Skylight Leaks When It Rains: How to Fix


Alright, folks, let’s say heavy rain starts, and with the first drops, you notice your skylight leaking, dampening your mood. You will probably notice your anxiety shootin’ through the roof at the unexpected ordeal with the process of fixing it that awaits you. 

It’s mission-critical for any homeowner to hunt down the leak quickly. It might be from a spot you’d least expect. Being in the know would save you the trouble of worrying about the wrong thing. It’s best to get to fixing the leakage as soon as possible. 

Your ceiling may play it coy and not divulge the extent of damages to the eye early enough, but that does not stop water from sneaking around your abode, getting jiggy with your ductwork, walls, and unreachable nooks and crannies. That isn’t a house party you want. 

The extra moisture literally cultivates a clubhouse for mildew and fungus. And take it from me, they’re some terrible tenants. Now that we’ve run a brief on the instances of leaky roofs let’s get down to why skylight leaks when it rains. Stick with me. 

Source Of the Skylight Leak

When it comes to rainwater, it has a knack for making unannounced appearances at places you’d never expect. If your skylight has a faulty opening or worn-out seals, even a single raindrop will take a swift detour straight onto your floor. 

Moisture might get around the edges of the frame, all sneaky-like, especially when the rubber gasket around the frame loses its mojo to seal the skylight completely or unbearable mold breaks are up the party.


Sometimes, it’s not the faulty skylight inviting water when temperatures take a nosedive. Rain is not always the culprit. Say your skylights are in a room prone to condensation, like your bathroom, kitchen, or greenhouse. In that case, you’re more than likely dealing with condensation.

Your skylight could wind up as a condensed moisture collector, creating the illusion of a leaking skylight. Home activities like drying clothes and cooking could also cause a build-up of extra steam that isn’t let out with adequate ventilation.

Leaky Skylight

Now, if your skylight opens and it’s been a while since it was installed, it may be ripe for some issues. Decked up in mold and mildew, it could be the figurative hole in your roof where the weather has a free path straight into your home. Talk about an open invitation. A bum gasket can lead to moisture seeping starside whenever the skylight opens, welcoming wet mischief to your home faster than you could say ‘drip’.

Roof Leaks

If you’re still wondering how the water’s getting in, another possible reason could be a hole in the roof. Sometimes, a simple hole somewhere near a skylight can betray your home’s structure. 

A skylight does sit pretty and all, but any holes in your roof could allow water to detour around the skylight framing and take a dive for the interior. If you dig deeper, you could find signs of water seeping into your wood floor or even sneaking into the walls surrounding the skylight. 

It could lead to more extensive damage. Problems related to these areas of your roof aren’t just painful to fix but are an open invite to future unwelcome water guests.

The Skylight Is Not Closed Properly

Sometimes, the cause of a skylight leak is as simple as not having it properly shut. Think of it like forgetting to close the fridge door, except, unlike your spoiling milk, you’re dealing with unwanted showers indoors. 

To identify if this is specifically your issue, use a trick my gramps used to find the leak in the old tool shed. Catch this: run a garden hose over it. Yup, you’d be surprised, but it can help you spot where your precious skylight is leaking.

Always check if your skylight is properly closed, particularly after cleaning it or fiddling with the controls. 

The Skylight Was Not Installed Correctly

A major contributor to a rain-time indoor shower is often wrongly installed skylights. Astonishing how a small human error could cause such a ripple effect. 

Picture it like putting a roof window or skylight in the wrong place on a jigsaw puzzle. Over time, the piece might warp, allowing rain to slide right through. That’s pretty much what happens if your roof windows and skylights aren’t sitting quite right. 

Run your garden hose over it and look for those gaps or holes. If you spot any water trickling through despite no noticeable holes, it’s probably the installation that’s at fault. It’s like being Sherlock Holmes but for skylights. 

The hints are there; you’ve just got to piece together the clues. These tips for diagnosing the problem could save you a pretty penny in repair costs.

Old Weather Seals

Everything ages, even the seals on your skylight. Weather seals are the unsung heroes of the roof window world only until they start underperforming. These fellows keep your skylights from turning into a sneaky leaky, but sometimes, they wilt under the stress of changing seasons. 

Harsh sunlight, sub-zero temperatures, and the seals on your skylight experience them all, turning from a waterproof barrier into a cold surface that just invites condensation.

It is essential to keep an eye out for signs of peeling or ageing on the weather seals. A new pair of seals could be a small investment for a far drier future.

What to do when you Notice Your Skylight is Leaking

It’s time to switch on your detective mode when you notice your skylight is leaking. A faulty skylight might be the culprit, but it is vital to determine it’s actually the source of the leak. It’s like finding the worm in your apple; it ain’t pleasant, but it’s got to be done.

