Do you know how to clean a skylight? If not, the good news is that it is an easy task to accomplish. All you need is some soap, water and a cleaning solution that works well on glass. Depending on how your house is situated, you may not need to climb on the roof to do any of the cleaning. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to clean your home’s skylights.
How Often Should You Clean Your Skylight?
At a minimum, skylights should be cleaned twice a year. This ensures that they let in the maximum possible light while also giving the homeowner a chance to check the glass for any damage. It should take about 30 minutes to do a thorough cleaning, which means that they can be done after you get home from work, on your lunch break if you work at home or quickly on a Saturday afternoon.
Cleaning May Be Easier If It Rains Often
If you have ever left your car outside during a rain storm, you may have noticed that a lot of the grime, dirt and pollen is washed off of the surface. The same thing is often true when you have a skylight exposed to the rain. It will wash away a lot of the dirt and other material that may accumulate on it. Therefore, you may be able to get away with cleaning a skylight or skylights once a year, according to Door and Window. However, it is always a good idea to check regularly for damage to keep them looking good and lasting for many years to come.
How to Clean the Underside of a Skylight
For the most part, cleaning the underside of a skylight is a lot like cleaning any other window in your home. You may need a ladder to reach it depending on the height of the ceiling, but there is generally no need to climb onto the roof. To clean the underside glass, simply take a clean cloth and wipe the glass to remove dust and cobwebs. You may also want to use a window cleaning solution to remove any clouding that may have taken place since the last time that the skylight was cleaned. Make sure that any solution that you use will not leave streaks or any other marks on the glass.
How to Clean the Top of the Skylight
Cleaning the top of the skylight may be slightly more difficult because you may have to climb on the roof to clean it. If you don’t feel comfortable going up on the roof yourself, you can call a friend, relative or a professional to do the job for you. For those who do go up on the roof, make sure that you walk on as little of its surface as possible and make sure that you have water with you as it can be exceptionally hot up there even on a relatively cool day. Once you are on the roof, all you need to do is wash the glass like you did with the underside of the skylight. Again, make sure that you are using a clean cloth and and a cleaning solution that will not leave streaks or scratch the glass.
What Should Be Done About Damage to the Glass?
If you notice that there is damage to the skylight’s glass, you should take care of it as soon as possible. Small cracks may be filled in with liquid scratch remover, but if the scratch or crack is readily visible, the glass may need to be replaced or repaired by a professional.
Failure to repair broken glass could leak to it breaking and falling through the ceiling into the home. Depending on whether you should have known about the damage, you may void your warranty by not remedying the situation.
While you may be able to replace the glass by yourself, you are putting yourself at a higher risk of injury due to performing a repair job on the roof. Make sure that you are using a harness or another piece of safety equipment to ensure that you don’t slip or fall while performing the repair.
If you have a skylight, you need to make sure you stick to a regular maintenance schedule to keep it functional for years to come. Neglecting to clean it twice a year may cause the window to cloud or allow dust and debris to accumulate, which could cause problems from a sanitary and aesthetic perspective.
Skylight cleaning once in every six months is a part of its maintenance guidelines. You can clean the inner side first, and then proceed with the exterior side. Leaf through this article and learn step-by-step guidelines to clean skylights.
Skylight cleaning once in every six months is a part of its maintenance guidelines. You can clean the inner side first, and then proceed with the exterior side. Leaf through this article and learn step-by-step guidelines to clean skylights.
Functionally, skylights serve the same purpose as regular windows. The only difference being the site of installation, as skylights are fixed in the roof, and not on the walls. They provide ventilation, warmth and allow natural light to enliven the home interiors. Literally, you can view blue sky through skylights without even stepping out of your home. Despite the many benefits of skylights, many homeowners are reluctant to have them fixed in their home.
The main concern associated with skylights is, disturbance in the heating and cooling system. They may cause heat to escape in winter, while allowing hot air to enter in summer. In addition, rain leaking into the house because of improper skylight fixation is not unusual. For solving all these problems, improved models of skylights are developed and available in the market. But, whichever unit you have chosen for your home, regular cleaning and maintenance of skylights are necessary to enjoy their benefits.
