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Leaking Skylight & Roof Pitch: Shingle Roof vs Flat Roof

Skylights and chimneys are the two roof penetrations that leak the most on a roof because they have four different types of flashings (apron, pan, step, counter-flashing) that must work in unison to shed the water away from the skylight or chimney.

Sometimes a skylight will leak because the pitch of the roof is too low. The pitch of a shingle roof must be at least 3/12 pitch or greater or else you cannot have a skylight because it will continually leak. However, if you have a FLAT roof system on a pitch below 3/12- then you can install a skylight- because the flashing system is different on a flat roof than on a shingle roof. If you have a shingle roof of 3/12 or greater- you can have a skylight that will not leak- no matter what the weather is, as long as it’s installed correctly.

In conclusion, if you have a shingle roof pitch that is 3/12 or greater, your skylight shouldn’t leak and If it does leak- it’s either faulty skylight or faulty flashing. And either one can be fixed, so there is no need to cover up the skylight.


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