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How Long Do Skylights Last

How Long Do Skylights Last?

Knowing how long do skylights last is an essential piece of information for homeowners looking to maintain or upgrade their property. Skylights are a fantastic way to brighten up any home or office with natural light. They add aesthetic appeal and can increase energy efficiency. 

However, like any part of your home, skylights have a limited lifespan. Knowing when to replace your skylight and how to maintain it is crucial. This article will explore the factors affecting skylight longevity and how to ensure they provide long-lasting benefits. Read on to learn more about maintaining your skylights effectively.

Factors Influencing the Lifespan of Skylights

Several factors determine how long skylights last. First, the quality of materials used is crucial. High-quality materials, like those in Velux skylights, can last up to 20 years. Lower-quality materials often lead to a shorter lifespan.

Proper skylight installation is essential. Improper installation can cause leaks and other issues. It’s best to hire a professional installer to ensure the skylight is well-sealed and structurally sound.

Environment and Upkeep

Environmental factors also affect skylight longevity. Skylights exposed to extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rain, snow, or intense sunlight, may wear out faster. Regular maintenance and timely roof repairs can help mitigate these effects.

Finally, regular care and maintenance are key. Homeowners should inspect skylights for signs of wear and tear. Cleaning the skylight with non-abrasive cleaners and checking the sealant around the skylight helps prevent leaks. This maintenance prolongs the skylight’s lifespan.

Average Lifespan of Different Types of Skylights

The lifespan of a skylight varies based on its type, functionality and features.

Fixed Skylight Life Expectancy

Fixed skylights typically last the longest, often up to 20 years. These skylights are sealed and don’t have moving parts, reducing the risk of leaks and wear.

Ventilated Skylight Life Expectancy

Ventilated skylights provide natural light and ventilation. They have moving parts for opening and closing. This can lead to more wear and tear over time. With proper maintenance, these skylights typically last around 15 years.

Sun Tunnel Lifespan

Tubular skylights are smaller and designed to bring light into tight spaces. Their lifespan can be similar to fixed skylights, usually around 20 years. However, the roofing material around the skylight must also be considered. If the roof needs replacing, it may be time to replace the skylight as well.s

Signs That Your Skylight Should Be Replaced

Knowing when a skylight needs to be replaced is crucial for maintaining your home. Regular inspections can help homeowners decide when it’s time for a new skylight. Here are common signs indicating it’s time for a skylight replacement:

  1. Leaks and Water Damage: If you notice water stains on the ceiling or drywall around the skylight, it may be leaking. Even small leaks can lead to larger problems over time.
  2. Condensation and Fogging: Persistent condensation or fogging between the glass panes suggests a broken seal. This reduces the skylight’s energy efficiency and indicates it needs to be replaced.
  3. Cracks or Physical Damage: Visible cracks or damage to the skylight are clear signs that it’s time to replace the skylight. Damaged skylights can lead to leaks and further structural issues.
  4. Discoloration or Yellowing: Skylights should provide clear natural light. If the skylight is discolored or yellowed, it may be due to UV damage or age. This affects the quality of light and indicates the skylight has reached the end of its lifespan.
  5. Drafts and Temperature Changes: If you feel drafts or notice significant temperature changes near the skylight, it may be improperly sealed. This reduces energy efficiency and suggests the skylight needs replacement.

Recognizing these signs early can prevent more extensive roof repairs and help maintain the comfort and energy efficiency of your home.

Extend the Lifespan of Skylights

Extending the Life of Your Skylight

Proper maintenance and care can significantly extend the life of your skylight. Here are some tips to ensure your skylight lasts as long as possible:

  • Regular Cleaning and Maintenance: Clean your skylight with a non-abrasive cleaner to prevent scratches. Regularly removing debris and dirt helps maintain its appearance and functionality.
  • Inspecting for Damage: Regularly check for cracks, leaks, and other signs of wear and tear. Early detection of problems allows for timely repairs, preventing more significant issues.
  • Professional Servicing and Repairs: Hire a professional for regular inspections and repairs. A qualified roofer or installer can spot issues that you might miss and ensure that the skylight is structurally sound.
  • Check Sealant and Flashing: Inspect the sealant and flashing around the skylight to ensure they are intact. Replace any damaged or deteriorating sealant to prevent leaks.
  • Addressing Environmental Factors: Protect your skylight from extreme weather conditions when possible. For instance, trimming nearby trees can prevent branches from damaging the skylight during storms.
  • Proper Ventilation: Ensure proper ventilation around the skylight to reduce condensation. This is particularly important for ventilated skylights, which can suffer from increased wear due to moisture.

By following these steps, homeowners can ensure their skylight remains in good condition, providing natural light and energy efficiency for years to come. If you notice any persistent issues, don’t hesitate to consult a professional to determine if it’s time to replace your skylight.

Are Skylights Worth It?

Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings

Skylights can significantly improve the energy efficiency of your home. By providing abundant natural light, they reduce the need for artificial lighting during daylight hours. This can lead to noticeable savings on energy bills over time. Energy-efficient skylights, such as those made by Velux, also help regulate indoor temperatures, minimizing the need for heating and cooling. These cost savings can make skylights a valuable long-term investment.

Aesthetic Appeal and Natural Lighting

One of the most appealing aspects of skylights is their ability to enhance the aesthetic of a home. Skylights flood interior spaces with natural light, creating a brighter and more inviting atmosphere. This influx of natural light can make rooms appear larger and more open, improving the overall living experience. Additionally, natural light has been shown to boost mood and productivity, making skylights beneficial for mental well-being.

Potential Increase in Property Value

Installing skylights can also increase the market value of your home. Many prospective buyers view skylights as a desirable feature, appreciating both their practical benefits and their aesthetic appeal. Homes with well-maintained, energy-efficient skylights can stand out in the real estate market, potentially commanding higher prices. This makes skylights not just a functional improvement but also a smart investment for homeowners looking to increase their property value.

Addressing Common Concerns

Despite their benefits, some homeowners have concerns about skylights. Issues such as leaks, drafts, and improper installation can cause hesitation. However, choosing high-quality products and professional installation can mitigate these risks. Regular maintenance and prompt repairs further ensure that skylights remain in good condition, providing long-lasting benefits. Addressing these concerns proactively can help homeowners feel confident in their decision to install skylights.

Velux GDL Roof Window Balcony Skylights


Understanding how long skylights last and when you need to replace your skylight is essential for homeowners. Quality materials, proper installation, and regular maintenance are key factors that influence the lifespan of skylights. While fixed skylights can last up to 20 years, ventilated and tubular skylights also offer substantial longevity when well-maintained.

Signs such as leaks, condensation, physical damage, and discoloration indicate that it may be time to replace a skylight. Regular inspections and professional servicing can help extend the lifespan of your skylight, ensuring it continues to provide natural light and energy efficiency.

Skylights offer numerous benefits, including reduced energy bills, enhanced aesthetic appeal, and potential increases in property value. Addressing common concerns through quality products and professional installation can maximize these benefits.

In conclusion, skylights are a worthwhile investment for homeowners looking to improve their living spaces with natural light and energy savings. With proper care, skylights can provide long-lasting value and enjoyment.

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