Presented by VELUX

How long do skylights last?


Skylights, just like vertical windows, have an average replacement date of around 30 years when properly installed and sourced from a quality skylight manufacturer.

There are factors, however, that can affect the lifespan of a skylight: 

  1. The weather
  2. Irregular care and maintenance
  3. Replacing your roof without replacing the skylight

The Weather

When mother nature strikes or when bad weather hits, there’s no stopping it. Modern-day skylights have been redesigned to brave the elements, but sometimes they can be damaged by large hail or debris. Per building code, any skylight unit that is 8 feet from the bottom of your floor needs to have laminated glass, which ensures when cracked or broken that the glass spiderwebs but remains in place. If your skylight is broken due to weather, you may be covered by a hail warranty offered to you by the skylight manufacturer.

Irregular Care or Maintenance

Just like any product in your home, skylights require regular care and maintenance. This helps to ensure the skylight’s frame remains clear of cracking and the exterior maintains its watertight seal. Fortunately, most skylights require very minimal maintenance – light washing to remove debris on the exterior and spot cleaning the glass and frame on the interior.

Replacing Your Roof Without Replacing the Skylight

If you’ve ever been home when your roof is being replaced, you know what an experience that is…now just imagine it for your skylight! Although roofers take care when re-roofing around a skylight, the amount of movement and displacement of shingles can cause flashing and weather-tight seals on the skylight to fail or become compromised. This can potentially cause an avenue for leaks. 

You’ll hear many roofers suggest to homeowners to replace their skylights while their roof is also being replaced. There are three main reasons for this:

  1. It helps prevent disruption of the water-tight seal around the skylight
  2. It allows for coinciding warranties for the roof and the skylight 
  3. It saves time (and potentially money) to combine the two projects

When you decide to install skylights, you can rest assured that they will be on your roof for a while without ever needing to worry about them. Plus, 30 years is a long time. If your skylights are nearing the end of their lifespan, it’s time to check out the new technology and features that are being developed for modern-day skylights. 

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