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What You Need to Know Before Installing a Skylight

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velux skylights am roofing solutionsSo, you’re considering a skylight installation? In todays environmentally conscious society, many homeowners are searching for ways to reduce their environmental footprint, while also keeping more money in their pockets. Not only will a quality skylight installation help to reduce the cost of your energy bills, by allowing you to take advantage of the sun, and therefore reducing the amount of artificial light needed to brighten your home, they can also provide a variety of unexpected health benefits.

Sunlight is a natural, and readily available source of vitamin D, which the majority of people do not receive enough of in their daily lives. The sunlight provided by a quality skylight, can also help to prevent the recurrence of seasonal mood disorders by allowing you to be consistently exposed to natural light, even in the heart of winter. Regular exposure to natural light can also help to reduce the severity of many depression symptoms. Sunlight is also proven to speed up recovery time, whether from illness, or surgery.

In addition to the copious amounts of health benefits, having natural lighting throughout your living space, can greatly enhance the aesthetics of your homes interior, by bringing better definition to your space, and highlighting its colour, and architecture. Sunlight is also proven to be a natural disinfectant, and can greatly reduce the chance of mold, or mildew buildup within your home.

However, before making a final decision, there are a few important things that you must consider.

In order to reap the benefits of a skylight installation, it is crucial that you hire a reputable roofing company, who has sufficient experience in quality skylight installations. While you may choose a premium skylight, without the proper installation a number of significant issues can arise. A qualified roofing company will be able to determine the proper placement of your new skylight system, and should be able to advise you on the type that will work best for you, considering the slope of your roof, and the style of your home.

Hiring a reputable company will also help to ensure that the placement of your skylight is faultless. You will want to be sure that your new skylight is placed correctly, in correlation with the path of the sun, to ensure optimal light absorption. If you have a concern regarding the amount of sunlight being directed into your home, you may wish to consider using a tinted glass. You must also be sure that where you place your new skylight is properly planned around the placement of your rafters. Falling skylights are a very real, and very dangerous possibility if they are installed incorrectly.

Take the time to research the different types of skylights available to you, as well as which one will work best for your style of home. Choosing the wrong type of skylight can significantly reduce the health, and energy conservation benefits that you’re looking for. There are three types of skylights, fixed, tubular, and vented. Fixed skylights are generally easier to install, and because they remain sealed after installation, they are less likely to leak when installed correctly. However, if this seal is broken for any reason, faulty installation or otherwise, moisture buildup can become a problem. Vented skylights, on the other hand, prevent the issue of moisture buildup, and allow for added airflow. Though, because this type of skylight is not sealed, the risk of leaks is much greater, and depending on the area within your home that your skylight has been installed, can cause a tremendous amount of water damage if left open during significant weather. Tubular skylights, also referred to as sun tunnels, are a type of fixed skylight, and are also easy to install. They are perfect for small spaces such as hallways, and entryways, but will not provide significant amounts of natural light to large areas.

The type of glass that you choose is important, as well. Skylights are generally manufactured using tempered, or laminated glass, both of which can provide some protection, should they be broken. For example, if your home is surrounded by trees, the risk of your skylight being damaged during severe weather is greater, so choosing the right type of glass for your home will make a difference. Tempered glass, which is the type of glass used in car windshields, tends to break into small smooth pieces and is unlikely to cause significant injury should it be broken. Laminated glass may be more likely to reduce the risk of injury, as it is covered with a film that prevents the shattered pieces from falling. 

Clearly, there many factors to consider when deciding whether, or not, a skylight installation is right for you. From the proper placement, to the right materials, every decision that you make will have an impact on the functionality of your skylight. The most crucial decision that you will make however, is which roofing company to hire for the job. The quality of roofing company is just as important as the quality of the skylight itself. Having an underqualified roofing company install your premium skylight, is a little like having your neighbour perform your root canal, a terrible idea and one likely to cause some serious headaches. Take your time, don’t be pressured into a decision, and ask as many questions as you need.

Jocelyn McDonald

My husband and I are remodeling our home, and we're considering adding a skylight in our kitchen. Your article had some great points to considering before adding a skylight, and I especially like how you mention to research different types of skylights to make sure your getting the benefits we're looking for. Vented skylights seem like the best option for us, as we live in a wetter climate, and we'll keep this advice in mind when adding our kitchen skylight.

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