Roof window maintenance

September 11, 2023

What? You mean I have to look after my house? Like most components of your home, there is still some maintenance required for skylights and roof windows. This is especially true for opening skylights where motors and opening mechanisms can become fouled if not kept clean.

For fixed skylights, as long as they have been installed at the minimum 5deg pitch then a simple wash with warm soapy water every now and then with a hose to rinse off any residue in the dryer months will suffice. Internally (if you can safely get to them) just do what you would with your window joinery and keep any weep holes or condensation traps free of dead bugs and dust to help prevent moisture build up. Some skylights will have a moisture trap with no weep holes that are designed to burn off any condensations collected.

If you have opening roof windows and are able to safely access them, we recommend inspecting the motors and actuating chains a couple of times a year just to ensure consistent operation. Also if they have been kept closed over the winter months give them a couple of test runs during this period to test their mechanisms. Some windows that operate on a central pivot or fully open allow you to be able to flip the window to easily access the external glazing to be able to clean them.

Any blinds you have installed will also need to be checked a couple of times a year to ensure proper function. As with most home fittings, keeping on top of this type of maintenance can help to prevent large repair bills down the track.

If you have the older style acrylic dome skylights, take extra care when accessing them from above, especially if they have some age on them as they can become very brittle with UV exposure and won't hold any weight. It is highly recommended if you have any concerns with these, that you have a professional assess them rather than attempting it yourself.

In summary, skylights are an important part of your home's fittings and fixtures and as such need to be looked after. Happy Spring cleaning!

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