Windows require regular maintenance and cleaning in general. It’s worth it, because they give us sunshine and a breeze during the day. Skylights are a little different. One advantage to them is that the maintenance and cleaning required is minimal, compared to the rest of the windows in the home. When installed and positioned properly, the rain will wash away most of the exterior debris. The interior dust collection is also minimized simply by its location. However, occasional cleaning will still be needed. Condensation, dirt, spider webs, and various determinants will cause dirt to gather slightly overtime. Let’s look at a few ideas to get the most out of your skylight.
The first step is to know your skylight. Older skylights were often built without a protective coating and will need more regular cleaning. Is your skylight plastic, or glass? If it’s plastic, there’s a good likelihood it’s made from acrylic, or polycarbonate. If it’s made from glass, check to see if it’s fiberglass. Fiberglass needs special care and attention. If you have a fiberglass window, please follow your manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Is your skylight made from Plexiglas? This will have a more regressive aging process, causing it to look opaque. Modern skylights are much more durable, and many have been reinforced for weather protection.
You’ll also want to know your frame. There’s a good chance you already have an aluminum frame, as these are quite common. Aluminum frames don’t need more than a simple cleaning when you clean your windows. Be mindful of the climate you live in, however. If you are in a climate with heavy rain, or near the ocean, the precipitation can overtime eat into the aluminum. A good option in this case is to protect your frame with paint. If you have a frame with a painted metal finish, an annual inspection is a good idea. Look for any spots where the paint may have rubbed off, and touch it up with a paint recommended by your window’s manufacturer.
Next let’s look at the upkeep. Skylights are famous for being low-maintenance. In fact, one of the best things you can do for your skylight is often to leave it alone! An overexcited attempt to clean can often cause damage. It’s good to check it for pre-existing damage, but don’t clean it more than you need to. One reason is due to the chemicals found in common cleaners. If you have a protective film on your skylight, the chemicals can erode it. If your skylight is made of plastic, you’ll never want to use an abrasive cleaner, pad, or cloth. Treat these gently, or you will scratch and warp your skylight, which is a much greater impediment than dust. Rather, use a soft cleanser such as dish soap, and a soft cloth to gently clean away any collecting dust.
Even with the best care, in time your skylight will need to be replaced. If you find upon inspection that the cuts run too deep, and you cannot clean away the clouds, it might be time to invest in a new skylight. This is especially valuable to you if you have an older one without a protective film. Doing so will keep your room sunlit for years to come! Questions? Contact one of our trusted contractors to help you out!