Flat Roof Skylights: Benefits, Leaks & Average Costs

Flat roof skylights can be a popular feature to add during a new installation and for good reason too — but they can also be a major source of weakness in a roof. Skylights make your building more energy-efficient and more attractive, however, they also pose a risk for serious leaks. So, whether you’re considering the benefits of skylights for your new roof or are looking to handle a leak, we can help.

At J. Smucker Contracting, we’re an exclusively commercial roofer that provides answers to the questions business owners and facility managers have about their roofs — and perform all types of commercial roof work. Read more to learn about flat roof skylights, why they leak, and what it costs to replace them. However, if you just need a reliable company to fix your leaking skylights, our team handles that too. Reach out today to request a free roof inspection and a free quote for any work it needs.

Types of Commercial Skylights

commercial skylights for flat roofs

There are different commercial skylights for flat roofs. Generally, you’ll know which type you have based on your roof material and what they look like. These are the two most common types of commercial skylights:

Dome Skylights

Dome skylights are the most common skylight on the market as they are the go-to choice for single ply roofs. Dome skylights are built with an inner and outer dome for added leak protection and are recognizable by the “bubble” look. On average, a domed skylight will last approximately 20 years before needing to be replaced. Generally, it costs between $700 and $1,000 to replace a standard size domed skylight on a flat roof.

Panel Skylights

Used on an r-panel metal roof, this skylight is simply a transparent panel that sits flush with the other metal roof panels. This type of skylight has a much lower profile than a raised dome skylight. On average, these skylights last between 15 to 20 years before needing replaced, and the cost to replace a metal panel skylight is between $200 to $300.

While, these are the two most common types on the market, custom-built options are always available as well.

Why to Install Skylights on a Flat Roof

skylights on a flat roof

The primary benefit of skylights on a flat roof is that they provide significant natural light throughout a space. Not only does that light provide a pleasant ambiance for office spaces, but they also limit the dependence on electric lights during the daytime, creating small energy savings.

Interested in energy savings? Learn more about solar panels for commercial roofs.

However, from our experience, the main benefit of commercial skylights in flat roofs is the sense of style. They create a modern and upscale feel inside the space that makes it a common non-negotiable option for building owners during new construction.


Signs of Flat Roof Skylight Leaks

Depending on the installation, on some roofs, the skylights are often the first point of failure. The primary reason that flat roof skylights leak is that the material itself fails and cracks. These cracks can either happen from a specific incident like hail damage or simply from age.

As is the case with all types of commercial roofing problems, the damage can be hard to see from the ground until it’s too late. However, these are two signs of commercial skylight leaks you should keep an eye out for:

  1. The Skylight Starts Fogging — If you notice that a particular skylight or panel is fogged over, that is a sign that the glass has cracked and condensation is occurring. This is an early warning sign of a larger leak to come.
  2. Water or Stains Below the Skylight — This is a sign that a significant amount of water is infiltrating through the skylight and ending up in your building.

See more flat roof leaks you can find on your own.

So, if you notice either of these two signs or something else amiss with your skylights, we encourage you to bring out one of our experts for a free roof inspection. We offer a free roof inspection to all-potential clients as a way to understand what your roof needs (if anything) — and what it will cost to resolve it.

J. Smucker Contracting is a full-service commercial roofer that does it all — from small repairs to huge restoration and replacement jobs. Contact us today to get more information and request your free inspection.