Skylight Lifespan: How Many Years Do Skylights Last?

by | Jun 11, 2024 | Skylight

Skylight Lifespan How Many Years Do Skylights Last

Skylights can keep your home filled with natural light for about 10 to 25 years. This period relies on important factors like material quality, correct installation, upkeep, and the severity of weather conditions they face. Just like the subtle difference between a well-baked and an undercooked pastry subtly reveals itself upon tasting, regular maintenance and inspections are similarly vital in revealing issues with your skylight early, extending its lifespan significantly. With this knowledge, you'll see how skylight materials play a significant role in their lifespan.

Skylights can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years, depending on various factors such as the quality of materials, installation, and regular maintenance. Proper upkeep and occasional inspections can extend their lifespan.

Serenity with skylight

How Long Do Skylights Last?

Skylights are beautiful additions to any home, providing natural light and an open view to the sky. But like anything else, they don't last forever. Now you might be wondering, "how long can I expect my skylights to last?" Well, the short answer is anywhere from 10 to 25 years.

However, this range isn't set in stone and there are various things that can influence the actual lifespan of your skylight. The quality of materials used during manufacturing, proper installation techniques, regular maintenance efforts, and exposure to harsh weather conditions all play a significant role in determining how long your skylight will last.

  • Quality of Materials: The materials used in the construction of the skylight significantly impact its lifespan. High-quality materials are more resistant to the wear and tear of time and weather, thus lasting longer than inferior materials.

  • Proper Installation: The installation process is critical. A poorly installed skylight may not only cause leaks but also be more prone to damage from external elements such as rain, snow, or wind. On the other hand, a skylight that has been installed correctly can provide better protection against these elements and have a longer lifespan.

  • Maintenance: Regular maintenance is key to ensuring the longevity of skylights. Cleaning away debris, checking for leaks, and inspecting the sealant can help prevent problems before they worsen.

  • Exposure to Weather Conditions: Harsh weather conditions such as heavy rain, snow, hail, or extreme heat can significantly impact the lifespan of skylights. Properly designed and installed skylights are better equipped to withstand these conditions.

Even within these various factors that contribute to the lifespan of a skylight, it's important to note that not all skylights will reach their expiration at exactly the same time. Some may last closer to 10 years, while others might remain in good condition for 20 or even 25 years if properly cared for.
For instance, a high-quality skylight installed using proper techniques and well-maintained every year could hold up longer than its estimated lifespan.

Now let's look at some practical steps you can take to extend the life of your skylights and ensure that they remain a valuable addition to your home for many years.

Skylight Materials and Their Lifespan

Skylight material comparison

When it comes to skylights, the material they're made of plays a significant role in determining how long they'll last. Let's delve into the specifics of glass skylights and plastic/acrylic skylights and how their materials affect their overall lifespan.

Glass Skylights

Glass skylights, known for their durability, have an impressive lifespan of up to 25 years or more given proper care. Their toughness makes them less prone to scratching, clouding, or discoloration when compared to their plastic counterparts. The inherent strength of glass allows it to maintain its structural integrity and transparency over an extended period.

Glass skylights' longevity is attributed to the material's exceptional resistance to environmental factors like UV radiation and temperature fluctuations, making them an ideal choice for homeowners seeking a long-lasting lighting solution. Regular cleaning and inspections can help ensure that their lifespan is maximized, with many glass skylights outlasting their projected lifespans when properly cared for.

Plastic/Acrylic Skylights

Plastic or acrylic skylights tend to have a comparatively shorter lifespan, typically ranging from 10 to 15 years. These skylights are more susceptible to discoloration and may become brittle over time, especially when exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods. While plastic or acrylic skylights offer cost-effective alternatives initially, their reduced durability can lead to higher long-term maintenance costs and replacement needs.

Factors like UV exposure, extreme weather conditions, and air pollution can accelerate the aging process of plastic skylights if left unchecked. This results in diminished aesthetic appeal and structural integrity over time, necessitating timely replacements and maintenance efforts.

In regions with consistently strong sunlight or harsh weather patterns, the lifespan of plastic/acrylic skylights may be further compromised. Therefore, it's vital for homeowners considering these options to weigh the upfront cost benefits against potential long-term expenses associated with earlier replacements.

