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Making a Skylight Leakproof

For a leakproof skylight use a special flashing kit and installation techniques we show here.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Leakproof skylight flashing

If you have to replace shingles around a skylight, examine the old flashing. Most residential skylights sit on a raised curb made watertight with metal flashing. If it’s carefully removed when the old roof is torn off, it should be reusable. If not, you’ll have to buy new flashing ($50 to $100) either from the skylight manufacturer or from a roofing company that has a metal fabrication shop (look under “Roofing” in the Yellow Pages or online).

First remove the skylight’s counterflashing. On some units, you have to remove the whole glass frame (lead photo below). On other models, you simply unscrew a metal channel from the curb. Next pry off the old shingles, carefully pulling nails to save the flashing. To reassemble, follow the steps as outlined by the photos, and you’ll have a leakproof installation. Note that the metal flashing pieces don’t need to be sealed to each other. Since water runs downhill, they only need to be installed in the right order. So put away that roofing cement.

If you’re hiring a roofing crew, ask them to carefully remove the old flashing and reuse it if it’s in good shape.

Leakproof skylight

Leakproof skylight

Correctly Flashed Skylight

This skylight shows the correct flashing technique to make it waterproof. Numbers 1 - 4 correspond to the 4 photos above. Number 5 shows how the final step, counterflashing, is integral to the skylight and covers the upper edges of the roof flashing.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

    • Hammer
    • Utility knife

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

    • Flashing kit (or old flashing)
    • Self-sticking underlayment
    • Nails, 1-in.

Comments from DIY Community Members

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June 08, 6:50 PM [GMT -5]

A confront and outline of the same types of skylights plastic-type windows that could be used in a home. Skylight installation windows are a recognizable new vision in most modern day home. More information and opinions inside an articles presented in this site. To get much more additional ideas visit this web site: http://bristolite.com

June 06, 11:49 PM [GMT -5]

Would like more photos of how people can do this at home, on the Head Flashing.

Just had experts over to work on my sky light and they trashed my $69 flashing kit from home Depot. They put all the flashing on the bottom and all roofing ontop not shuffled deck. I was shocked. I had to tear it all up.

June 06, 11:49 PM [GMT -5]

Would like more photos of how people can do this at home, on the Head Flashing.

Just had experts over to work on my sky light and they trashed my $69 flashing kit from home Depot. They put all the flashing on the bottom and all roofing ontop not shuffled deck. I was shocked. I had to tear it all up.

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Making a Skylight Leakproof

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