Many flat commercial roofing and industrial roofing systems benefit from roof skylights. At the very least they allow natural sunlight to penetrate through, which helps to improve the health and wellbeing of staff.
If you’re considering installing roof skylights, we wanted to highlight some pros and cons first, so that you can make the most informed decision.
One of the biggest advantages to roof skylights is how they can help save money on electrical costs. With roof skylights, natural light will be able to shine through into the building, which means any reliance on artificial lighting is reduced. This will not only allow you to save on electricity, but the use of a renewable, clean and natural source of light is far more eco-friendly.
During the long, dark and cold days of winter, it’s easy for workers stuck indoors to become depressed and dreary with less hours of natural daylight. The light provided by roof skylights can have a positive effect on the productivity and mental health of workers.
More natural light entering the building, means more exposure to essential vitamin D, which everyone needs for healthy bones, teeth and muscles. Plus, regular exposure to natural sunlight strengthens your immune system and helps to regulate your sleeping pattern too.
Lots of businesses need to work with some privacy, largely because they’re likely handling sensitive materials. If the nature of the business demands a certain level of privacy, then often window space will be sacrificed. However, by using roof skylights, the building can still have access to natural light and properly maintain a high level of privacy.
Despite the many benefits that come with installing roof skylights on a flat commercial or industrial roof, there can still be some drawbacks. Having more natural light is great, but too much of it will make the room far too bright. The amount of glare this could cause at certain times of the day can make the room very difficult to work in.
One way to avoid this is to have the skylights positioned on sections of the roof that face northward, as this would restrict how much direct sunlight hits the skylight. If this isn’t an option, then consider placing them higher on your roof instead.
Roof skylights can lead to excess heat, but this issue can also be addressed by getting experienced roofing contractors to use window films, window treatments and glazing. This can help to diffuse direct light or shading, which in turn decreases the amount of heat.
Moisture can sometimes be an issue, especially in the area where the skylights penetrate the roof. You can check for signs of this by noting any stained or damp surfaces, along with any cracks in the plastic around the glaze portion of the skylight.
In order to avoid leaks, it’s best to install skylights above the surface of your roof, which any properly trained roofing contractor should do. They will also ensure that a roof membrane is correctly attached to the flashing, which will prevent ponding water around the curb flashing.
No matter the type of commercial roofing or industrial roofing system, whether it’s flat or pitched, roof skylights shouldn’t require much maintenance. As long as they are installed correctly by professional commercial roofing contractors, they will stand the test of time.
You can help by keeping the interior surface clean and dust-free, as dust buildup can eventually damage the finish of a skylight, compromising its energy efficiency. Also, never ignore the signs of leaking, as this can lead to costly structural damage down the line.
Spotting leaks can be challenging, so it’s best to get a specialist to carry out a roof survey and diagnostic. A professional will have the knowledge and experience to find problems before they become worse.