Understanding the distinct characteristics and lifespans of glass skylights versus plastic/acrylic skylights empowers homeowners to make informed choices based on their specific preferences, budget considerations, and maintenance capabilities. The choice between these materials ultimately shapes the effectiveness and longevity of a skylight within a home or commercial space.

Armed with insights into the lifespan of different skylight materials, let's now turn our attention to the importance of light and heat protection coupled with the impact on energy efficiency.

Importance of Light and Heat Protection

Efficient skylight glass

While bright, natural light streaming into your living spaces through a skylight creates an uplifting atmosphere, excessive exposure to heat and ultraviolet (UV) radiation can pose potential harm to the skylight materials. UV radiation, in particular, has the potential to cause gradual damage, leading to warping, discoloration, and degradation of the skylight components. This is where the right glazing plays a pivotal role in preserving not only the aesthetic appeal but also the functionality of the skylight.

Skylights that feature UV-blocking glazing materials act as a protective barrier against harmful sun rays. The UV-blocking properties help shield the skylight from the damaging effects of prolonged exposure to sunlight, thus significantly extending its lifespan. By preventing internal heat buildup and mitigating the risks of discoloration and warping, UV-blocking glazing sustains the structural integrity of the skylight material.

Furthermore, these protective measures contribute to reducing maintenance needs and associated costs over time. Preventing gradual degradation due to heat and UV exposure can result in longer intervals between repairs or replacements. This not only safeguards your investment but also alleviates potential disruptions to your daily routine.

Consider it as applying sunscreen before going out in the sun. Just like sunscreen protects our skin from sunburn and long-term damage caused by UV radiation, UV-blocking glazing on skylights serves as a protective shield against potential harm caused by excessive sunlight exposure. It combats discoloration and material weakening, ensuring that your skylight remains durable and visually appealing for years to come.

Skylights are often installed to infuse rooms with an uplifting brightness and provide a sense of openness. However, without proper protection from heat and UV radiation, this very source of natural illumination can lead to unintended consequences for both the skylight and indoor environment.

It's important to always consider modern advancements in skylight technology like UV-blocking glazing which not only ensures longevity but also preserves the quality of light streaming into your home.

With these protective measures in place, your skylights can continue illuminating your living spaces with natural light while remaining structurally sound for years to come.

Impact of Climate on Skylight Durability

Durable skylight in sunlight

When it comes to the lifespan of skylights, climate plays a significant role. Harsh weather conditions in certain areas can put extra strain on skylight materials, affecting their longevity. For example, regions with heavy snow loads or frequent hailstorms can subject skylights to increased stress, potentially shortening their lifespan. Additionally, areas with intense exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can also pose a threat to skylights as prolonged UV exposure may cause damage to the materials over time. This means that where you live can have a direct impact on how long your skylight will last.

Let's take a closer look at the specific effects of different weather conditions:

  • Heavy Snow Loads: In regions where heavy snowfall is common, the weight and pressure of accumulated snow can strain the skylight structure. The repeated cycles of freezing and thawing can also take a toll on the materials, potentially leading to cracking or damage.
  • Frequent Hail: Hailstorms present a direct impact threat that can cause physical damage to the skylight surface. The forceful impact of hailstones can lead to cracks or chips in the glass or other covering materials, reducing the overall integrity and functionality of the skylight.
  • Intense UV Exposure: Prolonged exposure to intense sunlight can weaken and degrade skylight materials over time. UV rays can cause fading or discoloration, especially in plastic or acrylic skylights. This degradation can lead to reduced light transmission and compromised durability.

Now let's consider high humidity. Excessive humidity poses another threat to skylight durability. When ambient humidity levels are consistently high, condensation may form around the skylight area. This condensation, if not managed properly, can lead to water damage and corrosion, ultimately reducing the overall lifespan of the skylight.

To mitigate these impacts and extend the lifespan of your skylight, proper maintenance and proactive care are essential. Regular inspections for signs of wear or damage caused by environmental factors such as heavy snow loads, hailstorms, intense UV exposure, and high humidity can help address potential issues early on. By addressing these factors in a timely manner, you can enhance the durability of your skylight and maximize its longevity.

Understanding these climate-related impacts on skylight durability empowers homeowners to make informed decisions about maintenance and protection measures tailored to their specific regional climate conditions.

