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Which Skylight Is Best For Your Flat Roof?

There are many benefits skylights can offer to any room in your home, but it's vital to ensure that you select the correct type of skylight. This is to ensure that you can achieve specific goals in your home. Whether you only want to add ceiling height or you're interested in bringing more light to your room, you can achieve this by using skylights.

This will let you easily make an architectural statement in ways you didn't imagine. Adding skylights to your home is also a great way to increase the value of your home. On the first look at skylights, you might be overwhelmed by the different qualities they possess.

These items today come in different styles and types and are also installed differently. In addition, they also comprise other materials, among which include covers, shades, glazing, and glass types. In this article, we'll take you through the basic things that you should know about skylights and the different styles available for flat roofs. Keep reading to find out more.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Skylights

Skylights generally have multiple advantages and disadvantages. These include the fact that they can make small rooms appear larger. Skylights can also make darker rooms appear brighter and provide ventilation options for humid rooms. In addition, skylights can enhance the stylistic and architectural statement of any building.

Despite these fantastic benefits of skylights, there are also a few drawbacks that people complain about. For example, skylights of inferior quality can cause UV lights to damage flooring and furniture or even create a glare. In addition, skylights are designed to facilitate heat loss from the roof deck. Another drawback is that they are likely to leak or cause condensation even for properly installed skylights.

However, the exciting thing to note is that there are many ways that you can avoid these problems. Among these is ensuring that you only select the right skylight to serve your home for a longer time.

Types Of Skylights

When choosing a skylight, one of the first things you should know is that there are different types of skylights. The vented and fixed skylights share some similarities, but the tubular skylights are another type on their own.

We'll go through the different types of skylights you should know.

Fixed skylights

These are skylight windows, but they don't open, unlike roof windows. They are designed to provide light and add more beauty to the view of the scenery or the sky. Also, fixed skylights are primarily designed such that you can't easily reach them, and even though you can't reach them, they can provide enough humidity for your room.

Vented skylights

Vented skylights share some similarities with fixed skylights. However, you can open them with the aid of electrical or hand control. This is why they are considered to be the best option for cases where excess humidity or condensation are a concern.

Another impressive thing about them is that they provide sufficient moisture control for critical areas like the kitchens and bathrooms. Vented skylights also come in handy in cases where an emergency exit is required. However, this type of skylight is an expensive one.

Tubular skylights

These are also known as solar skylights and are not like the conventional skylight window you already know. These are designed as long tubes that can attract and reflect light to come in. They are perfect for small spaces like closets, hallways, and bathrooms.

Also, they are easier to install, unlike the other types above. You can install them on your roof or your attic. Another impressive thing to note about tubular skylights is that they have dimmers that help control light. This is in addition to the exhaust fans, which are for moisture control.

Deck-mounted skylights

This type of skylight has frames that are directly flashed to the roof and are made of galvanized steel or extruded aluminum. For the installation of this, you'll need to hire a professional. This ensures that the deck-mounted skylight does not work against the roofs.

Curb-mounted skylights

People mostly opt for curb-mounted skylights as a superior option to prevent leaks. This is because they provide more flexibility, with more glass area. This implies that they are generally brighter and more expensive.

You can either build this option or provide it by a skylight manufacturer. Another thing to ensure is that the curb is insulated and double-walled so that it can easily retain heat. Another impressive thing to note is that you can shape the curb shaft in different ways, depending on the purpose it's intended to serve.

Styles Of Roof Skylights

Skylight styles refer to the layout and shape of the used glass. There are vaulted and basic styles, with the basic types being mainly applied to flat-roof skylights. This is especially where they are not about the roof face unless curb mounted.

The basic styles make it easier to maintain a consistent exterior look. It's worth noting that basic styles provide more light than vaulted styles. On the other hand, vaulted styles project above the roof, which is why they are generally more expensive.

Another reason why they are more expensive is that they require more glass. Below are common styles of skylights:

  • Flat-roof skylights are generally flat, as the name suggests, and follow the roof's pitch. Flat-roof skylights can be deck-mounted, and this is to ensure that they don't interfere with the appearance of the roof.
  • Round skylights: As the name suggests, they are round when viewed from inside the house. However, when viewed from the outside, they usually appear flat. This type of skylight can either be curb- or deck-mounted, and even though they may appear unusual, they mostly have a great appearance.
  • Dome skylights: These skylights project upwards like a dome and sometimes appear rectangular, especially when viewed from inside the home. They are generally acrylic and have a higher resistance. The main advantage of this type of skylight is that they are not so expensive.
  • Straddle skylights: They are basically two-pitched and designed to be placed so that they straddle to the top of the roof. You'll mostly find them on deck-mounted options to ensure that they have a unique look.
  • Polygon skylights: They mostly have an unusual shape, which can be a triangle, hexagon, octagon, or any other shape.
  • Pyramid skylights are mostly traditional vaulted skylights with a rectangular or square base with an upward projection that forms an irregular shape.

There are many other styles available, and this is just to give you an idea of some of the most popular options you'll find on the market today. With everything we have gone through in this article, we'll now focus on the types of skylights for flat roofs and show you how to choose the right one.

Types Of Skylights For Flat Roofs And How To Choose

One of the most vital selections you'll make during your flat roof design phase is the skylight you choose. As shown above, there are different types, and you have various options to choose from. However, not all these types will work on your flat roof, which is why you need to know the types designed for flat roofs and how to choose the ideal options available.

