Open-air skylights were in use as far back as the days of ancient Rome, but closed skylights did not begin to see widespread use until the Industrial Revolution brought a dramatic reduction in the price of glass. During the 20th century, skylights become very popular in homes, shopping malls, restaurants, offices and many other buildings. Skylights offer a number of attractive features.
• Skylights permit natural light inside, which can reduce lighting costs, provide a more soothing illumination and is reputed to be a mood-booster that improves the psychological well-being of occupants.
• Skylights provide a visual link between indoor and outdoor environments. Many people report that they enjoy watching the stars or passing clouds through their skylights.
• Skylights can provide passive heating from the sun’s radiation. Some skylights can be opened to allow fresh air in or to provide passive cooling.
Modern skylights can be fixed, or unable to be opened, or operable, which can be opened and closed like a window. However, unless the skylight is within arm’s reach, operable skylights require a special pole to open and close them. Many homeowners who have installed such skylights report that they rarely bother to operate them. Therefore, your first decision should be whether you would use an operable skylight or whether a fixed design would be more suitable for your lifestyle.
The panes of the skylight can be glass or plastic. Glass panes tend to last longer, especially in the Central Texas region or any other area that is subject to hailstorms and high winds that could propel debris into the skylight. Choose a skylight that meets the impact standards covered by ASTME 1996 and ASTME 1886.
Have your skylight installed by a reputable roofer. Your contractor will need to ensure whether your skylight can be installed without cutting roof trusses, which may not be a good idea on your particular roof. When installing a large skylight, cutting rafters may be necessary, which is typically not a major consideration. However, you might prefer to go with multiple skylights of a smaller size that will fit between the framing.
The flashing around the skylight requires careful installation to safeguard against leaks. Ask your contractor if the manufacturer offers a flashing kit designed specifically for the type of skylight you are installing. It may cost you a few more dollars, but it may provide a better seal.
Alpha Roofing has more than 30 years of experience with all roofing system components. Our dedicated crews have the expertise to install or replace your skylight. We offer a full range of roofing services, from repairs to new installations, to customers throughout Austin and beyond. We also offer siding and gutter installation, moss and debris removal, and metal roofing systems. You can use our online form to request a free quote, or you can reach us by phone at (512) 777-1086.