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Skylights

Vancouver Island has often been referred to as the “Mecca” of skylights. For years skylights have been a mainstay offering built into newly constructed homes. Skylights were an inexpensive but popular selling feature in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. In fact, they are still used as a bonus in today’s housing developments.

How did this happen? The savvy builder simply used skylights as leverage when negotiating with the sub contractors. “Want my framing business?” Throw in the framing of the skylight well. “Want my roofing business?” Throw in skylight flashing. “Want my drywall business?” etc, etc. Finally it was all capped with the least expensive skylight available from the lumber yard. Builders were even putting plastic skylights in roofs because they were the absolute cheapest.

At the same time, the proliferation of “home made” skylights appeared on the scene and sealed units (thermal panes) became available in the market place. Homeowners and handy men became very creative at bonding them to wooden curbs. Make-shift flashing was tarred into place. Home made skylights were a crap shoot at best, but amazingly many still exist today having been re-tarred over and over again.

Why are skylights so important to Vancouver Islanders? A visitor to Vancouver Island was once heard quipping that when he drove off the ferry, he simply turned into the forest and started driving. We are located in the Northern Hemisphere which means the sun sits very low in the sky during the winter months. Couple this with tall trees and even taller mountains, and many homeowners find themselves living in the shadows during the summer months. It’s only natural for Vancouver Islanders to look to the benefits of skylights and roof windows when it comes to bringing natural light into their homes.

Today, many Vancouver Islanders have inherited these units when purchasing their homes. It can become very easy to learn to live with this troublesome intruder on the roof but you should become your own detective and inspect yours to avoid a leaky disaster down the road.

Top 10 Reasons to Change Your Old Skylights
1. Excessive heat buildup below in summer months
2. Excessive heat loss in winter months
3. Excessive fading of furniture or hardwood floor below
4. Leaking
5. Sweating
6. Foggy/Streaky Glass
7. Broken/Cracked Glass or Acrylic
8. Twisted trims at the top of the skylight well
9. Dark gaskets can be seen exposed from below
10. Your 20 year old roof was changed but your skylights weren’t