Leaky Skylight? Please don’t use tar….

It’s a great feeling when you fix something around the house without having to call a professional, but there are definitely some do-it-yourself projects that will cause more trouble they are worth, and here’s a big one:

Clearly, someone is someone trying to stop this skylight from leaking by using large quantities of roofing tar.  Granted, in this case that same someone has made a horrendous, not to mention unsightly mess, but you get the idea.

Just today a homeowner called me to come out and replace a skylight that he
had tried to seal using roofing tar.  Not only did it not fix the leak, now this man will have to spend more money on the replacement job.  Why?

Applying tar OVER shingles necessitates the complete tear-off and replacement of all the shingles around a skylight.  This is not necessary on a typical skylight replacement.

The cost for both materials and labor has now unnecessarily been increased.

A properly sealed skylight is correctly flashed and sealed UNDER the shingles.

The tar, while a short-term band-aid, will inevitably cause a headache later.

As always, I would be glad to talk to you about skylights, just give me a call.

(thanks for InspectAPedia for posting this photo on Google Images)

Thanks for your blog at “every little thing”

We love unsolicited endorsements of skylights and here’s a great blog we found recently by Michelle B. entitled “every little thing” found on blogspot.  She recently added a Sun Tunnel to a bathroom with no window and posted a great photo of it on the blog (along with some other really beautiful rooms using skylights).  Here’s an excerpt from her blog and the link:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

the sun tunnel…

just a fancy new word for “skylight”, that’s all.
we put one in our main bathroom that completely lacked natural light…a bad design
in the old style home we live in where
the main bathroom is in the centre of the house.
i cannot really believe the difference it makes…! gavin calls it the “blue light” because at night that’s the way it looks.
it’s got a frosted glass cover so you can’t actually see up inside it or the crusty pine needles and dry leaves that could potentially land on the outer surface.
on the inside, it’s a cylinder surrounded in insulated tin-foil-ish stuff. super duper reflective…and amazingly bright!!

and because my bathroom also lacks style and flair, for now

here’s a little peek at what is looks like…mind the terrible photography on this one!
we are adding one to our kitchen tomorrow!


Reviews We’re Proud Of…

What’s the cupcake for?  

Well, we show you enough skylights..so now we’ll take a time out to celebrate a few customers reviews that we recently received through SERVICE MAGIC.  The following are customers who found us through this online site that connects homeowners with service providers.  They were kind enough to take a few minutes to submit a review of the work we did for them…thank you!


Review by Doug E. in De soto, KS
Project: Repair, Replace or Seal an Existing Skylight
Promptly got in touch with us. Very professional and friendly interactions. Work was accomplished on schedule.


Review by Kathy C. in Shawnee, KS
Project: Repair, Replace or Seal an Existing Skylight
He was very good at describing the issue and quick to get back to me with a quote. Very professional. So far, the leaking problem has been solved.


Review by Anna B. in Kansas city, MO
Project: Install a New Skylight
Fast, professional and courteous. I love my solar tube! Where other companies don’t return your telephone calls – Midwest Skylight will in a timely manner.


Review by Sean R. in Overland park, KS

Project: Repair, Replace or Seal an Existing Skylight
I second that! Jeff returns calls unlike his competitors! The work was done well within budget and on time. I highly recommend. The previous owners had jerry-rigged a storm window as a curbless skylight. Jeff had to build a curb and custom order an acrylic domed skylight. The install was professionally completed.


Review by a Neighbor in Lawrence, KS
Project: Repair, Replace or Seal an Existing Skylight
They showed up on time and were very courteous. The installation was quick and looks good. Installation was a little pricey by my estimate and for how long it took, but there aren’t many others out there who do a lot of skylight work in this area, and we wanted someone who knows what they are doing

As always, I’m happy to talk to you about your skylight needs.  We pride ourselves on being the best in the midwest.
Jeff Ogg

Clear Glass vs. Tinted Acrylic

Here’s a fairly common question I receive from homeowners…

“My current skylight looks like the one in the picture on the right.  It
needs to be replaced.  Doesn’t my new skylight need to be similarly
tinted to avoid heat gain or sunlight discoloring my furniture and carpets?”

The answer:

No…and here’s why..

The acrylic skylights of decades past had no other way to protect against heat gain and sun discoloration than to use a tinting to actually block some of the light.  

Today’s VELUX glass skylights have no need for tinting, just as the high-quality windows you choose for your home do not need to be tinted.

VELUX glass has an energy performance glazing with 12-layer patented coating…called
LoE3.  According to VELUX testing data, each type of glass skylight provides over 99%
UV protection and 80% or more protection from fading.

What this means is that we can enjoy a clear view of the sky, the light that provides, and the privacy it allows without the worry of temperature increases or damage to our interiors.

