Functionally, skylights serve the same purpose as regular windows. The only difference being the site of installation, as skylights are fixed in the roof, and not on the walls. They provide ventilation, warmth and allow natural light to enliven the home interiors. Literally, you can view blue sky through skylights without even stepping out of your home. Despite the many benefits of skylights, many homeowners are reluctant to have them fixed in their home.
The main concern associated with skylights is, disturbance in the heating and cooling system. They may cause heat to escape in winter, while allowing hot air to enter in summer. In addition, rain leaking into the house because of improper skylight fixation is not unusual. For solving all these problems, improved models of skylights are developed and available in the market. But, whichever unit you have chosen for your home, regular cleaning and maintenance of skylights are necessary to enjoy their benefits.
Tips on How to Clean Skylights
Just like windows, unwanted accumulation of grime (leaves, dust, dirt, mold growth, etc.) causes irreversible damage to the skylight material and reduces light penetration. And the worst part is, the skylights no longer appear transparent, but they look clouded. This is quite obvious for glass and plastic after some time. But, regular skylight cleaning and care with proper tips are suggested for improving their function and increasing durability. Here's how to clean the skylights on your own.
- There is no need for specific tools to clean skylights. You will require a pole with a soft cloth tied at the tip, mild soapy solution, cleansers for working over tough stains, ladder and dry towels. Consider wearing hand gloves and safety gears for the cleaning procedure.
- It is best to start your skylight cleaning task from the inside surface. The inner side is seldom dirty, and you can finish cleaning it within no time. What you can do is, move furnishings (if any) that are placed just below the skylights.
- To start with cleaning the inside of skylight, lay an old cloth or plastic sheet on the ground, below the skylight opening. This will collect dust, spider webs and other dirty materials fallen from the skylight at the time of cleaning.
- Hold the pole straight, and rub the inner surface of the skylight with the cloth attached at the tip. You can also use a long broom for the same purpose. After dry cleaning, dampen a cloth with the soapy solution and wipe the surface clean.
- To finish off cleaning the inner side of skylights, dry the surface with a soft cloth. Now, let's move on to the exterior side of the skylight. This may be a little tricky, so be careful to avoid accidental falls.
- For accessing the exterior surface, use ladder and get up on the roof. Without overlooking your safety, try to reach the exterior of skylight and start with the same cleaning steps. First, dry clean it properly to get rid of dirt, and then rub with a damp cloth.
- For tough stains (dried bird droppings, plant sap), use a homemade window cleaner or commercial cleansing solution, which is specifically formulated for the material. Follow the user directions to remove the spots. Do not scrub harshly or scrape the stains, as it will cause scratches and lines.
- Clean the surface again to remove the loosen stains and wet marks. For this, you can use an absorbent sponge or a dry cloth. With this step, you are done with skylight cleaning. As for skylight care, polishing is suggested for dull surface.
- Determine the material type of your skylights. If it is Plexiglas or regular glass, mild scratches caused due to environmental damages are quite common. Nonetheless, if they don't look clean even after cleaning, try using a wax product to polish the surface.
- Polishing of the skylights should be done after cleaning them. Otherwise, there is no point in applying wax over dirty plastic or glass. The waxed surface is less prone to scratches and lines.
At any point of time, safety is your first and foremost priority. By any chance, if you think cleaning skylights is dangerous, stop and consider hiring a professional. Irrespective of whether you have glass, plastic or combined skylights, they should be cleaned, at least 2 twice a year to allow light penetration to the fullest.