How to Clean and Care for Skylights
Having skylights in your home can let the natural light from the sun in and really brighten up any room. Because the skylights are typically installed in the roof of your home, there are a few things to consider when caring and cleaning them. Most of the time, skylights are very low maintenance and require just a little cleaning every now and again. With the rainy season, most of the time your skylight is likely to be cleaned by the water rushing over the glass, but in the event that it will not be a quick cleaning job is required. Depending on where in the country you live, the care for your skylight can differ. If you live near the ocean, for example, you might have to deal with salty water getting on your glass, frame and the glazing that keeps the glass in place.
Most skylight frames are made from aluminum and require nothing more than a quick check for damage and a wiping from a clean rag while you touch up the glass. If the frame of your skylight is painted, make sure you check it every year for bare spots and retouch with the same paint originally used. Some skylights are made from glass, while others could be made from strong plastics like acrylic or polycarbonate. If you have a skylight made from either of those two types of plastic, the cleaning instructions are as follows. Plastics are prone to getting scratched or abrasions and can be damaged if you use certain cleaners. WIth that being said, make sure you do not use any abrasive cleaners for plastic skylights. That goes for abrasive pads or gritty cloths that you might use for cleaning other things around the home.
Plastic can be damaged by a knife or a sharp object, so make sure you are not cleaning away any of the dirt with either of those. Cleaning a plastic skylight can be done with a solution that consists of a mild soap or detergent and water mixture. Apply your mixture with a soft cloth and rinse with clean water afterwards. If you are seeing water spots as it dries up, then make sure you blot the area dry with a chamois or damp cloth before the sun can dry it up. If you have a glass skylight, the cleaning process is much easier. You can clean clear or coated glass panels with any commercial glass cleaner. If you want to make your own glass cleaner, you can make a solution with mild soap, water and ammonia. Apply the mixture with a sponge and make sure to dry with a paper towel or squeegee.
If you have coated glass and want to prevent it from being scratched, never clean it with an abrasive cleaner, gritty sponges or razor blades. Protecting your plastic skylight is also a task that you could do as a homeowner. If you want the frame of your plastic skylight to last against the UV rays from the sun, you can protect it with a very thin layer of can polish, or wax. Using a soft, clean cloth you can spread that over the frame and it should protect it from the elements. The thin layer should be checked each year to be sure of full coverage.
Repairing minor issues with your plastic skylight is quite easy to do. If you have minor scratches on your plastic, sometimes they can be hidden or removed with auto wax. Many times there are small abrasives in the wax or polish cleaner that can remove the scratches on the surface and then buff the plastic clear. If you have a deep gash or scratch in the plastic, do not get the window replaced until you have contacted a professional. Many times they will know right away if the larger scratch can be repaired and many times it will be cheaper than a new pane.
Taking care of and cleaning skylights in your home is not that hard of a task. The windows are typically very low maintenance and require little cleaning during the months without rain. Always make sure that you are thinking about safety first when up on your roof and working around your skylights.