April 21, 2014

How to clean your skylights

By their very nature, skylights are always on prominent display in your home, often right above your breakfast table or even your bed itself. As such, it is vital that you keep up their appearance throughout the year. Some of the common culprits are mildew, grime, acid rain, and even pigeon droppings. If the appearance of your skylights isn’t up to par, it essentially defeats the whole purpose of having them installed in the first place. Thankfully, anyone can clean their own skylights, and it’s quite easy to do so.

Prep Work

Cleaning your skylights is easy, so there isn’t much prep work involved. As skylights are often out of reach, you will need to use a ladder and take the proper safety precautions with that. Furthermore, you should move any furniture in the room so that it does not get in the way. If you are cleaning during the summer, try not to start cleaning until the evening or night time, when it’s much cooler. Remember to always use caution if you are using a ladder or are working on the roof, and ideally you should have someone with you at all times.

Caring for the Frame

The frame, being made from aluminum, is often low maintenance. When you clean the skylight glazing, of course, you will have to wash it, and if there is a painted finish, you should check up on it every now and then to cover up bare spots as needed.

Dealing with the Plastic

Plastic is susceptible to scratching, so you must be careful. Do not use abrasive cleaners or abrasive pads. Use something gentle clean. A weak solution of soap and water should do the trick. Using a soft cloth, gently clean the plastic, and then rinse well with water. Blot it dry, gently again, to prevent water spots. You can protect the plastic with a thin coat of either floor wax or automobile polish. This will help maintain the luster of the plastic.

Cleaning the Glass

For the glass, the same solution of soap or ammonia and water should be enough. However, you can also use commercial glass-cleaning solutions for this. It important to protect the glass from scratches and deterioration, so you should never use any abrasive materials or cleaners at any point when you clean your skylight.

Preventative Maintenance

As with anything, prevention is better than cure. By keeping an eye on your skylight windows throughout the year, you won’t have to make any heavy repairs or have them replaced altogether. By maintaining and cleaning your skylights just once or twice a year, you will be able to enjoy them to the fullest for years to come.

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January 24, 2014

Skylights- What You Need to Know

Installing skylights in your home’s roof and inner ceilings can be refreshing, bringing natural light to the ambience of a room. Skylight installation can be done by the homeowner, however when dealing with the structural integrity of a roof and ceiling, it is best to contact a professional to do the work properly.

The type of skylights that you choose should depend on the space in which you’d like to put it. The smaller, tubular skylight is ideal for a small space, such as a bathroom. These round skylights are flexible and smaller in diameter, ranging from 10 to 21 inches. The smaller size and flexibility of these skylights makes them ideal for fitting in between joints and rafters. Usually there is no need for extensive carpentry or remodeling work. The homeowner cannot see through the tubular skylights to the sky. Light is reflected into the room from a highly reflective coating along the shaft of the tube, which can bend and flex to maneuver around pipes and support beams in attic spaces.


The traditional, larger skylights can be in the shape of a rectangle, dome, pyramid, or bubble, and are made of glass, plastic, or acrylic. This is often referred to as the glazing. Many homeowners prefer glass glazing since it is resistant to scratches and has more design options, such as shaping. Some homeowners prefer acrylic and plastic because it is lightweight and more affordable, however the drawback with this choice is that there are limited design options since it has to be molded.

The glazing used for either glass or plastic options can be single, double, or triple, and can be constructed with a layer of argon gas to assist in energy efficiency. Some can be coated with protectant to help block UV rays, which will help prevent fading of fabrics in areas exposed to the light.

The frame around the outside of the skylight, on the roof, is usually made of wood or aluminum, but a combination of different materials is becoming more popular. Installing flashing is important to protect from water leaks. The frame on the inside of the ceiling, called the shaft, is made of solid wood or vinyl. The direction of each side of the shaft will determine the direction of the light.

Whichever type of skylight you choose, you are sure to add a touch of style and freshness to your home.

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