Unlike windows, which need to be cleaned fairly often, skylights require very little maintenance once they’re installed. Thanks to their exposed position on the roof of your building and the slight angle that they’re installed on, most skylights are kept perfectly clean thanks to little more than the occasional rain shower.
Despite requiring very little in the way of cleaning and general maintenance, it’s still a good idea to invest some time into maintaining your building’s skylights. If your building uses skylights to reduce its energy usage and improve daytime lighting, it’s worth adding these simple maintenance tasks to your staff’s schedule.
Rain will clean the outside of your skylights, but it’s vital to clean the inside
From dust and dirt to condensation, there are a variety of reasons for the inside of your skylight to become slightly dirty. The weather will keep your skylight’s outer side clean, but it’s up to you to keep the inside looking clear and transparent.
If you notice dust, dirt, or even spider webs compromising your skyline, it’s best to lightly brush them away with an extended cleaning tool. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t need to clean the underside of your skylights more frequently than once every two to three months.
Dust, dirt, and debris can rapidly wear down your skylight’s finish
While modern skylights are immensely durable, it’s important to prevent them from being worn down prematurely by the elements. Things like dust, dirt, and sand are a hazard to your skylight’s health, transparency, and longevity.
If your building has older skylights with little or no protective coating, it’s important to clean them fairly frequently to prevent damage. Older Plexiglas skylights can age poorly when they’re exposed to dirty air and start to look cloudy and opaque.
While normal rainfall will keep your skylight clean in most situations, buildings that are situated in an arid climate should have a skylight maintenance plan ready.
Building near the ocean? Paint your skylight to protect it from salt
While the protective coating fitted to your skylight’s glass will protect it from sand, the frame that your skylight is fitted inside may be affected by corrosive salt if you live particularly close to the ocean.
If your skylight has a painted steel or aluminum frame, it’s best to thoroughly check it over for wear and tear every six months. If your skylight’s frame is covered with a thick layer of paint, the skylight will be structurally protected and secure.
Don’t be overzealous or careless about cleaning your skylight
Skylights are infamously low-maintenance – so much that you can do more damage by caring for your skylight than by leaving it alone. While checking it for cracks and salt damage is wise, constantly cleaning your skylights is not a smart move.
Why? Because the chemicals used in common cleaners – window cleaners, alcohol-based cleaners, and so on – can eat into the protective film that keeps your skylight safe, strong, and free of surface cracks.
When it comes to skylight maintenance, the best policy is simple: check frequently, clean occasionally, and interfere as infrequently as possible.