These days, homeowners are looking for ways to get more natural light in their homes by installing rooflights. There are a lot of considerations to make when choosing between flat and pitched roof skylights in terms of how much light they can bring into the property.

In this article, we offer a comparison between the two types, focusing on the importance of natural light. Let’s get things going.

Key Takeaways

  • Proper maintenance is crucial for your roof windows as it can prevent certain issues and reduce the lifespan of the units
  • Flat skylights can experience cracks, leaks, and condensation problems
  • Cleaning your flat skylight is piece of cake; all you need is a few cleaning supplies you normally have on hand and some elbow grease
  • It is important to pass a squeegee over the glass once you finish cleaning to remove excess water

Why Cleaning and Maintenance are Important for Flat Roof Skylights

There should be no doubt that cleaning and maintaining your rooflights is of utmost importance. Here is why.

Preventing leaks

Unless you clean and maintain your skylights, they will be prone to leaks. This is because over time dirt, twigs, leaves, and debris can build up on the surface, enabling water to pool around the area.

Extending lifespan

It’s common sense that if you maintain your units, they will last longer. This will prevent damage to the glazing and sealant, as well as other components. In turn, this will lead to faster deterioration of the skylight.

Improving energy efficiency

Your skylights will not let in plenty of natural light if they are dirty, which will affect their energy efficiency. Regular cleaning can keep the clarity of the glazing and decrease the need for artificial lighting.

Enhancing aesthetics

Dirty skylights are not visually appealing. They can deteriorate the aesthetics of your home. Cleaning the units on the regular will ensure this never happens.

How to Clean Your Flat Skylights

It’s not difficult to clean flat skylights. Here is our step-by-step guide.

Tools and Materials You Need:

  • Clean water
  • Bucket
  • Soft-bristled brush or sponge
  • Mild soap or your favourite cleaning solution
  • Vinegar (optional)
  • Squeegee
  • Ladder (if needed)

Step 1: Inspect the roof window

Before you start cleaning, inspect the surface for any cracks or damage to the sealant. If you find any issues, you will have to address them as soon as possible. Otherwise, water may seep through the next time it rains.

Step 2: Remove debris around the skylight

There may be leaves or twigs. Do get rid of them before you start cleaning. Make sure there is no grime or particles on the skylight itself.

Step 3: Prep the cleaning solution

Grab a clean bucket, fill it with water, and add in your favourite window cleaner. You can mix white vinegar, mild dish soap, or another cleaning product.

Step 4: Get the cleaning solution on the window

Apply the product to the skylight with a soft-bristled brush or sponge. Start at the top of the window and gradually zigzag your way down to the bottom. You want to cover the entire skylight with the mixture.

Step 5: Rinse

The next step is to rinse the skylight. Needless to say, you should use clean water. You are looking to get rid of all the cleaning solution, so be thorough.

Step 6: Dry the skylight with a squeegee

Once you’re done, you should remove the excess water using a squeegee. Again, you want to start at the top and work your way to the bottom.

Step 7: Dry with a white clean cloth or towel

Dry the surface with a clean, dry cloth or towel. Eliminate all water droplets from the glass to prevent water stains.

Voila – you’re done.

This will keep your flat rooflight clean for a long time, which helps to prevent leaks and other issues.

Common Issues with Flat Skylights and Troubleshooting Tips

Flat roof skylights can have various issues. Here is more about them.

1. Condensation

Condensation occurs when warm, humid air inside the room comes into contact with the cooler window. When condensation happens for longer periods of time, it can eventually lead to mould and mildew.

Troubleshooting tips:

  • Reduce moisture levels in your living space with a dehumidifier
  • Improve ventilation on the premises to reduce humidity levels
  • Reduce differences in the temperature between the surfaces by installing insulation around your skylight

2. Cracks

Cracks are another common issue with flat roof windows. They can occur because of improper installation, heavy foot traffic, and weather damage, among other things.

Troubleshooting tips:

  • Take a good look at the various parts of your skylight, especially the sealant; if you do find any cracks, assess their severity
  • If you are dealing with minor cracks, you can seal them with acrylic caulk silicone or sealant
  • But if the cracks are severe, you may need to consider replacing your skylight entirely

3. Leaks

Leaks happen owing to cracks, worn-out sealant, and damaged or missing flashing in the unit.

Troubleshooting tips:

  • Inspect your flat roof window for any signs of leaks (there may be dampness or water stains)
  • Evaluate the flashing around the rooflight for any wear or damage (feel free to replace it if necessary)
  • Seal any gaps or cracks
  • If the leak persists, your best bet would be to hire a professional to see to the problem.


If you’d like to learn more about how to properly clean your skylights, check out this post from HiSky LTD who go in great depths explaining every detail. On their site you will not only find a ton of useful information but a big variety of different types of skylights to choose from. Their main HQ is located at Unit 3F, ManorWay Business Park, Swanscombe DA10 0LL, United Kingdom, but their helpful experts are always on call for you at +44 7714 991494..

Flat roof skylights can be a great addition to any property, but they need to be cleaned and maintained every year so they can have a long lifespan. We hope that by following the tips in this article, you can ensure your rooflights are in tip-top shape for years to come.