Skylight Care and Maintenance
For the most part skylights require very little maintenance. The exterior frame is generally aluminum which is designed to provide many years of maintenance-free protection. The light itself is either glass, acrylic or polycarbonate, all of which are very durable surfaces that will last for years but might require occasional cleaning.
CLEANING THE GLASS ON YOUR SKYLIGHTS
Most residential skylights are made of tempered and/or laminated glass panels. These glass skylights may be cleaned with mild soap and water or a special glass cleaner like Windex or Sparkle. Never use an abrasive cleaner and avoid the use of razor blades or anything that might scratch the glass or the coatings on it.
CLEANING ACRYLIC SKYLIGHTS
It is important to remember that plastic or acrylic skylights have specific restrictions as to how they can be cleaned. Never clean any acrylic or poly-carbonate skylight with anything but water and a mild detergent. DO NOT USE Windex or any cleaner with alcohol or a petroleum base as they will cause plastic skylights to fail almost immediately. Also, do not use any abrasive cleaner as these skylights can and will scratch.
Residential skylights are pretty much maintenance-free. All VELUX deck-mounted skylights are made of wood and they all come primed and painted (unless special ordered for staining). Older skylights would come from the factory with a clear pariffin-based sealer and often were never painted. We see them today with black corners where the frame has discolored and/or rotted. Make certain the wood frame (and sash if it is a venting skylight) are protected by paint. We have found that painting the skylight frame white seems to make the opening appear larger than one with a dark frame.
Venting skylights have hinges and a support mechanism that allow them to open and close. These generally do not require any maintenance other than to be certain they are never obstructed. Electric and solar powered venting skylights are operated using a hand-held remote control. The batteries in these units should be good for years but avoid storing the remote with the batteries inside.
On sloped roofs skylights are made water-tight by a flashing kit. These flashings, which are made of aluminum, should never be re-used. If you need to repair or replace your roof, always replace the skylight flashings. On flat roofs skylights are torched down and that seam should be inspected every few years.