Skylights are great home fixtures that allow homeowners to create a steady source of ambient light during the day. At night, skylights can also provide a nice view of the stars. The use of skylights can greatly improve almost any room in a house. However, choosing the right skylight is important, especially if there is a specific style or goal that needs to be accomplished.
The first reaction that most people have when encountering skylights is a state of overwhelm. Many people initially think that a skylight is a relatively simple structure, it isn’t. In essence, a skylight is actually just a complex type of window that, instead of being placed on the walls of a home, are placed on the ceiling. Like most windows, there are many decisions to make around the installation of a skylight: size, placement, frame material, glass material, and the added question of whether the skylight can be opened or not. The style of a skylight pertains to the actual shape and layout of the glass panel. There are several options available. A few involve basic frames and simple glass panels. Others involve more complex framing that makes the skylight appear very elegant.
Skylights: Advantages and Disadvantages
There are actually a large number of advantages over the disadvantages. Here are just a few of the main benefits you can get from installing a skylight:
- Provide the illusion of a bigger room
- Brighten and ventilate dark and humid rooms
- Add more style and appeal to a room
The disadvantages, however, should also be considered:
- Can cause UV damage to exposed indoor furniture
- Create a glare on indoor screens
- Prone to condensation or leaking
Most of these problems can be avoided if a skylight is properly installed, thoughtfully placed, and integrated with a few protective coats as a preventive measure against those problems.
Flat roofs are technically not flat. Instead, flat roofs should be more aptly referred to as low-slope or low-pitch roofs. However, this type of roof can actually be disadvantaged at draining away water, snow, or other debris that gets stuck atop the roof. Thus, there are different types of materials that are often used for flat roofs in place of pitch roofs. The common flat roofing options are membrane roofing, built-up roofing, modified bitumen roofing, and metal roofs. The latter is more commonly used in commercial properties.
There are actually different variations to membrane roofing. Materials, such as rubber and plastic are common options. The most commonly used material is EPDM, which is a sheet of synthetic rubber material.
Layers of insulation boards are laid out between EPDM rubber sheets. These sheets are what make up the “membrane” which are secured through the installation of ballasts. Another way to secure it is through fastening or gluing it on to the insulation layer.
Built-up Roofing (BUR)
Another roofing option that is commonly constructed is the BUR system. It is made up of multiple layers of insulation boards, asphalt or tar, and roofing felts. The top layer of a BUR is usually filled with some sort of gravel. This creates a very durable roofing assembly. This type of roof is often used on large commercial buildings. This is because the multiple layers can make the entire roof very heavy and thick that most residential homes would be unable to carry the weight.
Modified bitumen roofing (MBR)
A more recent roofing option that is gaining popularity is the MBR system. It is actually very similar to BUR but is noted as being a lightweight alternative. Aslo being asphalt-based, MBR uses rolled sheets that are laid on top of a base membrane. The common way of installing this type of roof is through a torch down method which means the backside of the roofing material is torched or heated as it is being unrolled. The process melts down the material, allowing it to seamlessly meld with the base membrane. A simpler method is the use of variations that have embedded self-adhesive strips. The installation for these can be likened to peeling stickers and sticking them onto the flat surface.
Skylights installed on flat roofs need to be able to follow the pitch of the roof. You can get the skylight deck mounted so that the look does not affect the line of the roof. The installation of a skylight on a flat roof requires proper fitting. A problem with fitting, however, is that glass has an inherent degree of flex referred to as deflection. Basically, this means that if the skylight is not pitched slightly, rainwater is likely to pool on the glass. Thus, a minimum pitch for flat skylight roofs is necessary. When considering installing a skylight on your flat roof, its best to get a professional roofer Charlotte NC to fit and install the fixture.