Allentown, Pa. Skylight Replacement
Skylights, love them or hate them, have been a staple of modern architectural expression for many decades. The history of the skylight dates back to the 1700's, but the modern era has taken the skylight to new heights. Several designs have been utilized over the ages. The skylight and roof lantern days of old held for a labor intensive, hand crafted and soldered unit that was the state of the art.
Today in our modern pre-fabricated world, skylights are manufactured and warehoused. The manufacturing process has improved upon the speed of production and lowered the cost to the public. Hence, we see more skylights in modern buildings than ever before. One such company that brought the old world skylight and flashing systems to the modern world, meeting the demands of energy efficiency is Velux, a Danish company.
Early on and while the industry was still growing, Velux produced a quality unit that included mechanically correct flashing systems for the industry. Certain to follow were the ?innovators? who endeavored to either copy or develop products that would compete with Velux. Many of these products were geared to compete in a cost saving way or to provide an easier installation, or both.
Many of the competitors provided units without the standard flashing systems and these units were sold to builders in order to meet budget demands. These skylights also were of varying sizes which made the replacement a nightmare for the owner, as the sizes available from Velux were limited.
Velux came to the rescue of this replacement skylight marketplace with the ?Curb Mount? skylight. The curbs could be retrofitted to the original openings and allowed proper installation of the retrofit unit that would not leak. One such skylight story is outlined below. You will see the very amateuristic approach taken by roofers in the field when met with the improper skylights produced by the low cost ?innovators.?
The skylight shown in the photograph above is one of the builder's models made cheaply and sold to meet the need of the builder, certainly not the homeowner. At the time of the second roof installation, the skylight should have been replaced, but the roofer went ahead with the roof cement and underlayment tricks so prevalent in the industry today.
It stands to reason that a roofer that would re-use such a substandard skylight would also not pay attention to the proper nailing of the new roof shingles. Notice the nail in the shingle joint above.
As you can see, this bubble skylight has only a 2 to 3 inch flange and the only way to seal it is with muck (asphalt roof cement).
In the image above, you can see the leak appearing below the skylight by a few courses. This is the result of the ice and water underlayment and roof cement used in place of proper flashing procedure and the trapping of water rather than the shedding of it..
The retrofit curb was constructed on site to include a perfectly fitted trim insert and insulation.
The completed Velux skylight installation included the custom fabricated curb, custom interior finished trim sleeve, insulation, bronze aluminum apron, step, pan and counter flashings. The flashings were given a thermal break so as to not transfer the external temperatures into the building.