Tips on How to Clean Skylights
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Just like windows, unwanted accumulation of grime (leaves, dust, dirt, mold growth, etc.) causes irreversible damage to the skylight material and reduces light penetration. And the worst part is, the skylights no longer appear transparent, but they look clouded. This is quite obvious for glass and plastic after some time. But, regular skylight cleaning and care with proper tips are suggested for improving their function and increasing durability. Here’s how to clean the skylights on your own.
- There is no need for specific tools to clean skylights. You will require a pole with a soft cloth tied at the tip, mild soapy solution, cleansers for working over tough stains, ladder and dry towels. Consider wearing hand gloves and safety gears for the cleaning procedure.
- It is best to start your skylight cleaning task from the inside surface. The inner side is seldom dirty, and you can finish cleaning it within no time. What you can do is, move furnishings (if any) that are placed just below the skylights.
- To start with cleaning the inside of skylight, lay an old cloth or plastic sheet on the ground, below the skylight opening. This will collect dust, spider webs and other dirty materials fallen from the skylight at the time of cleaning.
- Hold the pole straight, and rub the inner surface of the skylight with the cloth attached at the tip. You can also use a long broom for the same purpose. After dry cleaning, dampen a cloth with the soapy solution and wipe the surface clean.
- To finish off cleaning the inner side of skylights, dry the surface with a soft cloth. Now, let’s move on to the exterior side of the skylight. This may be a little tricky, so be careful to avoid accidental falls.
- For accessing the exterior surface, use ladder and get up on the roof. Without overlooking your safety, try to reach the exterior of skylight and start with the same cleaning steps. First, dry clean it properly to get rid of dirt, and then rub with a damp cloth.
- For tough stains (dried bird droppings, plant sap), use a homemade window cleaner or commercial cleansing solution, which is specifically formulated for the material. Follow the user directions to remove the spots. Do not scrub harshly or scrape the stains, as it will cause scratches and lines.
- Clean the surface again to remove the loosen stains and wet marks. For this, you can use an absorbent sponge or a dry cloth. With this step, you are done with skylight cleaning. As for skylight care, polishing is suggested for dull surface.
- Determine the material type of your skylights. If it is Plexiglas or regular glass, mild scratches caused due to environmental damages are quite common. Nonetheless, if they don’t look clean even after cleaning, try using a wax product to polish the surface.
- Polishing of the skylights should be done after cleaning them. Otherwise, there is no point in applying wax over dirty plastic or glass. The waxed surface is less prone to scratches and lines.
At any point of time, safety is your first and foremost priority. By any chance, if you think cleaning skylights is dangerous, stop and consider hiring a professional. Irrespective of whether you have glass, plastic or combined skylights, they should be cleaned, at least 2 twice a year to allow light penetration to the fullest.
Blog / Feature Post / Maintenance Guide: How to Clean Solatube Skylights
Maintenance Guide: How to Clean Solatube Skylights
Solar light tubes are becoming more and more popular as additions to homes seeking to bring more natural light inside. Solatube skylights, unlike traditional skylights, capture sunlight, reflecting down a tube and diffusing it into the chosen room.
Plus, while traditional skylights can be filtered to reduce harmful UV rays, Solatube skylights block UV rays, protecting not only the individuals in your home but also your furnishings. Solatubes are also more energy efficient than their classic counterparts, and they offer a 30 percent energy tax deduction due to the EnergyStar® ratings and limited heat gain provided. As more people discover all the benefits of Solatube Skylights, the question of how to effectively clean them arises.
The Solar Guys offer this maintenance guide on how to clean your Solatube Skylights.
