Problems With Roof Windows, Roof Lights
and Sky Lights
1stAssociated can provide help and advice with regard to surveys, structural surveys, building surveys, independent valuations, specific defects reports on property problems, such as roof problems, window problems, dampness, cracks, movement, etc, or any other property matters.
Please free phone 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat with an independent surveyor.
What is a roof window?
When a roof window is used on a pitched roof it is inset into a roof and normally follows the pitch of the roof, particularly when it is a flat roof light. When a roof light is on a flat roof it is usually above the level of the material covering the roof. However, it can come in a variety of shapes and sizes such as flat roof windows, domed roof windows, or even barrel shaped.
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Problems that can occur with sky lights
Junction of roof window and the roof
The first point we wish to make is that many problems occur at the junction between the roof light and the roof itself, where a flashing should be. We often find the flashings around the roof windows are defective. They were originally installed poorly, or deteriorated over the years, because it is the area that most people tend to miss.
Why does the water sit around the roof light?
Defects set in windows in flat roofs
If you can imagine that where a roof window is, part of the roof structure has been taken away. Often in a flat roof situation the structure can be slightly weaker in this area and therefore movement occurs causing a dip in the roof.
Where can I get a good builder to repair my roof window?
We would suggest that the first question should be, what is the problem with my roof? Many builders will solve the effect of the problem but not the actual cause. For example, with a leaking roof light they may well seal the glazed unit or the flashing, but if the leaking roof light is caused by ponding (water sitting on the roof) in the roof, which in turn has been caused by blocked guttering, gutters wrongly discharging on the roof, then the problem will soon reoccur.
Coming back to the question, where do I find a good builder to repair my roof? This probably has to be equivalent to the how long is a piece of string question. First we would say you need to ensure that whoever you use has your best interest at heart rather than their best interest and that they are not simply trying to sell you the most profitable solution to them. Word of mouth is a great way of finding good builders but do be aware that often word of mouth recommendations come via someone who doesn't have any experience or expertise or working with builders.
Therefore the reasons for their word of mouth could be that the builder turned up on the day that he said he would, finished the job on the day that he said he would and charged the price he said he would, which ironically can be a good recommendation, but not if the work carried out was technically wrong or of poor quality. You should also take great care if your property is an old property as it could be a Listed Building or in a conservation area or simply need a builder that knows how to deal with older properties.
Equally, a newer property also has to be dealt with in an appropriate manner, so the experience the builder has is very important. Also, you need to see if you are still covered by a warranty. The NHBC is probably the most common warranty in the country and is generally for ten years, but does have limitations on what it covers. Please see our article on the NHBC.
Defects report on roof windows
We have developed a specific defects report for looking at a specific problem, such as chimneys or problematic roof windows on your property. These originally developed from our engineers report that specifically looked at structural cracks in properties, which then moved onto us giving specific advice on dampness in properties, due to many contracts being involved in this industry simply being there to sell a product rather than to give you best advice.
Please see our other article on Roof windows, roof lights and sky lights:
If you truly do want an independent expert opinion from a surveyor with regard to roof windows, roof lights, velux roofs, dormer, dormer roofs, roof problems, chimneys, surveys, building surveys, structural reports, engineers reports, specific defects report, structural surveys, home buyers reports or any other property matters please contact 0800 298 5424 for a surveyor to give you a call back.
We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).
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