Skylights, also called rooflights, provide homes with ventilation and daylight. The translucent or transparent structure usually covers the entire roof space of a building. It not only provides healthy and fresh air and lightning but also offers amazing sky views and improves the interior of any space.
The structures are durable, however, they are still vulnerable to damage during storms. Homeowners have faced damaged roofs and broken skylights due to hail storms, causing inconvenience and unwanted expenses.
Also, homes are not the only structures that are equipped with skylights. RVs, too, have skylights that provide the same function of ventilating and illuminating the RV.
If you are concerned your skylight may get damaged due to hails, here are a few things that you can keep in mind.
Protecting Skylights From Hail
The degree of damage that hail causes depends on the weight, size, and speed of the hail. Fortunately, hails are usually the size of a pea or a quarter. Golf Ball-sized hail occasionally falls at extremely high speeds, though. There is a great deal of property damage when this occurs.
Homeowners put a considerable amount of thought into preparing for extreme weather conditions. However, most of their preparations center around stocking food, boarding windows, and securing the backyard. Protecting skylights is almost always forgotten.
Here are a few things you can do to save yourself the trouble of having a damaged skylight.
Make Sure Your Skylight Is Properly Installed
If skylights are not properly installed, they can become sources of leaks. Also, improperly installed skylights are more likely to get damaged.
Install Modern, Energy Star Qualified Glass Skylights
It is usually the acrylic or plastic bubble-type skylights that are damaged by hail. If you have these, it is better to replace them with modern skylights that are energy star qualified. These skylights are more energy efficient, and many manufacturers offer replacements that can fit in existing curbs.
Be Prepared For Severe Weather
You never know when the next big storm will hit. However, if you live in an area prone to storms, it is always ideal to follow the weather forecast and be prepared for the next big one.
Also, after the storm has passed, check the skylights for any possible damage. Early diagnosis of a minor problem will save you a lot of time and money in the future.
Cover Your Skylight
Cover your skylight with a blanket, tarp, or wooden board. Also, if you want more protection, you can cover your skylights with a non-penetrating skylight cover guard. The guards are made of metal and are installed without penetrating the surface of the skylight or building. The guards are customized according to the size of the skylight and are available in customizable colors. The one-piece design is easy and quick to install and offers protection against large hailstones.
How To Protect RV Skylights From Hail?
Battling hails in an RV can be a bit more challenging. And although it is always better to park under a pavilion or garage, at times, it may not be possible to do so. In any case, it is always better to be prepared. Here are some things that you can do:
Cover Your Skylight
You can cover your RV’s skylight with RV skylight covers available on the market. They will prevent the hails from entering and causing damage. However, it will offer only so much protection and may not be able to protect against large-sized hails.
Install Rooftop Vents
Alternatively, you can install an extended rooftop vent. This will protect your skylight from damage and stop hail from clogging your fan.
The vent is easy to install and does not require any drilling. Most of the vents are available in standard sizes, so they accurately fix most skylights.
Install Hail-Resistant RV Roofing Material
This is a long-term solution. It is quite affordable and provides much better protection. If you are considering this option, opt for EPDM roofing.
Upgrade Your Skylight
Factory-fitted skylights are not of the highest quality. You can have them replaced with more resistant ones for better protection against hail.
Remove your current skylight, and replace it with tempered glass that is significantly more resistant. Although it is still prone to damage, tempered glass may splinter while a glass skylight will shatter.
However, they are very costly as they are customized.
Protect Yourself First
In the unfortunate event that your skylight is damaged, it will lead to leaks, and there is a significant risk that the broken glass may get into your house. Follow the safety precautions listed below if you find yourself in such a situation:
- Do not stand directly under a cracked skylight, whether it is storming or not.
- Follow all the safety precautions when examining a skylight. Always have your safety gear on whether you are checking for damage or determining the extent of the damage.
- When examining from the roof, never stand on the skylight. Not even on the undamaged one.
- Seek professional help if the task seems beyond your expertise.
- If you glaze your skylight, use laminated or tempered glass. These glasses splinter and do not shatter, so you do not have large glass pieces.
Storms are challenging times not only for living beings but for properties as well. One structure that is highly prone to hail damage is a skylight. Whether it is installed on your home rooftop or your RV, a skylight bears the crunch when it comes to hail.
Directly under the wrath, the skylight gets easily damaged when the hail size increases from its usual pea-size. So, if your house is in a storm-prone area, it is always better to be a step ahead and follow all the preventive methods to save your skylights.
Skylight covers are the most common and widely used solutions for both home and RV skylights. However, if you haven’t already installed a skylight cover on your rooftop or RV roof, it is not advisable to go out in the storm to do so.