Commercial Roofing and Skylight Issues in Charlotte

Commercial roofing experts can help you maintain a healthy roof with skylights

Charlotte’s top commercial roofing experts can help you manage skylight issues. Skylights have become a popular architectural feature in commercial buildings due to their ability to bring natural light into interior spaces. They not only enhance aesthetics but also contribute to energy efficiency by reducing the need for artificial lighting. However, while skylights offer numerous benefits, they can also be a source of concern for commercial building owners and facility managers. In this article, we will explore the most frequent complaints about skylights on commercial roofs and discuss whether they pose a danger to the health of your roof.

Common Complaints about Skylights on Commercial Roofs

  1. Leaking: One of the primary complaints associated with skylights is leaking. Skylights are essentially openings in the roof, and if not installed properly or maintained adequately, they can become a gateway for water infiltration during heavy rain or snowfall. Leaks not only damage the interior of the building but can also compromise the structural integrity of the roof itself.
  2. Heat Gain and Loss: While skylights allow natural light in, they can also result in unwanted heat gain during the summer and heat loss during the winter. Improperly designed or installed skylights can lead to increased energy consumption as the HVAC system struggles to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.
  • Condensation: Skylights can be a breeding ground for condensation, particularly in climates with significant temperature variations. Condensation can lead to mold growth and compromise indoor air quality.
  1. UV Damage: Over time, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can cause fading and damage to interior furnishings and materials. While skylights can have UV-blocking coatings, they may degrade over time, necessitating maintenance or replacement.
  2. Glare and Overheating: Excessive glare and overheating can result from skylights that do not have adequate shading or glare control mechanisms. This can make indoor spaces uncomfortable and impact productivity.
  3. Aesthetic Concerns: Skylights come in various designs and materials, and their appearance can affect the overall aesthetics of the building. Some may find certain skylight designs less appealing, and this can be a source of complaint.

Are Skylights Dangerous to the Health of Your Roof?

The impact of skylights on the health of your commercial roof largely depends on their installation quality, maintenance, and the choice of materials. When properly installed and maintained, skylights can coexist with the roof without posing significant risks. Here are some key considerations:

  • Installation: Skylights should be installed by experienced professionals who understand the nuances of roofing systems. Improper installation can lead to leaks and structural issues.
  • Materials: High-quality skylight materials, such as impact-resistant glass or polycarbonate, can reduce the risk of damage from weather and debris.
  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance, including checking seals, clearing debris, and inspecting for signs of wear, is essential to prevent issues. Properly maintained skylights are less likely to cause problems for the roof.
  • Design: Skylights should be designed with climate and energy efficiency in mind. Features like insulated glazing and shading systems can help mitigate some of the common complaints associated with skylights.

Mitigating Skylight Issues

To address the common complaints associated with skylights on commercial roofs, here are some strategies that building owners and facility managers can consider:

  1. Regular Inspections: Implement a routine inspection schedule to check for any signs of damage, wear, or leaking around the skylights. Early detection can prevent minor issues from escalating into costly repairs.
  2. Sealing and Flashing: Proper sealing and flashing around skylights are crucial to prevent water infiltration. Ensure that seals are in good condition and replace them if necessary. Flashing should also be installed correctly to divert water away from the skylight.
  3. Upgraded Glazing: Consider using high-performance glazing materials with low-e coatings that can reduce heat gain and UV radiation while still allowing ample natural light. These coatings help improve energy efficiency and protect interior furnishings.
  4. Shading Systems: Install shading systems such as blinds or solar shades to control glare and reduce overheating during peak sunlight hours. These systems can enhance comfort and energy efficiency in interior spaces.
  5. Proper Drainage: Ensure that the skylight design includes adequate drainage systems to prevent water accumulation on the roof’s surface. Proper drainage is crucial in preventing leaks and water-related issues.
  6. Skylight Placement: Thoughtful placement of skylights can minimize heat gain and loss. Consider the building’s orientation and climate when deciding where to install skylights to maximize their benefits.
  7. Regular Cleaning: Keep skylights clean and free from debris. Leaves, dirt, and other materials can block drainage paths and potentially lead to leaks or condensation issues.
  8. Professional Maintenance: Engage professionals for regular skylight maintenance, especially for larger or complex installations. They can identify and address potential problems before they become major issues.
  9. Upgrade and Retrofit: If older skylights are causing persistent problems, it may be worth considering an upgrade or retrofit with newer, more energy-efficient models. Modern skylights often come with improved materials and design features.

In conclusion, skylights on commercial roofs offer both aesthetic and functional benefits, but they can also be a source of complaints if not properly managed. By prioritizing quality installation, materials, and ongoing maintenance, building owners and facility managers can ensure that skylights not only bring in natural light but also contribute positively to the overall health and energy efficiency of the roof and the entire building. With the right strategies in place, skylights can continue to be an asset rather than a liability in commercial construction.

Hire Charlotte’s top commercial roofing experts

Steele Restoration is a fully licensed and insured Charlotte NC and Greenville SC-based general contractor and roofing company specializing in roofing, siding, and storm damage restoration for single-family homes, multi-family complexes, and commercial and industrial sites. We service Charlotte and surrounding areas, including Rock Hill, Lake Norman, Steele Creek, Matthews, Ballantyne, and Blakeney, along with the Greenville and Spartanburg SC areas.