How to Clean Solatube Skylights
Your Solatube Skylight is typically installed between the rafters which means no expensive roof or rafter modification is needed. Once installed, they deliver warm, natural light into your home, but they do need to be cleaned regularly to keep that natural light flowing in. Cleaning your solar light tubes removes dirt, debris, and stains which can accumulate there inside the dome. Here’s how:
- Gather the Needed Cleaning Materials and Tools Needed . You will need a safe, strong ladder to access the solar tube skylight. In addition, you will need a solution of water and soap as well as soft brush or clean lint free cloth. You may also want your favorite non-abrasive glass cleaner or clean lint free cloth for the final step. A broom or brush may be needed for cleaning the roof area surrounding the solar tube.
- Disassemble the solar tube skylight according to manufacturer’s instructions. You will want to remove the diffuser from the ceiling, by loosening the screws which affix the dome to the flashing. Use caution during disassembly and place all parts in a safe place. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions when disassembling your Solatube Skylight for cleaning.
- Clean Your Solatube Skylight Parts with Care. You will use your clean, soapy water to soap the skylight glass to loosen debris and dirt. Next, gently wash each piece – dome, flashing, tube, and ceiling ring. Repeat the process as needed to remove dust and dirt. Once clean, rinse the components with clean water and air dry, or wipe with dry with a clean lint free cloth. Finally, you can clean the glass with your non-abrasive glass cleaner, removing the cleaning solution with your squeegee or clean lint free cloth. You should never use blades, metal scrapers, or knives for cleaning as the glass is easily scratched, causing irreparable damage. Keep in mind, some solar tube skylights have maintenance free parts, like the sash and PVC frame, which only needs to be wiped with a damp cloth for cleaning.
- Clean your Ceiling. Once your solatube skylight’s parts are cleaned, you should clean the ceiling to which it is attached. If cleaning the roof outside, use your broom or brush and remove leaves, twigs, dirt, or other debris. Next, clean with a wet cloth the space between the rafters and joists, along with the ceiling where the skylight tube is placed. Most dirt spots, as well as pest droppings can be taken care simply with a wet cloth.
- Reassemble the Solatube Skylight. Ensure all parts are dry before beginning this step. Insert the flashing, securing it as before. Next, insert the tubing until it is level with the ceiling. Re-secure each part as before. Re-attach the dome and secure it. Finally place the diffuser in position.
The Solar Guys are Ready to Help
A Solatube Skylight is a great way to bring natural light into your home in an energy efficient way. They are less expensive, offer tax savings, and don’t require reframing for installation.
When you need help with your Solatube Skylights, from installation to replacement to cleaning, The Solar Guys are ready to assist you. Contact us today for a free estimate!
Last updated Jul 20, 2016 at 11:23AM | Published on Jul 20, 2016 | Cleaning Tips | 5 comments
Skylights allow natural light into the rooms in our homes. Welcome additions in homes with too few windows, they are stylish ways to open up high-ceilinged rooms to the great outdoors. Unlike regular windows, however, skylights require special care when cleaning them. Those who employ a maid service need not worry about this household task. The rest of us must utilize the steps that follow.
Don’t Clean Skylights Like Windows
Unless you’re certain your windows are made of glass, you can’t clean them the way you clean the rest of the windows in your home. Many are made of acrylic or polycarbonate. Cleaning them with ammonia or household window cleaners the way you’d clean regular windows would destroy them.
Materials That Are Safe to Use
The following materials are safe to use on skylights made of acrylic or poly-carbonate, as well as on the seals. You will likely find you already have some of these items in your home.
- Liquid dish soap
- Basin or bucket for holding water
- Long-handled dry mop
- Auto wax
- Cleaning cloths or clean rags
- Power washer (for the outside of skylights only)
- Cellulose sponge or long-handled cellulose sponge mop
Safety First for You
In addition to making sure the materials you use for cleaning these windows to the sky are safe, you must also make sure you remain safe while cleaning them. If you can’t comfortably reach the window you plan to clean with a ladder—or if you’re simply too afraid of heights to climb a tall ladder—a long-handled floor mop with a cellulose sponge is the way to go. If that isn’t long enough to reach, consider hiring a maid service for this job. The cleanest skylights in the world won’t make you happy if you’re recovering in traction from doing the job!
