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Skylight Gaskets

Jim Katen

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Let's talk about skylight gaskets.

Here's a common condition that I run across:

Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif ShrunkGasket.JPG

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As I understand the construction of this kind of skylight, the black rubber gasket in the picture has two functions. It sheds a certain portion of the water that falls on the skylight and it presses the glass panel tight against the lower seal, which is the part that really keeps the water out of the house. When the gasket shrinks and pulls away as it's done in the picture, it allows more water into the channel housing and, at the same time, produces less pressure on the lower seal. At some point, the combination of less pressure and more water will overcome the lower seal and it will leak. No one can predict when that will happen, so when I find this condition, I find it wise to recommend either replacing the skylights or re-assembling them with new gaskets.

Unfortunately, when I see these again at the re-inspection, I find that the sellers have solved the problem by squirting caulk all over them.

How do others handle this condition when they happen upon it?

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They get slathered in caulk because that 'gasket' is typically only available as part of a reglazing kit that would also include the IG unit. If you expect to see OEM parts then specify reglazing. If the skylight is more than 10 years old, that kit might not be available.

It would be simpler to just call for replacement.

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