When You Replace a Roof, Should You Replace the Skylights Too?

So you’ve decided now’s the time to replace your roof — and the local roofing contractors are urging you to replace your skylights at the same time.

Replace a roof, should you replace the skylights too?

Is that really necessary? Or are these roofers trying to pull a fast one?

The truth is that any reputable, experienced roofing contractor will recommend skylight replacement at the same time you do your roof replacement. You don’t have to agree, but if you replace your roof without replacing your skylights, you may come to regret the choice later when you discover a leak — which happens in many (but not all) cases.

Some Skylights Can Survive a Roof Replacement

There’s always a chance your skylights could survive a roof replacement. If they are non-opening, less than 10 years old, from a top manufacturer and designed and installed as part of a new home construction, they may not leak after the roofing is replaced.

Unfortunately, this perfect set of conditions almost never exists.

You won’t typically need to replace your roof until it begins to have structural problems. And with a new home, that generally doesn’t occur for at least 20 years. By that time, the skylights are way past their 10th birthday, so the likelihood of them making it through a roof replacement unscathed is pretty low.

Why You Might Want to Replace the Skylights When You Replace the Roof

Why do skylights leak after roof replacement?

Simply put, the roofing tear-off can compromise their integrity. Even an experienced, highly skilled professional roofer can’t avoid disrupting skylights when tearing off an old roof.

Skylights have several seal points that can easily be disturbed enough to allow moisture to get inside. Adding new caulking and flashing can help, but once a skylight seal has been compromised, repairs are typically not effective against future roof leaks.

Replacing Skylights After Roof Replacement Can Create Further Problems

You could still decide to take your chances and skip skylight replacement for now. But if you go that route and your skylights leak a year or two later, you may face further roofing problems.

Replacing your skylights at this point will disturb your new roofing system. Just as a roof tear-off can blow the seals of a skylight, a skylight replacement can create similar issues with a roofing system.

So while your roof replacement project may come in at a lower cost if you decide against skylight replacement, you could end up paying a bigger price later when the integrity of your new roofing system is compromised.

Do you have questions about skylight or roof replacement? The professionals at Knockout Roofing, serving clients throughout northern Utah for over 15 years, offer expert answers and advice.

As the region’s leading roofing contractors, the Knockout Roofing team is known for exceptional service, superior workmanship and affordable prices. Contact our Salt Lake City office and schedule a free consultation, and we’ll help you make an informed decision on whether to replace your skylights when you replace your roof.