Steps to Cleaning Skylights
- Start the cleaning process by removing all dust and debris from your skylights with a long-handled dry mop. If you are on a ladder, you may simply use a clean, dry cloth for this part of the process.
- Once the debris and dust are gone, move on to step number two. This involves filling a bucket or basin with warm water and a few drops of liquid dish soap.
- Soak your cellulose sponge in this soap and water mixture and wring it out. Wash the window gently with the sponge—either by hand or on the end of a long handled mop.
- Once all of your skylights are clean, empty the soapy water and replace it with cool, clean water. Rinse the sponge clean, and proceed to rinse the soap from the skylights with the sponge and clean water.
Protect Your Assets
Skylights aren’t cheap and cleaning them isn’t easy. Protecting your cleaning job as well as protecting your windows from stains will save both time and money. After your windows have air dried, apply a thin layer of auto wax with a cleaning cloth or a clean, dry rag. Follow package instructions for applying the wax. (This usually involves applying and then buffing the wax to a sheen.)
Cleaning Your Skylights from the Outside
Often times natural rainfall is enough to clean your skylights from the outside. After the work you’ve put into cleaning the insides, you certainly don’t want streaks and dirt showing through from the outside. If rain doesn’t keep them clean, tending to the outside of your windows also falls on your shoulders.
The best way to clean the outside of these windows involves accessing the roof. If you don’t have a maid service to do this chore for you, proceed with caution. While you may employ the same steps taken to clean the insides, a power washer will make the job much quicker—meaning you’ll be up on the roof for a much shorter amount of time. Don’t fill the power washer with a commercial cleaning product. Instead, fill it with a mixture of liquid dish soap and water, just like you used inside.
Spray the skylights until the dirt and debris are removed. There is no need for utilizing the initial step of sweeping or dusting the debris away. The power washer will take care of this step as it cleans. Switch the power washer to non-soapy, clean water and spray until all the soap suds are gone. Allow the skylights to dry in the fresh air. Complete the task by applying a thin layer of auto wax as you did to the inside of the skylights.
Cleaning your skylights isn’t a job for the faint of heart. Fortunately, it’s one that doesn’t need to be done weekly—or even monthly. One good cleaning of both the inside and outside of your skylights on a yearly basis will let the beautiful bright sunshine and blue sky in—and keep unsightly dirt and streaks at bay.
A solar tube skylight can be installed between rafters without the need for elaborate or expensive modifications to a roof or rafter system. They produce natural and warm light, which can be used to transform the inside spaces in the home. To keep them looking good and producing bright light, it is necessary to clean them regularly so as to remove dirt, stains and debris that accumulate inside the dome over time.
Step 1 – Assemble Equipments
Gather materials and equipments to be used in cleaning the solar tube skylight. Obtain a strong and safe ladder and prop it firmly against the wall.
Step 2 – Disassemble the Skylight Tube
Carefully remove the diffuser from the ceiling and place it in a safe position. Use a screwdriver to loosen screws used to fix the dome to the flashing. Place the screws in a safe position and take care of the dome as well. The screws can be used again.
Exercise caution when removing the tubing and the flashing. Gently remove the screws and the tubing from the flashing.
Step 3 – Clean Components of Skylight Tube
Fill a bucket with clean soapy water. Gently and firmly wash the flashing, tube, ceiling ring, and dome. Repeat the process using clean, soapy water and make sure that each piece is free from dust and hardened dirt.
Pour clean water in the bucket and rinse the skylight tube components. Repeat the process and place them in a cool dry place for them to dry.
Step 4 – Clean the Ceiling
Inspect the surrounding area at which the solar tube skylight is fixed. Start from the roof and use a broom or brush to remove dirt, dust, debris or leaves. Follow this step by cleaning the spot between ceiling joists and roof rafters. Clean the spot on the ceiling at which the skylight tube is attached using a wet cloth. Remove dirt spots or insect droppings and rinse with a clean wet cloth.
