Self flashing skylight vs unflashed? Which is better and why?

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Ready to brighten your space with a skylight? Before you start, one decision looms: Self flashing skylight or un-flashed? Self flashing skylight (that metal around your skylight) is crucial for preventing leaks.

Self flashing skylight come with flashing LED attached, offering easier ‘self-flashing skylight installation’ and potential cost savings (‘self-flashing skylight cost’). You can get quality skylights from Velux self flashing skylights.

There are un-flashed skylights (including curb-mounted ones) that will help you customize tricky roofs. A pan flashed skylight uses on-site flashing.

Which is better? It depends on your project! Self-flashing often wins for simplicity, but un-flashed can solve complex situations. Stay tuned for our full guide on self flashing vs curb-mounted skylights and Velux self flashed skylight installation!

What are self flashing skylights?

Self flashing skylights come with pre-attached metal flashing. It creates a watertight seal between your skylight and your roof.

With integrated flashing, you can make the installation more DIY-friendly and save on labor.

The convenience and affordability of self-flashing skylights make them a popular choice.

How do self-cleaning skylights work?

Special coatings:

Self-cleaning skylights feature a specialized coating on the exterior glass. This coating has two main properties:

  • Hydrophilic attracts water, which spreads thinly across the glass instead of beads up.
  • UV light breaks down organic dirt and grime with a photocatalytic coating.

When it rains, the loosened dirt and grime get washed away from the glass with the sheeting water.

Self flashing skylight installation

Here’s I research and wrote a Velux self flashed skylight installation guide. This is just a simplified overview – always consult your specific Velux installation instructions.

Self flashing skylight installation
Self flashing skylight installation

Make sure the Velux skylight is designed for your roof pitch and roofing material. Take all the necessary precautions for roof work (harness, fall protection).

Velux self flashed skylight installation steps:

  • Build a rough opening in your roof, slightly bigger than the skylight.
  • Cut back underlayment, leaving an overlap.
  • Place the skylight in the opening, making sure it’s level.
  • Use the brackets provided to mount the skylight.
  • You’ll need to weave the pre-attached flashing into your roofing material. Make sure the water seals are tight.
  • Finish and install interior trim.

Do all skylights need flashing?

Yes, all skylights need flashing. Flashing is essential for creating a watertight seal between the skylight and the roof, preventing water leakage and potential damage.

It helps direct water away from the skylight and ensures its long-term durability.

Are skylights a good idea?

There’s no denying that skylights are a great addition to any home, as they let in natural light and add to a room’s aesthetic appeal. It’s important, though, to consider things like location, climate, and leaks. If you want skylights to last, you need to install them right and keep them maintained.

Are there different types of skylights?

The different types of skylights, including Velux self-flashing and pan-flashed skylights, are listed below:

different types of skylights

Types of skylights

  • Fixed Skylights: These don’t open, just provide light and a view.
  • A ventilating skylight opens to let fresh air circulate, improving ventilation. They’re either manual (with a crank) or electric (with a remote).
  • A tubular skylight uses a reflective tube to channel light from a rooftop dome into a room. Perfect for smaller spaces.
  • You can get them in a lot of shapes, sizes, and glazing options. They’re perfect for unique architectural features.

Read Also: Sunlight Through Glass? Secret Of Transparent Solar Panels For Home Energy!

Self flashing skylight vs unflashed?

There isn’t a single better choice between self-flashing and un-flashed skylights – it depends on what you need.

Self Flashing Skylights: When They Perform Well

Simple roofs: If your roof pitch and design are simple, a self-flashing skylight is a good choice.

It’s easier to install: The pre-attached flashing makes it more approachable for DIYers or contractors. Self-flashing skylights are usually more affordable because they require less labor and materials.

Unflashed Skylights: When They Make Sense

The best solution for complicated rooflines and unusual angles is an un-flashed skylight, especially when it’s pan-flashed. There are un-flashed options if you have a very specific vision for how the flashing should look.

Unflashed Skylights
image source: GettyImages

A curb-mounted skylight is inherently un-flashed. A curb improves drainage on low-slope roofs and might even help with insulation.

How do you choose? Consider these factors:

  • Self-flashing works best on uncomplicated roofs. Pan-flashed and curb-mounted skylights work better on complex roofs.
  • Un-flashed is usually more affordable than self-flashing.
  • Self-flashing is usually easier for DIYers to handle than un-flashed installations.

Consult a professional when in doubt! They can analyze your situation and recommend the right solution.

Read Also: Solar Light For Outdoor Walls: How Do I Choose An Outdoor Wall Light?

What is the most typical skylight problem?

The most common problem with skylights is leaks. Skylights can leak over time due to improper installation, aging or damaged flashing, or deteriorated seals. Regular maintenance and inspections can help you catch any potential problems before they get big.

Read Also: Outdoor Lights Not Working? 7 Common Problems Fixed.

Skylights and rooflights: what’s the difference?

Skylights and roof lights are both windows installed in roofs to let in natural light.

Technically, there’s a slight distinction:

  • Skylights: Traditionally sit flush with pitched roofs.
  • Roof Lights: Can be flush on a pitched roof but may also protrude slightly outward or be a more prominent design feature, especially on flat roofs.

In common usage, the terms are often used interchangeably.

Read Also: Top 5 Wireless Solar Light For Shed: Why Switch To Motion Sensor Solar Lights?

In conclusion, the most suitable skylight depends on your needs. Self flashing skylights are convenient, affordable, and easy to install.

If you want maximum customization, or if you prefer flexibility to ease, un-flashed skylights (including curb-mounted) may be your ideal choice. But you should always have a professional install your skylights so they’re leak-proof and safe.

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