Do’s and Dont’s of Installing Commercial Skylights in Los Angeles

commercial skylights installationYou would assume that a commercial skylight will be properly installed on your building’s flat roof. But all too often we see common mistakes made by commercial roofers in Los Angeles who fall short when removing and re-installing skylights.

An inadequate skylight installation by an inexperienced roofer or handyman can cause leaks and long-term damage to your commercial property. You should know the right questions to ask before making a hiring decision.

Based on our observations, we recommend the following Do’s and Don’ts that can make a real difference for a commercial skylight installation.

  • DO take safety seriously. All employees working on a roof should be tied off with OSHA approved lines and harnesses.
  • DO use hangers for new rafters, as well as blocking at some plywood joints.
  • DO match the height of the existing roof membrane with the repaired area that needs to be built-up. This is necessary before patching or you will create a depression and water will pond. Ponding on a flat roof is to be avoided at all costs.
  • DO require your roofer has a general B license (if framing is required). Most commercial roofing companies only carry a roofing C-39 license because they do not have experience framing and by law cannot complete the task. They will have to sub it out but most will attempt to frame it in house. JH3 is experienced in framing and carries a general B license as well as a C-39 license which allows us to complete the framing in house.
  • DON’T forget to fit weather stripping or curb tape around the skylight’s edges to ensure a water tight seal. You would think this would be obvious, but incredibly we’ve seen plenty of commercial skylights missing the lining completely or the lining was not fitted properly.
  • DON’T install a skylight on a badly worn roof. We recommend skylights be installed at the same time a roof is being repaired or replaced.
  • DON’T choose a cheap plastic skylight because over time they can scratch and become discolored and brittle. We’ve lost track of the number of times we had to replace cheap plastic skylights. Go with a high quality acrylic or glass skylight that meets ENERGY STAR requirements in the South-Central climate zone. Glass skylights are typically are more expensive, but it’s worth the investment in the long term.

If you are a HOA or property management company (PMC) in Los Angeles County, Ventura County or Santa Barbara County evaluating a proposal to install, service or repair commercial skylights, we encourage you contact us. A representative will be happy to provide a free estimate and list references of our commercial customers that hired JH3 Company to install skylights on their building’s roofs.

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