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5 Pros and Cons of Flat Roof Skylights That You Must Know

Posted on June 19, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 6 Min.

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Pros & Cons of Flat Roof Skylights

When it comes to roofing options, we often think of pitched roofs as the norm. However, flat roofs have gained significant popularity in modern architecture, not only in commercial buildings but also in residential spaces. As part of this rising trend, flat roof skylights have emerged as an exciting feature that can transform the way we experience natural light indoors. 

Every decision we make, no matter how small or significant, requires thoughtful consideration of its pros and cons. When it comes to the roof of your home, it’s especially important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages before making a final choice. Today, we will cover the advantages and limitations of flat roof skylights so you can get an idea of whether one is right for your home. 

What Are The Pros Of Flat Roof Skylights

A while ago, the question of, can you install a skylight on a flat roof, seemed uncertain. Today this option not only has become feasible but has also gained significant popularity. Here are some of the advantages you need to consider: 

#1 Helps Increase The Sunlight In Your Home

One of the major purposes of skylights in your home or business is to increase the natural light in your home. 

Flat roof skylights have the remarkable ability to usher in an abundance of natural light. Be it a fixed skylight or any other type of skylight, they can completely transform the atmosphere within a space. With their strategically placed position on the roof, these skylights capture sunlight from above and direct it downwards, infusing the interior with a warm and inviting glow. The result is a bright and well-lit environment that promotes a sense of freshness and vitality. Moreover, during chilly winter months, flat roof skylights play a crucial role in combating the gloominess that often accompanies shorter days and limited sunlight.

#2 You Can Reduce Your Home’s Electricity Needs

Flat roofs are commonly found in commercial spaces, where the demand for artificial lighting is often high. But as a business owner, you are likely to be concerned about the energy needs of your property.  

As we saw in the point above, the installation of flat roof skylights can dramatically increase the natural lighting in your commercial space. When used effectively this can reduce the reliance on artificial lighting.

The increased illumination not only creates a bright and inviting atmosphere but also helps to lower electricity consumption, subsequently reducing energy costs. Whether in an office, retail store, or any commercial setting, the integration of flat roof skylights offers an effective solution to enhance natural lighting while saving on electrical expenses.

By harnessing daylight, businesses can enjoy a well-illuminated space while significantly cutting down on energy costs. This eco-friendly solution not only benefits the environment but also contributes to substantial savings in the long run.

#3 Increased Ventilation 

Some flat roof skylights are designed to be opened, providing an additional advantage beyond just natural lighting. By allowing for natural ventilation, flat roof skylights enable the flow of fresh air into a space that can help homes and businesses alike. 

Opening the skylights allows for the exchange of stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air, reducing the buildup of pollutants, odors, and moisture. Secondly, natural ventilation through flat roof skylights can contribute to potential energy savings. By allowing cool breezes to enter during mild weather conditions, occupants can rely less on air conditioning. 

#4 Increase The Value Of Your Property

When skylights are added to a home or building, they help increase the value of that property. 

In addition to the aesthetic and functional benefits, the presence of flat roof skylights also has a positive impact on the monetary value of a property. These skylights contribute to the overall appeal and desirability of a space, making it more attractive to potential buyers or tenants. Many buyers are willing to pay more money for the open and inviting atmosphere these windows provide. 

#5 Increase The Curb Appeal Of Your Property

Flat roof skylights have the power to elevate the overall design and aesthetics of a building, making them a sought-after feature in contemporary architecture. They have gone through multiple improvements over the years in terms of both durability and looks. Today, more and more manufacturers are coming up with new styles and frames of flat roof skylights that can enhance your roof’s appearance. 

So whether they’re installed in residential or commercial settings, these skylights provide a seamless transition between the indoor and outdoor environment. You can also learn more about skylight design and ideas in our recent blog post

Flat roof skylights

What Are The Limitations Of Installing Skylights?

While there are numerous advantages to incorporating flat roof skylights into the design of a building, it is important to consider the potential drawbacks as well.

#1 Leaks

When it comes to skylights, the potential for leaks is a concern that cannot be ignored. This holds true, especially for flat roof skylights. While skylights can bring an abundance of natural light into a space, their installation on a flat roof can present challenges when it comes to maintaining a watertight seal. Once it rains heavily and water starts accumulating on your flat roof, the situation can lead to leaks and subsequent water damage within the building.

By prioritizing proper installation and diligent maintenance, the risk of leaks associated with flat roof skylights can be effectively minimized. Read here to know about other issues with skylight systems. 

#2 Poor Insulation Can Hurt Your Flat Roof

One of the drawbacks associated with flat roof skylights is their potential for providing limited insulation compared to conventional roofs and windows.

When we talk about the issue of insulation we are generally talking about the skylight shaft. Skylight shafts that aren’t insulated or don’t have an air-tight seal, can pose a serious problem. These shafts, which connect the skylight to the interior space, need to be adequately insulated and sealed to prevent energy loss and potential issues with air infiltration. 

If the insulation is insufficient or the sealing is inadequate, it can lead to unwanted heat gain or loss, depending on the season. You can use more flexible methods of insulation, such as spray foam, to protect the shaft and prevent heat loss or gain.  

#3  Too Much Heat Gain 

This point is connected with one advantage that we have covered earlier. The warmth of the sunlight through a skylight is usually welcome, but it can also pose an issue.

Unlike pitched roofs, where skylights can be set at specific angles to minimize glare and heat gain, flat roofs pose a greater challenge in achieving the same level of control. The larger surface area provided by the flat position of these skylights allows more sunlight to enter the space, which can result in excessive brightness and discomfort for you and others within the building. 

To mitigate these issues, it is essential to select appropriate window glazing options that offer features like tinting. Window films or shading devices can also be used to control the amount of sunlight and reduce heat transmission, ensuring a more comfortable environment.

#4 Installation Can Be Difficult 

When it comes to flat roof skylights, one of the most notable downsides is the inherent difficulty of their installation and the subsequent maintenance they require. Unlike traditional sloped roofs, installing skylights on a flat roof can be a complex task that requires specialized knowledge and expertise.

To find experienced contractors to handle the skylight installation for you, check out our blog post on the top 10 Tulsa roofing companies in 2024.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the decision to incorporate flat roof skylights into a building design involves weighing the pros and cons associated with these unique architectural features. While there are limitations and drawbacks to consider, such as the risk of leaks, limited insulation potential, and the challenge of installation and maintenance, the benefits of flat roof skylights cannot be overlooked as they outweigh the disadvantages. 

In my opinion, if you own a flat roof, you should look into installing a skylight. When the benefits of flat roof skylights are carefully evaluated and the necessary precautions are taken, they can greatly enhance the functionality, aesthetics, and value of a space.

Hire Our Team To Professionally Install Skylights

It’s good to be aware of the product you are installing, and we hope that with this blog post, you now have a better understanding of the pros and cons involved in installing a skylight on a flat roof. If you’re looking to install one in your home, the best option is to hire the right professionals to do the job. 

This is where the team of A. Fricker Roofing & Waterproofing comes in. We are a professional roofing team that has extensive experience installing skylights. You can also connect with us to solve your other home exterior needs

Contact us today at (918) 402-7167 to learn more about us and our services. 

Pros & Cons of Flat Roof Skylights