AZ Skylight Guys - Phoenix area skylight installation and repair specialists.
AZ Skylight Guys - Skylight installation and repair - Phoenix, AZ

Is your Skylight Leaking?

Wet drywall and water dripping on your floor is every homeowner's nightmare! You instantly start seeing dollar signs! While some repairs can be expensive, but many repairs we do are very affordable. There are only a few types of leaks related to a skylight: the most obvious a hole in your skylight where you can see dirt or water coming in. We address that on the skylight repair page. The second reason has to do with how the skylight is attached to the roof.

Wet drywall occurs when water finds it's way under the roofing material (shingles, tiles or foam) and seeps through open areas in the plywood base of the roof called the roof deck. Water finds the path of least resistance and will come through "normal" openings (also called roof penetrations) in your roof like roof vents, nail holes, etc when roofing material is compromised. Roofing material can be compromised by damage, age or improper installation of roof penetrations suck as a skylight.

Some things to know about your roof and skylights.

  1. A correctly installed skylight is sealed at the roof deck, underneath all the roofing material, then roofing material is applied over the base to assure no water is allowed to reach the deck.
  2. All roofing material fails eventually due to age and will require replacement.
  3. Skylights are made to breathe. Since there are different materials in contact, such as plastic or glass, aluminum and wood, there are spaces left to allow the materials to expand and contract with changes in temperature.
  4. Plastic skylights are made to weep. There are weep holes in the part of the frame the skylight sits on to allow condensation to weep away from the skylight, usually onto the roof. This is normal and essential operation of any skylight. If these holes are blocked water will weep into your home.

Problem: Improper repair with roofing tar

On many of our service calls we see somebody has applied roofing tar on or around the skylight due to a leak. This is a sign to us that someone has attemped a quick fix for a leak which never takes care of the problem.

  1. Roofing tar is NOT the solution and frequently makes the problem worse!
  2. The use of tar VOID manufacturer warranties for your skylight and possibly roof.
  3. Tar that is over-applied up onto the skylight itself with the assumption that the skylight is leaking doesn’t allow the skylight to breathe or the materials to expand and contract as they should and causes strain on the skylight. The increased strain will eventually cause breakage and failure of the skylight itself.
  4. Tar dries up and cracks in the Arizona sun which then actually channels water into problem areas. Silicone is not recommended either!

Problem: Leaks on a flat foam roof

Our number one cause of service calls for leaking skylights is on flat roofs. Periodically foam roofs need to be re-coated to maintain their integrity. Over the years the roof gets thicker and thicker and normal roof penetrations that were correctly installed can start to leak as the height of the roof starts to match the top of a vent or skylight curb. The majority of the leaks are caused by roofers who apply foam up and over the edges of the skylight. Skylights are not watertight for the reasons mentioned above that allow them to breathe; if you submerge a skylight installation under water its going to leak!

Problem: Roof Failure

A leaking roof may present as a problem with the skylight. Water can find its way through any openings in the roof and then track down any opening through the roof. It may not become evident until the drywall starts to stain or sag.

  1. Asphalt shingles typically last 15 years and some are supposed to last up to 25; what we find is that in the high temperatures of Phoenix the shingles tend to break down much faster. Shingles become brittle and crack thereby allowing water to come under the shingles. 
  2. Tile roofs are also prone to leaks after a period of time due to inadequate underlayment or failure of the underlayment over time. The underlayment installed on many of the tile roofs prior to 2010 was simple tar paper; this paper cannot withstand the high temperature of the roofs here in Arizona and as a result becomes very brittle and cracks. Once the tar paper cracks the watertight integrity of the roof is nonexistent!
  3. Foam roofs almost always have low spots which allow standing water to accelerate the breakdown of the foam. Once water seeps into the foam it finds its way to the roof deck and again finds roof penetrations that it comes down through. As I mentioned before, eventually ALL roofing material will fail and need replacement.


As Skylight Specialists, we understand all the possible issues with skylights. We are the best around and diagnosing and repairing all skylight issues! Skylights get a bad rap as the cause of all leaks in roofs. As you can see, most of the time it's not the skylight's fault!! If your skylight is not the problem, we can help you find someone to take care of the problem. Contact us with any questions about skylights or to come and look at any problem with your skylight.

Our Location (click marker for driving directions)

Contact Us

Phone: 602-485-4995
Fax: 602-707-7540
Address: 3101 W Thomas Rd.
  Suite 116
  Phoenix, AZ 85017

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