Step 5 – Fix the Skylight Tube
Make sure that all pieces are dry. Start by inserting the flashing and secure it using screws removed before. Carefully insert the tubing through the flashing until it is even with the ceiling ring. Secure the flashing using screwdrivers. Attach the dome to the flashing and fasten the screws. Finish by putting the diffuser back in position.
The snow piles up on them, trees dump sap and leaves on them, mildew can grow on them, and we won’t even discuss what birds do to them. Okay, we will…did you hear about the rich pigeon? He just made a deposit on a BMW. Same thing for skylights, except that if you have to look up at “the deposit” during breakfast every morning, it isn’t all that funny.
You should clean your skylights once or twice a year to keep the grime from building up, and permanently damaging the surface, especially on Plexiglas skylights. The grime and dirt can cause minute scratches to Plexiglas skylights, which will leave them with a clouded appearance. This can be expected for older skylights, as Plexiglas degrades over time, or even for new skylights in areas that have acidic rainfall. One great, albeit unusual tip, for Plexiglas and regular glass, is to wax the skylight with an automotive paste wax after it has been cleaned thoroughly. A couple coats of wax, will protect against environmental damage, and will make rainfall bead off…..so you can see those horrible grey clouds.
Try to clean the inside and exterior on the same day. Start on the inside by moving any furniture from beneath the skylight opening and lay a plastic cloth on the ground to catch any spills. Skylights are rarely placed for cleaning convenience, so determine the safest way to access the opening. Is it over a tub? Above a staircase? On a vaulted ceiling? The inside doesn’t get very dirty, unless the skylight is in a kitchen, above a shower or tub, or near a fireplace. Usually the worst problem is spider webs, followed by grease build-up, and plain old dust.
If the skylight is flat glass, use a squeegee on the end of a broom stick or extension pole. See the Window section for specific instructions. For ‘bubble’ style lights, use a regular glass cleaner. If the skylight can not be reached by hand, try spraying some window cleaner on a clean rag draped over a broom. Replace that rag with a fresh, dry rag, to wipe off any residue and prevent streaks.
KEEP THE PLASTIC DROP SHEET IN PLACE WHILE CLEANING THE EXTERIOR!
- Bring up a bucket with dish soap and a sponge to the roof. Don’t fill it with water until you are on the roof.
- Take up your garden hose, and hose down the skylight.
- Fill your bucket with water, and wash the skylight with the sponge.
- Rinse thoroughly. If there is sap, bird, or bug excrement, use a citrus based cleaner. Be certain to test any chemical on a corner of the skylight to be certain it does not damage Plexiglas skylight lenses.
Safety : It is advisable to have someone spot you when climbing the ladder. Always use caution on a wet roof or ladder. Never take undue risks, if in doubt, call a professional!
How to Clean and Care for Skylights
Posted by Brian Ciota on Tue, Jul 5, 2011
Last week we posted a blog about skylights. Homeowners often ask us how to care for and maintain skylights after they are installed. Skylights require cleaning once or twice a year and should be inspected to assure they are functioning properly.
Since skylights are overhead on the interior and on the roof on the exterior, you’ll need a step stool or ladder to reach them. Be sure you have solid footing and that the stool or ladder won’t slip as you work. Don’t use furniture, i.e. a chair, for elevation. Safety is key, use appropriate equipment for the job. Know your limits. If you cannot safely access the area to be cleaned, call a professional to do the job.
Supplies you will need to clean skylights
2 buckets – one for the cleaning solution and one filled with clean, warm water
good-quality rubber squeegee
clean, lint-free cloths
1-inch razor blade
Make a cleaning solution
We recommend a mild, non-abrasive glass cleaning solution for skylights. Many store-bought window cleaners don’t work well and cause streaks. A solution of water, ammonia and rubbing alcohol will leave the window clean and clear. Alcohol helps water evaporate quickly to eliminate streaking. Consumer Reports tested window cleaning products and recommends mixing the following solution:
– Pour about 3.5 pints (54 ounces) of cold water into a bucket.
