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Newport News Roofers: Article About Energy Efficient Skylights

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Replacing a roof due to age or damage does not rank high on anyone's list in terms of desirable ways to spend money. It does present an opportunity, however, to increase the natural light entering the home by the addition of skylights. Unlike skylights from years ago that often leaked or let heat escape from a home's interior almost as though an open hole existed in the ceiling, modern skylights remain watertight and offer superior energy efficiency with special glass. The industry term for this glass is Low Emissity or simply Low E glass. It blocks short wavelength solar radiation from entering but impedes longer wavelength radiation present in interior air from escaping.

Newport News roofers understand the reluctance of homeowners to cut a hole in a roof. Many of these homeowners recall personal experiences or know someone who regretted buying a home with skylights. Damage to roofs and house interiors often resulted from poorly designed and sloppily installed skylights. Professional roofers inform homeowners considering skylights about the issues that affected old designs and demonstrate how new skylight designs overcome those issues.

Two types of skylights dominate the new construction and remodeling market. One type is used for cathedral ceilings, and the other is designed for use in rooms and hallways where an attic space exists between ceilings and roofs.

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The best place to benefit from either type is interior spaces that contain small windows that face north since that direction receives less direct sunlight. Rooms that face other directions where skylights still represent a desirable option frequently feature retractable shades to block out midday sun and act as an additional barrier to heat escape at night.

Models used for cathedral ceilings feature a simple design, except for some that offer the ability to open by an electric motor activated by a remote control. Models designed for use in rooms beneath an attic use a highly reflective tube to move light from the roof, through the attic and into the room. Closets and bathrooms benefit greatly from these reflective tubular designs.

Both types require proper installation to prevent leaks. Good quality skylights feature metal flashing that extends well beyond the glass and frame of the skylight. After attaching this flashing to the roof deck, a waterproof rubberized membrane with an adhesive backing covers the flashing and extends well beyond. Next comes roofing underlayment, followed by the final layer of roofing. The result ensures permanent resistance to leaks.

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