Troublesome Skylights on a Tile Roof
This home has three 34 year old skylights all in the same room and spaced equally apart from each other. The roof had been previously replaced with a concrete tile roof. Tile roofs can be much more difficult for a typical contractor to perform these types of replacements and/or repairs.
The old skylight size also affect which skylight model to use. In this case these skylights were smaller than the most common standard 2’x4′ skylight and it required us to utilize three Velux FCM 2044 skylights for a proper fit. Velux curb mount skylights do have pre-manufactured flashing kits—but not for tile roofs.
This tile roof is installed directly on the decking, not on battens, as you might see on other tile roofs. And the thickness of the tile was greater than 1 ¼”. These two factors are important because it helps us determine which flashing to use.
The proper solutions.
Note in the pictures below that we remove all the shingles above, below and in-between the skylights in order to inspect and apply ice and water seal, as needed. This insures that these skylights will last at least 34 years if not longer!
After removing the tile we clean the roof, add ice and water seal to the area around the curbs. This creates a great weather barrier, especially for air. Many contractors rely on ice and water seal for the water, but that is not really the best way to stop leaks.
Installing the proper flashing correctly is what creates a permanent water-tight barrier.
This is important because improper flashing allows debris and dirt to accumulate over time and then that traps water and mud which eventually erodes away the ice and water seal and creates leaks.
After the ice and water seal we install brake-formed metal flashing designed for tile roofs. This flashing is bent in-house, to save money and avoid delays. This particular flashing is not step flashing but continuous flashing that brings the moisture and debris to the top of the roof below the skylight. This flashing is designed to not allow water to run horizontally off the flashing but to contain it so it can run out at the bottom as designed.
The finished project.
It is obvious in the finished pictures to see the quality craftsmanship from the outside. But as we have shown in the progress pictures, quality is not just on the surface. And here is the thing; performing quality work by doing it right the first time does not cost much more than contractors performing the work without the knowledge or experience of doing it correctly. The benefit is beautiful skylights that last for decades, providing security and peace of mind—especially during extreme weather events.