– Slowly add 1/4 cup sudsy ammonia and 1 cup of rubbing alcohol.
– Mix the solution well (pour it into clean spray bottles if you desire).
We use it and it works well.
Tips for cleaning skylights
For best results avoid cleaning skylights during the hottest part of the day or on a sunny day because when the sun hits directly on a window where glass cleaner has been applied it can cause streaking. We install a lot of VELUX skylights, they are experts on the care and maintenance of skylights. These are tips they suggest for cleaning skylights:
- If there are multiple rows of skylights, start at the highest row and work down.
- Begin by soaking the skylight glass with the cleaning solution loosening dirt and debris. NEVER use abrasive cleaners or scrubbers because they can damage the glazing.
- Once the dirt is removed, wipe the window a second time with the clear water from the second bucket. Immediately squeegee the window and wipe the squeegee dry after each swipe. Use a clean cloth to wipe any wet corners on the window.
- Use care not to touch any metal parts of the cleaning equipment to the glass or let any abrasive materials be dragged across the glass surface.
- Do not use metal scrapers, blades or knives for cleaning large areas of glass as this practice can easily scratch and cause permanent damage to the skylight glass.
- For hard to remove spots like tree sap, label adhesive, paint or other construction material, a new 1” razor blade may need to be used on small spots only. If a razor blade needs to be used, scrape only in one direction. Back and forth scraping can trap abrasive materials under the blade causing scratches and possible permanent damage to the glass.
- Clean interior frames with a damp cloth.
Other maintenance tips
Cleaning screens. If you have insect screens in venting skylights, VELUX recommends cleaning them by removing the screen and spraying the screen with a garden hose. Let the screens dry thoroughly before placing them into the skylights.
Inspect the exterior. Keep skylights clear of debris. Check exterior cladding and flashing for excessive wear or scratches on the cladding finish. Scratches in the cladding finish may be fixed with touch-up paint. Damaged claddings or flashings should be replaced as soon as they are detected.
How often do you clean your skylights?
Last modified : 2020-03-30 | Approximate reading time 4 mins
Skylights are a wonderful feature, adding natural light and dimension to even the dullest of rooms. Though skylights are becoming popular once again, they aren’t so common in modern homes.
Therefore, it is no wonder that the average homeowner may not understand how to correctly clean them. Skylights are usually in high to reach places, so it’ll require a little bit of finesse to get up to your ceiling to care for them.
Not only does the skylight need to be cleaned from the inside, but rain won’t always do the job at cleaning the outside. Luckily, the location, slope and shape of the skylight cause a large amount of dirt to wash away natural, though it will still need to be cleaned. If it’s that time of the year, and you’re not quite sure how to approach it. Don’t worry, we’ve for you covered!
Here is our step-by-step guide on how to clean a skylight!
What is your skylight type?
There are many different styles of skylights on the market, and these come in a variety of materials. Different materials will require different methods of cleaning. However, there are a few steps that will apply to cleaning all types of skylights!
Clear the Area
First, remove furnishing from directly underneath the skylight, completely clearing the space from the possibility of anything dropping on what’s below. Next, lay down a few towels or a plastic drop cloth, protecting the floor underneath your skylight from drips and chemicals. Once the floor and surrounding area have been protected, you can move on to beginning to clean the skylight. It may be necessary to grab a ladder to reach your skylight.
Make sure to follow the proper steps to set up your ladder so that it is resting flat on the ground and steady. If your skylight is equipped with a screen, now would be the time to remove it. The screen will be cleaned separately from the face of the skylight.
Prepare the Surface
source: Flickr, blowfishsoup
Next, clean the frame of the skylight. Most skylight frames are made of aluminum, though coloured ones are anodized, and require no care other than washing. The frame can be washed using soapy water, followed by rinsing off the soap and thoroughly drying the surface.
