4 Tips For Easily Cleaning Your Skylights

Skylights are a coveted luxury upgrade for many homeowners and potential buyers, offering an excess of gorgeous natural light while adding to your home's architectural intrigue. According to Home Depot, there are three select styles of skylights. The most popular and recognizable are fixed skylights, which are usually mounted on high ceilings or other out-of-reach places and add extra light to a room. The following most popular style are vented skylights, which serve both decorative and functional purposes. Vented skylights are usually installed in bathrooms, kitchens, or other moist areas and have controls to open and close them. Finally, there are tubular skylights, but these are almost a different category altogether.

There are a lot of preconceived negative connotations to skylights, but Lyons Roofing assures that most of these beliefs are untrue. For example, many worry that skylights let in excess heat or harmful UV rays and fear they could leak when it rains. If you have your skylights professionally installed, none of these should cause concern. One legitimate drawback is that they can be challenging to clean. Don't worry, though, because we've covered you with four easy ways to keep your skylights pristine.

1. Hire a professional deep cleaner

The trickiest part of cleaning your skylights isn't just that they're hard to reach from the inside but that you also need to clean the outside. While you can clean your window exteriors without expert intervention, your skylights require climbing up on the roof and should be left to trained professionals, advised A+ Window Cleaning.

Not only is this important for the obvious safety concerns involved, but professional skylight cleaners know how to properly treat your windows without damaging them. Ideally, you should contact professional cleaners at least once or twice a year. Even with regular cleaning, dirt and grime can build up on the surface of the glass, and if you don't know how to remove the build-up properly, you could damage the integrity of the glass. They'll also remove any insects that have found a home in your skylights, both inside and outside. According to Fixr, the average skylight cleaning costs $25 and $35 per unit, which is well worth the price for both your safety and convenience.

2. Periodical exterior cleaning

That being said, there's still the potential for your windows to get too cloudy to be enjoyable in the interim between professional cleanings. You can give your skylight exteriors the occasional cleaning if you're comfortable and have the proper safety measures to get to your roof. Atlanta Skylights recommends choosing a day with moderate temperatures and good weather to keep yourself from getting exhausted.

Begin by getting together everything you need to clean so you don't have to make unnecessary, risky trips up and down your roof. These materials include a bucket filled with warm water and mild soap, a gentle bristle brush, a squeegee, a window cleaner, and a microfiber towel. You may also need lawn bags. Furthermore, check with your window manufacturer that all your cleaning materials are safe. Now that you have all your ducks in a row remove leaves, sticks, or any other debris from and around your skylight, discarding them according to your local yard waste laws. Then, using the brush and soapy water, give the skylight a gentle but thorough scrub. Squeegee the water off, and repeat the cleaning process as needed until the window is clear of any spots or film. Finish off with a spritz of your glass cleaner, mopping it up with your microfiber towel.

3. Cleaning the interior

Next up is cleaning your interior skylights. Not all skylights are high up and hard to reach, but if they are, try to avoid ladders when possible. Instead, opt for long-handled, extendable brooms and mops. Glass Doctor recommends using an exercise step or any other wide, low riser if you need a height boost. Similar to your exterior windows, you should ensure not to use any cleaning materials that could ruin your skylight. Not all skylights are made of glass and most likely have a protective film that harsh chemicals could damage. It's advised to use distilled water when cleaning your skylights to avoid leaving behind mineral deposits.

If your skylight is above furniture, consider moving it or covering it with plastic, so it doesn't get damaged by cleaning supplies. Add a gentle dry rag to the end of a broom or rod, securing it with rope or rubber bands, and give the window a preliminary dry clean. Then, mix up some lukewarm distilled water with mild dish soap, adding vinegar if the windows are filthy. Either use a clean rag or a long mop dipped in the solution to clean the windows, going over it with just water on a clean rag. Finally, using another dry and clean towel, give it one final wipe down.

4. Avoiding condensation

Besides dirt, condensation is another thing you have to worry about when it comes to your skylights. Not only does this look bad, but it can threaten the integrity of your skylights, as well as other aspects of your home. According to Sun Square, skylight condensation is most prevalent in winter or colder months. The glass is cold to the touch in these conditions, and condensation forms when heat and moisture come in contact with it. 

This can lead to mildew and mold growing on your walls and baseboards, rotting wood, damage your floors, and ruin the clean appearance of your skylights. Luckily, if you're aware of the potential for condensation to develop, you can prevent it. The best way to do this is to make sure all excess moisture and hot air go outside — check that your dryer vents are working properly, open your windows when possible, and open up ceiling vents.