For flat roofs, below are some great options, including why they are the best for flat roofs.

Flat glass rooflights

The importance of skylights for homes cannot be overemphasized. This is because of their role in bringing in sunlight to your home. If you're considering placing one on your roof, one of the critical options you might want to consider is flat glass rooflights.

Flat glass rooflights are mostly made of double, triple, or quadruple glazed glass units, and they require a significant level of insulation to prevent warm air from getting out of the house. For this type of skylight, you may need to build it yourself. You might also be wondering where you can keep this type of skylight.

In general, the best place to consider is old buildings, especially those that do not have insulation or in cases where the insulation requires a replacement. Another impressive thing about flat glass rooflights is that they are generally affordable, unlike other options you'll find on the market today.

Flat roof lanterns and pyramids

Most of the contemporary and modern homes you'll find today have a flat roof. These types of roofs usually require lanterns and pyramids, which is to bring in more light. The critical thing to note is that flat roofs generally require more natural light, unlike the vertical uPVC windows.

Lanterns and pyramids usually have a way of letting air in, and it sometimes functions like an electric vent flap, manual opening, or slide opening flat roof lantern. There are also different options for flat roof lanterns, making it easier for you to choose the option that's more ideal.

Flat glass domed rooflights

This option is ideal for people that live in areas with so much rain. The dome is designed to reduce the noise and prevent water pooling on your flat roof. This is an option you should consider without hesitation.

Walk on rooflights

This type of rooflight is perfect for flat roofs, especially those that are not so high. You can conveniently place them inside or outside your house. They are now a popular option, and this is because of how they let natural light quickly go into the house and get to places that they didn't reach before.

Another impressive thing about this option is that they do not take up too much space. In addition, they are not so expensive, which makes them great.

Plastic Or Glass

With everything we have mentioned above, you might already be wondering which option is best for you: plastic or glass. In general, glass skylights are better than plastic or acrylic, even though they may be more expensive. Additionally, glass options are generally more durable, better insulated, and have a better capacity to prevent condensation, and their designs are always the best.

Cost

For the cost, fixed skylights are generally cheaper than the acrylic options that you will find on the market today. This is also the case with custom glass skylights, as they are not more expensive than the custom acrylic options you'll find on the market. Solar or electric venting glass skylights are also more costly.

Durability

In terms of durability, glass is strong, and most of the glass skylights that you'll find on the market tend to come with a factor seal and a 20-year warranty. On the other hand, acrylic options are not as durable, and this is because they mainly expand and contract with the heat. This expansion and contraction usually wear out the gasket. Also, with time, the acrylic option gets brittle.

Insulation

This is also an essential thing to consider, and the key thing to note is that glass skylights come with better insulation, unlike the acrylic ones or other options you'll find on the market. The noise-reducing ability of the glass options is 50% less than that of the acrylic ones.

Design

The first acrylic design option was introduced in the 1980s. Since then, to date, there have been a lot of improvements in their design. Today, some options come with an aluminum frame and a thermal break that is designed to keep the outside and inside of your building cool or warm, depending on the season.

In general, glass is better regarding the insulating and overall design, and it's worth noting that they mostly come with two panes of glass, both of which are sealed with argon.

Condensation

To ensure that the skylights keep water out, most manufacturers usually drill holes in their condensation gutters for increased efficiency. However, this design option usually lets cold air in and increases condensation. The impressive thing is that it's different from glass skylights, as they are mostly sealed and prevent cold and heat transfers, including condensations.

From everything above, it's clear that the glass skylights are an impressive option that you should settle for. We'll now go through some of the critical things that you should know about glass skylights.

Types Of Roof Skylight Glass

If you have decided to settle for the glass skylight, one of the critical things that will determine the option you settle for is the durability of the skylight. There are different types of glass, and they all have unique features.

Here's an overview of some of the different types available:

Plexiglass

Technically, this is not actually a form of glass, but it is, in fact, a poly glass. It's lightweight and has a sturdy design, and for anyone looking for an inexpensive option, plexiglass is an excellent option to consider. However, one of this option's drawbacks is that it tends to scratch easily.

This causes more UV light rays to get into the house, which can cause your flooring and furniture to fade. Another drawback is that with time, plexiglass turns yellow, further altering the light and view you get from the skylight.

Tempered skylight glass

This is an excellent option because it is heat-treated and resistant to scratch. Another impressive thing is that smaller pieces are not harmful when this type of glass breaks or shatters. Therefore, it's generally the safest glass option to get. In addition to these features, tempered skylight glass offers better noise insulation than acrylic options.

Laminated skylight glass

Unlike the other options above, this comprises a thin layer of either ethylene-vinyl acetate or polyvinyl butyral that is placed between two layers of tempered glass. With this, the granules won't fall into your home whenever the glass breaks because the center layer will firmly hold them together.

Most of the high-quality skylights you'll find today are made from laminated glass. However, it's imperative to note that this skylight is the most expensive option you'll find on the market.

Installing Skylights For Flat Roofs

There are various types of skylights that you'll find on the market, whether it be flat glass rooflights, Velux skylights, or even walk-on rooflights. While sun tunnels are similar to skylights, skylights do require more expertise and labor to install. Of course, you don't have to be an expert at skylights before getting one. Simply contact a roofing specialist to handle the whole selection and installation process for you!

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