be accessed easily.
  2. The answers to the above questions will help the roofer determine the materials to bring along for the inspection. More than likely the estimate will not be provided until the roofer has visited the location and inspected the skylight (or skylights) in person.
  3. Once the type of damage and the circumstances are established, the roofer will know whether the skylight needs maintenance, repair, or if it needs replacement.

Skylight maintenance is an important aspect of continuing business as usual, especially for commercial and education facilities that rely on the ability to be open without disruptions.

Rather than wait for a leaky skylight to create further issues, it is important to work with a reputable roofing company that knows the ins and outs of skylights. A professional will perform a thorough inspection and determine the best course of action.

Skylights are a wonderful addition to any roof, but regular maintenance is important to keep them in proper working order. Be sure to work with a reputable roofing company that will be honest about the need for maintenance and repairs rather than automatically suggesting replacement.

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