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Snow and Skylights

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DeTwang
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 268 Shingletown, Ca. (Near Redding)
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2005-05-21          111324


I'm currently doing plans for a home I'm soon to be building....

I love skylights, but having never lived in snow country before, I'm wondering if they are a bad idea...

Obviously, in the snow months, their usefullness would be greatly diminished, but are there problems associated with skylights and snow that wouldn't be a problemm in areas where rain is the only thing hitting the roof?

If there are indeed problems, are they also problamatic with solor tubes as well?

Thanks,
Mark

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Snow and Skylights

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5111 Northern Nevada
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2005-05-21          111328


Correctly installed, a modern decent quality skylight presents on problems with leaks under at least a moderate snow load such as we have here in Northern Nevada.

I have one now that I plan to remove only because the room is too hot in the summer.

The only problems I have noticed is under certain weather conditions it can get a light condensation on the inside, which can then drip. Not a lot of water .... maybe 10 or 20 actual drops of water. ....

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Snow and Skylights

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funchy
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 128 north eastern corner of Maryland
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2005-05-21          111330


I have skylights which were installed when my house was built about 6 or so years ago. They've never leaked. My only issue with skylights is that without a vaulted cieling, you end up deep boxes going from interior ceiling to skylight...in winter all the heat goes straight up away from where people can appreciate it. ....

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Snow and Skylights

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2005-05-21          111331


We have two big skylights in our master closet. Although we don't get a lot of snow we have had from 1-2 feet on the roof for 2-3 weeks at a time and have never experienced leaks or a condensation problem. The double pane glass probably keeps the condensation away. ....

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Snow and Skylights

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Oliver
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 210 Massachusetts
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2005-05-21          111332


Any time there is a roof penetration there is a possible leaky spot. That said, properly installed skylights should not leak or cause problems. I am building a house in Western Mass which has three skylights. I am confident that they were installed properly and won't give me any problems. ....

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Snow and Skylights

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DeTwang
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 268 Shingletown, Ca. (Near Redding)
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2005-05-21          111338


with a couple feet of snow, does 'any' light penetrate?

Are any of you using steel roofs? ....

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Snow and Skylights

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2005-05-21          111343


I think a little light penetrates with a couple of feet of snow. Either that or it reflects back the room light really well. No steel roof here. ....

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Snow and Skylights

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grinder
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 677 central Maine
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2005-05-22          111356


IMHO
Around here in the carpentry business there are two kinds of skylights," one's that leak, and one's that are going to leak." Some just take longer for the ice to penatrate. The ice comes from the heat loss melting the snow covered window
with a R factor of .3, then refreezes somwhere around the flash.
IMO Put your windows in the walls , not in the roof.
It can also make roof shoveling a little tricky. Your steel roof will clear everywhere except above the skylight. ....

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Snow and Skylights

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5111 Northern Nevada
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2005-05-22          111358


I have cedar shakes, going to metal this summer....minus the skylight. ....

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Snow and Skylights

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DeTwang
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 268 Shingletown, Ca. (Near Redding)
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2005-05-22          111360


quote
--------------------
" Some just take longer for the ice to penatrate. The ice comes from the heat loss melting the snow covered window
with a R factor of .3, then refreezes somwhere around the flash.
--------------------

"That's" exactly what I was worried about......

Okay....leaning away from skylights.......

second part of this issue.....

Thinking about adding an extension to the end of the building at a later time where it has a lean to style roof, or another gable roof attached to the end of the building at a lower point than the original roofline....

I was hoping to have 'part' of this newer addition as a sunroom, with 4-10' of glass matching the roof......I'm sure you've all seen this type of sunroom....kinda like a greenhouse in it's design....

The idea is to have a 10x 20w extension off of the master bedrom and master bath.one side will be a walk in closet and small office space and the other side a small 'coffee nook' type of thing (the sunroom) with french doors going into the master bedroom...

Are these types of glass panel roofed structures a bad idea in snow country? If it's too problematic, I will go to only having heavily windowed walls (may anyways for cost reasons), but I really like the idea of the all glass sunroom..... ....

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Snow and Skylights

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5111 Northern Nevada
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2005-05-22          111361


We had a small sunroom in Anchorage. Choose the right glass, i.e. tempered, low-E, and it works out very nicely. ....

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Snow and Skylights

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ncrunch32
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 762 Kingston, NY
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2005-05-22          111370


I have 3 skylights, one is very large - say 3' by 5'. Never leaks. However they did make rooms very hot in summer until we had window film installed - professional installation is $5/sq foot. Makes all the difference in the world. You can purchase similar film at Lowe's and do-it-yourself. Makes it much cooler in summer and saves heat in winter. This film also reduces sun deterioration of furniture, rugs, and trim and skylight. If you get a skylight plan on having this film installed. Better yet, put it on before window gets installed or you get water stains on surrounding area from installation. (Hailstorms are a real treat with skylights - no damage, just noise and nerve levels. :) ....

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Snow and Skylights

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2005-05-22          111375


I agree that the films are great, but be aware that if you have double or triple glazed windows the film will likely void your warranty. We actually got our skylights, including installation, free! During construction I specified Low-E glass, but they installed regular glass. Rather than reorder and coming out to swap the skylights the contractor just said heck with it! So we paid a company to come out and install UV film and saved a bundle. ....

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