REPLACE OR REPAIR? What you (and adjusters) need to know about skylights
Updated: Mar 17
Skylights may seem like a bright idea when homeowners first build, but if they need to be replaced after a storm, they can cause some serious negotiating headaches.
Many insurance adjusters do not know that numerous skylight manufacturers have gone out of business or that replacement parts are hard to come by; it is up to us to educate them regarding what can and cannot be replaced when it comes to skylights.
Our friends from VELUX Skylights and Sun Tunnels shared a few things you should know when it comes to skylights:
MANY SKYLIGHT MANUFACTURERS EXITED THE SKYLIGHT BUSINESS YEARS AGO. These companies include: Anderson, Pella, Roto, ODL, Blefa, Fox, and many others. There is no ‘after-market’ availability for these parts! Don’t let an adjuster tell you there is. Complete replacement is necessary if these skylights have any damage because you cannot get parts for any of these products.
VELUX SKYLIGHTS MADE PRIOR TO 1995 ARE NOT SUPPORT WITH A PARTS INVENTORY. These units are very easy to identify. They have screws on the face of the cladding. This version MUST be replaced because they cannot be repaired. There are no after-market parts available.
VELUX SKYLIGHTS FROM 1995 TO 2010 DO NOT HAVE FLASHING AND CLADDING AVAILABLE. If the ‘Glazing Profile’ has been damaged, this part cannot be replaced without compromising the main seal of the glass. Therefore, complete replacement is necessary. Watch the video attached to this link for details on how to spot this damage, Measuring VELUX for Replacement
IF THE GLAZING PROFILE IS DAMANGED, REPLACEMENT IS NECESSARY. FS Fixed Skylights made from June 2010 to present, have flashing and cladding available, but if the Glazing Profile is damaged, complete replacement is necessary. This part cannot be replaced. Use these images to help ID this part, and the damage to look for:
KNOW THE CODE. If the glazing profile hasn’t been damaged, you may be able to get the skylight covered by using current building code requirements.
Code now requires laminated glass for skylights.
There is an energy efficiency requirement for skylights today that the old units might not meet.
Finally, even if you can get parts for an old skylight, you might want to consider replacing it anyway. Leaving an old skylight on a new roof creates a lot of risk for leaks in the future, which are very costly for everyone.