As always, I am happy to speak with you directly regarding your skylight needs!
Jeff Ogg

And now a word about skylight leaks…

“Skylights leak”…the most common negative perception about skylights.  Undoubtedly, the biggest reason skylights are not installed.
It only seems fitting that after 10″ of rain this week (and much more in some unfortunate mid-western states) that I address skylight leakage.

Here are several important facts to consider if you dealing with a leaky skylight:

1) A quality skylight is designed NOT to leak.  Homeowners don’t usually worry about leaking when they install windows…but I would bet they find an installer they trust.
A properly installed, quality skylight used in the correct application will  not leak.
2) Once in a while, a homeowner will express frustration that a skylight has not lasted more than 25 years.  Like roofs and windows, skylights do age…although you will most likely replace your roof long before your VELUX skylight.
3) Many times, a leak originates somewhere else in your roof and “finds” the skylight as a point of entry into your home. If you can make a trip into your attic, many times it’s possible to follow the drip line to the original point of leakage.
4) Finally, have you recently had your roof replaced and NOW your skylight has started to leak?  Unfortunately, the roofing contractor has probably not correctly re-roofed around the skylight, following every procedure necessary to prevent leakage.
If you have additional questions or comments about leaky skylights, I’d love
to help you out…thanks for reading!


Why use skylight blinds?

I ran across a blog this week by a well-known home decorating retailer.

Here’s an excerpt:

“We’ve had many calls recently from clients who have skylights and are now experiencing the “heat”.

Skylights are horizontal windows usually placed on the roof, often used for daylighting.  Daylighting means… the practice of placing windows or other openings and reflective surfaces so that during the day… natural light replaces internal lighting… therefore, saving energy dollars.  (Except for certain climates and latitudes and depending on whether you live north of the Tropic of Cancer or south of the Tropic of Capricorn, etc., etc).  

And Kansas/Missouri is one of those exceptions.  It can be really cold in the winter and really hot in the summer.  So, if you’re finding out that your skylight is actually increasing your energy bills instead of lowering them… we have the solution…. “

While I completely understand that they are just trying to sell their product, I have
take this chance to debunk this skylight myth…

If you have appreciable heat or cold gain near your skylight, please consider this…
 the skylight itself is outdated and/or inefficient and needs to be replaced.  

Liken your skylight to your windows…if you replace your old windows with  highly energy
efficient windows, the heat or cold you feel through will them will be dramatically reduced.  It’s
the same with skylights.

Today’s VELUX skylights are Energy Star rated for every climate.  There is no location
(as the blog above states) 
where you should expect your skylight to make your room hot or cold.

With VELUX, blinds and shades are used to CONTROL light in the room…with the right skylight, you will no longer worry about heat or cold gain in the room.

Give me a call and I’d be happy to tell you all about the VELUX blinds and shades we offer for all of our skylights. 



What’s the deal with condensation?

Ever wonder what the condensation on your skylight means?

It does not mean that your skylight is defective.

It’s a result of atmospheric conditions inside and outside the home.

Condensation occurs when warm moist air comes in contact with a cooler
surface, in this case, the skylight glass.

Think of the glass of ice water on a summer day and the “sweat” on the
outside of the glass.

This lets you know that the level of humidity in the room is too high.

The immediate solution?

Ventilate the room, preferably a couple of times a day for about 5 minutes.

Got Hail?

Once again, we’re hearing about damaging storms in Oklahoma and one of
our contractors called this morning to prepare us for the orders he will
soon send our way for replacement skylights.

Here’s the thing…the skylights that are most frequently damaged by hail
are acrylic. It’s a safe bet that all of the skylights being replaced
in Oklahoma right now are this type.  In 13 years, I have never seen a hole
in a glass skylight made by hail.


I’m sure many people are….one of the most common misconceptions about
skylights is that if you put one in, you’re asking for a hole in it during
a hail storm.

Not so….today’s Velux tempered over tempered safety glass skylights are many
times more durable than acrylic skylights, (which are still sold today by
some manufacturers) which become brittle over time.

Here’s hoping we avoid the stuff that Oklahoma just got!

Skylights on the front? You bet!

   Yesterday, we worked with a homeowner remodeling a bath on the front of his home.  He is convinced that skylights (along with plumbing and furnace stacks) are never placed on the front slope of a roof.

 I explained that we install, repair and replace skylights on the front of homes quite often.

Here’s a great example of a fabulous replacement we did recently…

Also, note the addition of a small venting skylight to the left
and up from the bank of 16 skylights over this home’s living space.

And just for grins, I drove the adjacent streets and found two
more examples of homes with front slope skylights….

and another..

It’s amazing how many things you don’t notice until you start
looking for them!  

Hopefully our potential new skylight customer will too!



Welcome to the Midwest Skylight blog!

We will use our blog to highlight recent jobs we have completed, pass
on input we have received from our customers and to serve as a
source of skylight knowledge and expertise for anyone interested
in the world of skylight!

Thank you for reading!

Jeff Ogg