Understanding the impact of climate on skylights reveals just how crucial it is to consider these factors when installing a new skylight. Let's now delve into the meticulous process of installing a durable and reliable skylight that will withstand varying weather conditions.

Skylight Installation Process

Skylight installation process

Proper installation is essential for skylights to function effectively without causing any structural or water-related issues. Here's a closer look at the steps crucial for ensuring your skylights last for years to come.

Proper Flashing and Sealing

Flashing and sealing are vital aspects of skylight installation. Without meticulous attention to flashing, water leaks and moisture intrusion can develop over time, leading to premature deterioration of the skylights. A well-installed flashing system ensures that rainwater is directed away from the junctions, preventing potential water damage and leaks that can compromise both the skylights and the roof. Flashing is like an invisible shield that guards against water seepage when it rains heavily or during snowmelt.

Consider this analogy: Just as a ship must have watertight compartments to stay afloat in rough waters, proper skylight flashing and sealing act as a guarantee against the potential damages caused by water infiltration. Ensuring tight seals and adequate drainage reduces the risk of water pooling around the skylight, offering long-lasting protection against water-related degradation.

Professional Installation

Skylight installation should not be taken lightly; it is indeed a job best left to experienced professionals who understand the intricacies involved in ensuring a watertight, functional skylight system. Opting for professional installation by experienced roofing contractors can ensure precise fitting following industry standards and best practices.

Choosing seasoned professionals such as those from South Bay Skyline Roofing guarantees meticulous installation methods, thereby impacting the skylights' lifespan positively. A professional's expertise ensures proper waterproofing measures are carefully executed during installation—something a DIY attempt may not manage to achieve.

Diligent proper flashing, sealing, and professional installation are more than just necessary steps; they're the foundations on which long-lasting skylights are built. These measures play a crucial role in safeguarding against premature deterioration and potential water-related issues.

Skylights: Aesthetics versus Practicality

Bright skylit living room

We all adore a good skylight, don't we? They usher in wonderful natural light into our living spaces. It's almost like having a fragment of the sky right inside our rooms! But it isn't just about the view or enhancing the room's aesthetics. There are some considerations you should take into account as well.

You might be tempted to choose the most expansive, trendiest skylight available. Who wouldn't want a large panoramic view of the sky? Nonetheless, big doesn't always equate to better. The size and positioning of your skylight can significantly impact your home's energy consumption and the level of maintenance required.

Imagine this: You've invested in an excessively large, artistic skylight that garners admiration from everyone who sees it. But here's the drawback—because of its expanse and direct sunlight exposure throughout the day, your room becomes exceedingly hot and stuffy, especially during the summer. Not so appealing now, is it?

Fortunately, there are ways to strike a balance. Perhaps opting for a smaller skylight or strategically placing it could provide an abundance of light without turning your room into an oven.

Energy Efficiency

A sizable skylight that floods your interior with light might be visually appealing, but did you know that it can also elevate the indoor temperature during certain times of the day? A significant amount of heat from the sun permeates those windows, particularly in the summertime.

Instead of solely considering how aesthetically pleasing a skylight is, contemplate how much money you might spend on cooling your home due to the additional heat ingress. It might be wiser to select a smaller skylight or position them to receive less direct sunlight.


Undoubtedly, no one relishes cleaning tasks. If you're eyeing massive, opulent skylights, brace yourself for substantial maintenance. Dust and debris can accumulate swiftly on larger surfaces.

Therefore, when determining which skylight best suits your needs—it's worth contemplating the practical aspects! Keep in mind that size isn't everything; sometimes choosing a smaller skylight or one with appropriate placement ensures that things don't become too burdensome to maintain or costly in terms of energy consumption.

Making informed choices about skylights can have a profound impact on both aesthetics and practical considerations within your home. I hope this guide assists you in making these decisions

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South Bay Skyline Roofing

Tel: (855) 520-0600

919 S Winchester Blvd #10
San Jose, CA 95128

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If you have any question regarding your roof, we encourage you to schedule an appointment or phone consultation with one of our roofing experts or visit our company. We are pleased to offer all types of roofing and siding services for the needs of your family or business.


919 S Winchester Blvd #10, San Jose, CA 95128


(855) 520-0600