Inspect the Rubber Gasket That Surrounds the Frame for Damages

A rubber gasket is that skinny kid in class who always seems to escape notice but plays a significant role in keeping things tidy. It seals the skylight frame like a champ. However, like everything else, it wears out. It might keep a low profile, but when it starts to give up, you’d wish you’d inspected it closer. 

Inspect the Skylight Pane for Cracks

If you’ve spotted any cracks, you’ve got yourself a valid suspect for a leaky affair. As sneaky as they can be, these cracks often disguise themselves as harmless lines but are as treacherous as a sidewalk ice patch. Don’t be fooled; make sure you check those pans thoroughly.

Verify That All Vents on the Vented Skylight Are Closed

Little breezes might seem harmless, but don’t underestimate what the wind can do through a vented skylight that is not completely shut. They’re like the villains lurking in the shadows, bringing in unexpected showers when left unchecked. 

It might seem obvious, but it’s an often-overlooked troubleshooting step that could save you a ton of time and maybe a trip from the repair guy.

Check for Debris Around the Hinges and Edges of Vented Skylights

A build-up of debris on the hinges and edges of your skylight, particularly the type that opens – these cheeky vented ones can cause leakages. Just think of it as the unwanted pool floaties stubbornly clinging to the pool’s edge. In this case, the pool floaties are the leaves, twigs, and other debris cluttering the areas around these hinges and edges.

How to Fix a Leaking Skylight

Listen here, not all heroes wear capes. Some don safety equipment, tools, and a can-do attitude set to repair a leaking skylight. A word of caution, though, is that skylight repair can often be as sneaky as a leaky faucet cartwheeling in the night. 

You’ll need a good measure of roof slope, keen eyes to diagnose the problem, patience, and precision to repair a leaking skylight.

Reinstalling the Roof Flashing

When encountering a leaking skylight, a round with a shovel ain’t gonna cut it. Instead, eye that metal flashing around the skylight-it’s like the belt keeping your jeans up, crucial and often overlooked. 

Now, reinstalling may sound like asking armadillos to whistle – a daunting task, but that’s where your can-do attitude comes in to save the day. Start by peeling off the shingles and flashing around the skylight frame, being mindful not to bring down the roof.

 And that old flashing? Out with it, bingo! Replace it with a new one, ensuring it fits as snugly as a bug in a rug. Just remember, this ain’t any place for wear and tear or excess moisture, partner.

Sealing Any Leaking Parts

Well, let’s talk turkey here. You just can’t have a leaky skylight flapping around like a chicken with its head cut off. One method to plot the course back to dryness is to seal any leaking parts. 

Now, hold onto your horses; it’s not about recklessly slopping on the sealant like slathering butter on a hot biscuit. Remember, though, we aren’t whistle-blowers in this repair job. It’s about sealing only the parts that are spoiling the original leak. 

That trusty caulk gun by your side will come in handy. Now button up and apply the sealant methodically, ensuring you have a watertight seal that prevents gaps and puts an end to that leaking when it rains.

Reseal the Skylight Flashing

Going the extra mile? How about resealing the flashing around the skylight? Sure, it might sound like stirring up a hornet’s nest, but remember, it’s the difference between dry comfort and unwanted droplets parading down your ceiling. 

It’s the lucky last throw of the dice for a stubbornly leaking skylight. Get out that good ol’ caulk gun and a tube of sealant again. But this ain’t just any sealant, partner. We’re talking about the roof and flashing kind, staying clear of those silicone sealants like a skunk at a lawn party.

Slap on some sealant generously around the edges and under the flashing, ensuring a watertight seal that sends those sneaky droplets back where they came from.

Replace the Skylight Itself

Replacing a skylight is like opening a pickle jar with slippery fingers; tricky but doable. Take extra care that those rubber thingamajigs called flashing, they’re installed around the skylight perfectly. 

Even a hairline discrepancy can turn that nice dry interior into a miniature indoor water park. But isn’t roofing just a bundle of fun? Now remember, if the thought of playing ladder jockey makes your blood run cold, you could just get a local handy guy to take care of the problem. 

They say: if you can’t stand the heat, get someone else to do it. Or something like that, anyway.

How Much Does It Cost to Change a Skylight?

Hold onto your hats, folks, because changing a skylight isn’t exactly the lunch money we’re talking about. It can set you back anywhere between a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars. 

The cost pile up from things like the extent of the skylight’s damage, the damaged flashing, and the roof. You’ve got to remember that anything done wrong could lead to your skylight starting to develop leaks. Heck, it could even result in more serious damage to the whole roof.

Solving the problem of a leaking skylight might seem steep, but folks, proper safety and the quality of the job aren’t to be taken lightly. Slick as you are, you might want to pull out the old ladder for a spot of DIY work. 

You got your silicone caulking to seal the deal or, let’s say, to plug up those leaks. If you’re on a tight budget, you can dust off your handyman hat and try to fix the leak yourself, but remember this: better safe than sorry. At the end of the day, you want that skylight to be more of a sky view than a water faucet, right?