Glazing Vision

The truth about Skylights

Unsure of whether to use a skylight on your project, concerned by so much choice and the inevitable question, will it leak? Our interviewer asks the key questions of Jon Shooter President at Glazing Vision Inc and over 12 years in the industry shares his experience and knowledge on skylights.

When I joined Glazing Vision skylights tended to be cheap and plastic or glass with so much framework and ugly bolt on motors obscuring the view of the sky.

Do all Skylights Leak?

No, no they don’t all leak, Skylights received a bad reputation due to the existence of the limited technologies of the 1970s. More recently technology in terms of bonding glass to frames and the glass itself has moved on.  Some skylights still leak, customers need to understand where water can enter into a skylight. I still see things on the market place that make me shudder. External framework and gaskets spell danger to me. Patent and stick glazing systems deteriorate over time and can then leak.

I recall being on site with a large architect practice looking at a skylight replacement. The client had a patent glazing system but was complaining of the draught coming into the building. I instantly identified the problem the seal between the curb and framework had disappeared, you could actually put your hand into the building from outside to in! The client immediately went and got items to fill the gap, towels, socks and jumpers!

You don’t get that with a Glazing Vision Skylight, all our glass is flush into the framework. The framework attaches to the curb preventing draught and leeks.

Do Skylights Cause UV Damage?

Glass comes in various specifications, single glazed, double glazed, triple glazed and even quadruple glazed.  The sun contains UV rays and these can discolor things over time. This however can be managed and even eliminated via various different glass specifications. Take a look at Okalux glass this is light diffusing glass, I’ve used this glass in museums and art galleries even on Cambridge University.

Are Skylights Energy Efficient?

In short, yes!

There has been a lot written about the benefits of natural daylight and ventilation. You are much better off using skylights to regulate temperature and ambiance in your home than turning on a light or radiator!

Can skylights be walked on?

That depends on the specification of glass being used on the skylight.  You need to consider why you would want the skylight to be walk able on. If it is for maintenance, then generally you can use a spreader board across the glass to distribute weight and will not therefore need to be walk on glass. A skylight will need to use walk on glass when there is natural everyday access onto the area of the glass skylight. I have installed all sorts of walk on glass, I have had projects where we have put LEDs into the glass and even drive over glass.  Our technical team are here to find the glass specification to achieve your project goals.

In short that circulate and hopefully this will help ease your mind.