Winston Salem Roofing: Article About Proper Installation and Flashing Of Skylights
Installing a skylight can be tricky, and hiring a random contractor to install one can be a disaster. In order to find a Winston Salem roofing contractor who is also an expert at skylight installation, homeowners can check with the skylight's manufacturer for a list of factory trained contractors who can install the skylight they have chosen. This ensures that the skylight will be properly installed and that the warranty will cover both the workmanship and the skylight itself.
In order to install a skylight, an opening of the proper size must be cut and the shingles surrounding the opening removed to allow for special moisture barriers and flashing. Many types of skylights are designed to fit snugly between the home's rafters, which limits their size. Larger skylights are not recommended because they require the rafters to be cut, which could destabilize the roof if not done properly. Instead, homeowners who want a larger skylight should consider placing several skylights in a group, a technique called ganging.
After the deck is cut and the light shaft, which is the box that will bring the light from the roof to the room, is framed, the skylight is dropped into place.
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Once in place, steps must be taken to keep leaks from starting. The method used to make a skylight weather tight is similar to that which protects a chimney.
First, a moisture barrier and flashing are placed along the lower side of the skylight, then the same is done for the sides, and finally the top. The flashing must be bent in order to fit properly, making the flashing have non-interchangeable top, bottom, left, and right sides. The corners require special pieces of flashing. The sides require step flashing bent in such a way as to emulate the form and function of shingles. The top edge of the skylight requires a specially shaped piece of flashing called a saddle. Most skylights come with a flashing kit that contains the needed pieces of flashing, pre-cut and shaped for their specific application. After the flashing is installed, the shingles can be replaced. Finally, most skylights have a frame that fits over all of the flashing and shingles and is caulked to provide an impenetrable barrier against the elements.
Proper installation of skylights is the key to years of problem-free enjoyment. Homeowners should be educated about the basic installation process so that they are able to ask intelligent questions of any potential roofer before skylight installation.