Properly Sealing a Skylight

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January 13, 2022 at 12:25 p.m.


I’m buying a home with a skylight in the roof. Roof was redone 6-7 years ago. Current homeowner(a contractor) purchased from bank in 2018. Realtor says “the skylight has been properly sealed off and he did it that way because of the amount of work that would have been involved and he did not want to mess with the integrity of the roof’. The skylight is dry walled over in the living room ceiling. I know of no way to “properly seal off” a skylight. In my experience they ALL eventually leak. 
1. Can it be “properly sealed off”? 
2. How can I tell if it was “properly sealed off’? 
3. How dumb is it to drywall over a skylight? 
4. Would removing a skylight jeopardize the “integrity of the roof”? 
5. VERY GENERALLY SPEAKING, how complicated/expensive is it to remove a skylight?

January 13, 2022 at 12:26 p.m.

There is a wealth of information in the realtor’s statement “he did not want to do it right because of the amount of work involved.”  
There is a series of questions listed.  I will try to address each one.
A good skylight is a very pleasant addition to any home.  There are many very good skylight manufacturers that have solid warranties.  A good handyman with the help of an experienced roofer can properly install a skylight that will give you many years of enjoyment.
I cannot imagine a skylight that would be an integral part of your structure.  Removing the skylight and installing rafters and sheathing, etc. will make it stronger, not weaker.  Question #4 removing the skylight would have no effect on the integrity of the roof structure.
Generally speaking, it is far easier to remove a skylight than to install one.  If you have a curb mount sky light that you want to keep, I would strongly encourage you to do so.  Check out the type of mount you have and pick out a skylight that you would like.  Have your roofer give you an estimate to install with a warranty for his workmanship and also from the manufacturer.  Bear in mind that the leak may be some place not related to the skylight.   
Often times, when a skylight leaks, it is a temptation for the homeowner to try to seal the leak with some type of roof mastic.  A good roofer can usually find and fix a roof leak before any serious damage is done.  And if the leak is in the skylight, the easiest, least expensive repair is to replace the skylight.
I hope this little bit of information helps you make a decision that will let you enjoy your house.
Best Regards,
Your Friends at AskARoofer

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