A new roof is an expensive project, no questions about it. High-quality materials, expert labor, and insurance don’t come cheap. That said, it can be tempting to cut corners whenever possible, and one of the areas where homeowners often want to skimp is skylights, especially if you have many of them.
Many homeowners wonder why replace the 15 year old skylight if it doesn’t leak. Did you know that many of the skylight manufacturers from 15-20 years ago are now no longer in business? These days only Velux is the only player in the game. All others have either gone out of business or eliminated their skylight manufacturing line.
Below are 5 reasons you should consider replacing that old skylight when installing a new roof.
1. The price differential is reasonable for what you get.
The cost of re-flashing a skylight if new flashing kits are still made is between $500 and $700; a replacement costs anywhere from $950 to $2500, depending on the type of skylight. If we’re talking multiple skylights, the per-unit price differential is even smaller. If you really want to save, think long-term. Barring shoddy workmanship and acts of God, your dollar will always go farther with a new skylight.
2. Should a seal fail after the re-roof, everything will have to be ripped up again.
The price differential isn’t big if you’re getting the skylight replaced during a re-roof, but having it done soon after is a different story. Ask yourself whether that skylight is really worth saving. Remember that the seals on some skylights start failing when they’re 10 to 15 years old.
3. Disturbing the area around a skylight can lead to leaks.
That skylight may have performed admirably in the years leading up to your re-roof, but the roofing process will disturb it, no matter how skilled your contractor is. Keeping them in place only to have them leak afterwards isn’t worth the trouble, especially if…
4. Disturbing the skylight itself can lead to leaks.
What many homeowners don’t understand is that re-flashing will also necessitate the partial disassembly of the skylight. Not only can this compromise your warranty, but also lead to future leaks. Did you also know that virtually NO roofer will warranty a skylight that has not been replace from leaking after the roof is done?
5. The skylight will have to be replaced eventually anyway.
Skylights have a finite service life. Inexpensive Plexiglas bubble skylights can crack. Choosing to re-flash rather than replace can therefore result not only in leaks and moisture buildup, but also in expensive energy loss.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to replace or re-flash will rest on the homeowner, but in the latter case some roofers will include a disclaimer stating that they will not be held responsible for future skylight leaks.