Bear in mind that regardless of your skylight’s material, if this is the first time you are cleaning it, there will likely be a protective manufacturing film over it. This may cause your cleaning job to produce streaks or watermarks on the surface of the skylight. If this happens, repeat our cleaning steps until the face of the skylight is streak-free. This may take a few tries, but be persistent! There is nothing worse than a streaky skylight.
Also, if the skylight is in your kitchen, it will have likely collected a good amount of dirt and grease, so a stronger cleaner may be necessary to remove it or add more part ammonia or vinegar to your cleaning solution.
Cleaning a Plastic Skylight
Plastic skylights are made from polycarbonate or acrylic. Using abrasive cleaners, cloths or pads can scratch the glazing, and solvents can damage them. Further, regular window cleaning fluids cannot be used, as they will damage the plastic by creating tiny cracks in the skylight surface.
Therefore, it is important to stick with a mild detergent or soap mixed with water. Avoid using ammonia-based cleaners on plastic, as these will damage the surface. Apply the solutions with a cellulose sponge or soft cloth and use clean water to rinse the solution off the skylight. Blot the skylight with a chamois making sure that it’s dry.
Using a sharp tool to scrape off other forms of dirt is not recommended, as this will lead to damaging the surface of the skylight. If your skylight is acrylic, you can use methanol, kerosene, hexane, or a good grade of naphtha to remove stuck-on materials like paint, caulk, or tars.
For a polycarbonate skylight, use isopropyl alcohol or a good grade of naphtha to clean off these same materials. Make sure that the solution is applied using a soft cloth, and the debris is wiped away gently in full.
To add further protection to a plastic skylight, apply a thin coat of car polish or wax that is designed specifically for cars or floors. To apply the polish, use a clean and soft cloth, and cover the skylight evenly. Following this, buff the area and use a clean and damp cloth to wipe the skylight and remove any static that has accumulated.
Cleaning a Glass Skylight
source: Flickr, Travis Estell
If your skylight is glass rather than plastic, the cleaning and polishing methods will vary. The glass must be cleaned with a glass cleaner or a weak solution of water, detergent or soap. Using a sponge or squeegee, apply the solution, then rinse with clear water following each swipe of the skylight.
Use a paper towel, a clean cloth or a chamois to dry off the glass. Pay special attention to avoid touching any metal cleaning equipment to the glass, or letting any abrasive materials be dragged across the surface of the glass. The glass skylight’s surface is very sensitive and needs to be treated as such.
Do you need more information about the different models of skylights? Check out our article on the subject!
Washing to Minimize Scratching
Wash the polycarbonate skylight dome with a mild soap or detergent (such as 409 cleaner) and lukewarm water, using a clean sponge or a soft cloth. Rinse well with clean water. Dry thoroughly with a chamois or moist cellulose sponge to prevent water spots. Do not scrub or use brushes or abrasives on polycarbonate skylights; the UV coating is not mar resistant. Also do not use butyl cellosolve in direct sunlight.
Fresh paint splashes, grease, and smeared glazing compounds can be removed easily before drying by rubbing lightly with a good grade of naphtha or isopropyl alcohol. Follow the alcohol rub with a mild detergent wash with warm water and end with a thorough rinsing with clean water.
Minimize Hairline Scratches
Scratches and minor abrasions can be minimized by using a mild automobile polish. Three such products that tend to polish and fill scratches are Johnson Paste Wax, Novus Plastic Polish #1 and #2, and Mirror Glaze plastic polish (MG M10). It is suggested that a test be made on a sample area with the product selected and that the manufacturer’s instructions are followed.
Don’ts – Very Important
- DON’T use abrasive or highly alkaline cleaners on the polycarbonate.
- DON’T scrape the polycarbonate with squeegees, razor blades or other sharp instruments.
- DON’T ever use benzene, gasoline, acetone or carbon tetrachloride on polycarbonate.
- DON’T clean polycarbonate in the hot sun or on very hot days.
