Skylight Leaks When Snow Melts: How To Fix


The winter weather can meander its way to your living room floor if your skylight isn’t behaving right, which defeats its purpose. Skylights are supposed to offer you a night under the stars while tucked in your home’s warmth. 

Heck, even improving energy efficiency while at it, but all that takes a deep dive down a drain with a damp patch on your carpet due to the melting snow.

Getting your skylights to behave quite simply is like doing a jig. It’s a smooth waltz when things are installed correctly and carefully. Bring in improper installation, and you might end up twisted in an awkward tango.

Remember that warm air you feel inside the house during winter, making you cosy like a bear ready for hibernation? Well, it’s not just only your efficient heating systems, but proper insulation around your window to the world above does its part, making your little cave toasty. 

So, if you feel a draft around your skylight, call a roofing specialist sharper than a whole packet of pencils. They will diagnose and repair potential leaks while wielding a roof rake like a knight in shining armour. Or you could do it yourself—your choice. 

Reasons Skylight Leaks When It Rains

Snow and ice piled up on that winter roof could pull in moisture right through the skylight, causing potential leaks. Here are other causes of a leaking skylight.

Faulty Skylight

It could be the skylight has developed issues due to debris gathered by it. Or the skylight mechanism for opening and closing is bad, which leaves the skylight loose, letting in melting snow. 


Summer’s not the only time we see the fog. A foggy downhill driver is pretty common in winter, too! We’re talking condensation. When the skylight glass gets misty like a haunted house, moisture plays tricks. As the temperature dips outdoors, your heated indoors can cause water droplets to form. Crank up the ventilation and let that condensation find its way out.

The Skylight Was Not Installed Correctly

Any skylight not installed in tandem with the contour of your roof would leave it open with gaps welcoming winter weather right into your living room.

Skylight Was Not Closed Properly

Sometimes, the most obvious answers are the hardest to spot, like forgetting to close the skylight properly. It’s like leaving the door open for any raindrop wanting to get cosy inside.

Roof Has a Hole

A hole-riddled roof is about as useful as a chocolate fireguard when it comes to keeping your home dry. Fear not, though; a quick call to a roofing specialist should get things patched up and tighter than a bear hug.

Old Weathered Seals

Sometimes, skylights wear out just like old baseball gloves – and it isn’t all that surprising, with harsh sun, blustery winds, and sudden downpours battering them ceaselessly. 

One common heelache is the old, weathered seals. These are like the belts holding the glass and the frame together, and once they wear down, the rain and melting snow find a cozy way to your living room. So when the skylight starts performing a bit like a sieve, obvious signs to look for include cracks or gaps in the seals.

Regularly checking the seals, especially after storms or when the pesky snow decides to melt, can save you from unwanted indoor rain sessions.

Actions to take when you notice your skylight is leaking

Don’t panic, but act quickly when you spot that your skylight is leaking. It’s like trying to plug a hole in a boat in the middle of an ocean; every second counts. So, here are some quick-fire tips that might help you out.

  • Check if there are any visible roof leaks. This can be a sign of trouble beyond mere skylight issues.
  • Investigate the condition of the shingles and flashing around the skylight. These guys are like the skylight’s entourage; if they’re not doing their job right, the star – your skylight – could take a hit.
  • Examine if the leak is coming from around the skylight frame or the glass itself.
  • Ascertain if the snow from your roof accumulates around the skylight. You know, snow’s all pretty and sparkly, but when it melts, it can seep into places that aren’t welcome.
  • It’s smart to take a quick feel of the temperature around the skylight. If it’s unusually warm, it could mean air seepage, which might indicate incorrect placement. A skylight’s not a sunroof; it should not let the sun’s warmth in willy-nilly.
  • Confirm whether the skylight opens and closes properly. A skylight acts like a chimney; hot air rises, and if left ajar, cold air will make a beeline for the opening.

Remember, leaky skylights aren’t like fine wine; they don’t get better with time. It’s better to face the issue head-on and fix it immediately.

Ways to fix Skylight leaking due to melting snow

So, you figured out the leak is due to the snow taking the express elevator down your roof. An air and watertight seal around the skylight might do the trick. Alright, let’s roll up our sleeves and tackle this situation. Here are a few things you could try.

Replace the Skylight

Old Stan at the hardware store might offer many solutions to your leaking skylight problem. But what if none of those solutions plug the hole? Well, they say desperate times call for desperate measures—time to replace your skylight.

Think of it like buying new shoes once your old ones start leaking. A new pair might pinch the pockets at first, but they’ll keep your feet dry and snug. Remember to ensure the skylight fits perfectly, like Cinderella’s slipper. Because if it doesn’t, you might end up experiencing déjà vu in the form of another unwanted indoor waterfall.

Seal Leaking Parts

If your skylight was improperly installed or the seal has worn out over time, then my friend, it’s time we do a bit of sealing. You might think of it as caulking that bothersome bathroom sink, but on the roof. Fresh sealant can remedy those infuriating leaks. Think of it as a water-proof band-aid for your skylight.

Reinstall Flashing

Moving onto another solution, let’s dive into the world of flashing. Now, this isn’t about streaking. It’s about that thin material that goes around and under your skylight. Its job is to shoo away water from infiltrating your home. 

It’s like a security guard for leaks, steering them away from openings and keeping your home dry as a good Martini. However, if that guard stops doing its job—maybe because it’s damaged or something—those nasty leaks can worm their way in. 

Quality skylights usually come with sturdy flashing. But improper installation, like a hat put on backwards, can make it useless. In that case, you might need to call a good friend or a reliable handyperson to adjust and reinstall the flashing properly, just like fixing a bad haircut.

Underfelt Collar Installation

Now, don’t be scared off by the name. An underfelt collar isn’t some fancy knight’s armour. It’s one more way to keep your skylight from leaking. Think of it like a good sweater on a chill winter day—it keeps you warm and cosy, right? 

An underfelt collar serves a similar purpose for your skylight—just that it’s preventing leaks instead of the cold.

Installing it can be a bit tricky, though. You might want to consider getting an expert to help with this, someone who knows their underfelts from their undershirts. This will help to prevent any future leaks from happening.

Ensure the Skylight fits

A crucial point to remember is that your skylights fit like Cinderella’s slipper. No gaps, no extra spaces—a perfect fit. Also, remember that your skylight has a job to do—it needs to open and close as required. 

So make sure that the opening and the closing mechanism are snug, not too loose, like the bottom button of your grandfather’s old sweater. This ensures your skylight stays sealed when shut. 

DIY Skylight Repair

Now, I’m all for bringing in a professional roofing contractor; those fellas know their gig. But one look at the cost of having professionally installed skylights repaired, and you might agree it could make your wallet feel like it’s gone a few rounds with a heavyweight boxer. 

If you can turn a wrench and aren’t afraid of heights, why not try your hand at it? There are so many repair tips online it feels like the internet is a good ol’ handyman club with millions of members ready to guide you. 

As far as doing the deed yourself is concerned, your primary task is to seal any leaks between the skylight and the surrounding shingles. The goal is to prevent damage to the roof by ensuring the skylight is sitting snugly like a bug in a rug on the roof’s slope.

If your skylight issues don’t improve, consider replacing it. Depending on the damage, a simple repair could turn into an unwelcome surprise roof replacement, which your bank balance might not appreciate.