Compatible Cleaners For Polycarbonate Plastic
The following agents have been found to be compatible with polycarbonate. Manufacturer’s instructions should be followed: Formula 409™, Top Job™, VM & P Grade Naphtha Joy™, Windex w/Ammonia D™, and Palmolive Liquid™.
This entry was posted on Saturday, July 2nd, 2011 at 12:19 am and is filed under DIY Project Center. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
You might have excessive moisture or just want to clean between the domes of your skylight. Or maybe you need to replace the domes. It’s not hard to do, but there is a proper procedure. Follow this guide.
1) Disassemble unit by removing hex head screws around perimeter of the aluminum retaining angle and remove top angle frame.
2) Remove domes from the curb. Then separate and remove old gasket seal that is between domes.
Sometimes the domes can be really stuck together. Don’t pull too hard or you might break the plastic. Instead, use a knife to run between the domes and separate the gasket used to keep the domes together. If you’re replacing the domes, then you don’t need to separate the old ones. Just remove both together.
3) Clean domes. DO NOT USE: Glass cleaners, window cleaning sprays, kitchen scouring compounds, alcohol, or solvents such as acetone, gasoline, benzene, carbon tetrachloride or lacquer thinner. These chemicals will destroy the plastic. Use a soft cloth with plastic cleaner or mild soap and plenty of lukewarm water, applying only light pressure. Rinse with clean water and dry by blotting with damp cloth or chamois.
4) Set inner/bottom dome back on frame and apply a 1/4″ bead of 100% silicone caulk (GE or Dow brand 100% silicone) to the middle of the flat sides of the dome leaving a 1″ to 2″ gap at lower corners. The gap of silicone in the corners helps to release moisture.
5) Set outer dome in place and reinstall dome retaining angle. Be careful to NOT apply too much pressure to retaining angle when replacing fasteners, so that the domes may allow for any future moisture to weep out from between the domes.
3 thoughts on “ How to Clean or Replace Skylight Domes ”
Please provide the names and phone numbers for 2-3 South Florida distributors. I need to buy a replacement for my Birdview Skylight. (clear – see-through). Interior ceiling hole measurements: 29″ by 29″ (roof see-through exterior several inches larger). Is it a standard size just larger than 29″? I damaged it trying to clean it with the wrong solvent. Thank you.
Thank you for your advice about never using a window cleaner on a dome skylight, as that will destroy the plastic. My sister is working on building a new house, and she is looking into getting a skylight for it. I will forward this to her, so that she can have something to reference when she ever wants to clean it.
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Birdview Skylights are Manufacturers Only.
We Do Not Provide Products to the General Public.
Please contact us for a distributor in your area.
Skylights provide up to 30 percent more natural light than vertical windows. Just like windows, unwanted accumulation of grime, causes irreversible damage to the skylight material and reduces light penetration. But, regular skylight cleaning tips are suggested for improving their function and increasing durability. Here’s how to clean the skylights on your own. You will require a pole with a soft cloth tied at the tip, mild soapy solution, cleansers for working over tough stains, ladder and dry towels. Consider wearing hand gloves and safety gears for the cleaning procedure. It is best to start your skylight cleaning task from the inside surface. To start with cleaning the inside of skylight, lay an old cloth or plastic sheet on the ground, below the skylight opening. Hold the pole straight, and rub the inner surface of the skylight with the cloth attached at the tip. After dry cleaning, dampen a cloth with the soapy solution and wipe the surface clean. To finish off cleaning the inner side of skylights, dry the surface with a soft cloth. Now, let’s move on to the exterior side of the skylight.
For accessing the exterior surface, use ladder and get up on the roof. Without overlooking your safety, try to reach the exterior of skylight and start with the same cleaning steps. First, dry clean it properly to get rid of dirt, and then rub with a damp cloth. Clean the surface again to remove the loosen stains and wet marks. For this, you can use an absorbent sponge or a dry cloth. With this step, you are done with skylight cleaning. As for skylight care, polishing is suggested for dull surface. Polishing of the skylights should be done after cleaning them.
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