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Skylight blowout

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Harley, Jun 24, 2007.

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  1. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    Well - I do know the obvoius answer is to replace the damned thing, But I'm trying to figure out what happened. I have to climb up and clean out the glass. This was a stationary skylight that decided to blow today when I wasn't home. The good thing is that only one of the glass panels broke (interior), and the exterior one seems to be holding, so no immediate need to head to the roof and cover it up for rain. By the chunks of glass - I'm guessing it's tempered, so a little bit easier to clean up.

    My best guess right now is that they are probably about 20-25 years old (I've been in the house for about 14 years). They have always been "foggy" in the summer, so I know the seals in between the glass were going, but there's never been any leaks.

    The windows are at the south side of the house. This morning it was cool (maybe 50*), so I closed up all of the windows early this AM. We had some pretty bright sun and a quick warming this afternoon, followed by another small rain storm. So what I'm thinking is that it was more of a temperature difference/pressure change which could have caused the break. I really doubt there was any stress from the framing which might have "squeezed" the window to cause it to break.

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  2. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    Oh, and here's a picture of the skylight (still can't figure out how to get more than one picture in a post)

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  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I've seen this happen to a couple rear car windows too. Same conditions, rapid cooling and heating. Maybe thermal shock?

    PS: Nice plants, the cactus is super.
  4. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Harley...
    Looks like a damper on your weekend. As to what caused it... With the double pane sklights when moisture gets in between... it can happen. The moist air heats up in the sun (causing pressure), the tempurature difference between the outside and inside comes into play, the glass flexes... and well you know the rest.
    Break out the shop vac and go to work... be carefull when cleaning up. "Keep the puppy" out of the area for awhile, and watch out for glass slivers. If you have a wood floor out there (or any surface that may 'harbor slivers') pay close attention on the cleanup. If there are any "cracks" in the floor it wouldn't hurt to run a tape style "lint roller' over them. Glass slivers are the worst.
    ...If you find yourself "in the market" for a new skylight...Someone is probabaly going to "chime in against"...but, I would lean towards Velux. Probably the best on the market. A little $$$ but lesser grade skylights aren't worth the savings in the long run. :)
  5. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Velux is a good choice in skylight. You can also get a new double pane insulated replacement set of glass which would be even easier to replace than ripping out the old framing.
    Any glass shop can make it for you to your measurements. And it will be much less expensive.

    Ours are "ghosted" also. The previous homeowner put a patterned lead glass looking window film on it, works for me for now. Can't see the ghosting of fog. :)
  6. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    Thanks guys... Looks like the original manufacturer is no longer in business. I think I can get the window out without too much messing around with flashing and seals, so I think it is going to be having the glass cut and use the same framing.
  7. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Basically that the sealed glass assy sits in or on a seal usually rubber. then the top flashing pcs also rest against the top of the glass with a rubber seal of some sort. You are right in being able to lift the top framing off and pull the glass out. The just replace the 2 pane assy with new, and reset in and reinstall the top[ framing. Just make sure your rubber seal on the top framing is in good shape. Test with a hose when done installing to check for leaks. Less work & money than replacing the whole thing.
  8. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    Just an update - it's done... Hogz - you were right on with the removal/install tips - thanks.

    I pulled the whole assembly out (very easy) and found that there was no real easy or obviuos ways to remove the glass "panel" from the "sash" if I'm using the right term. I brought it down to a local glass shop (very reputable). I left it off there - they said they would take it apart, get the measurements of the glass inside, order it, and put it back together so I'd be able to put it back in while the glass was ordered - then just do the same thing once the new glass came in. No problem I thought... WRONG.

    The guy called me later in the afternoon - said - "we have a problem" Seems the way it was made, the glass panel is glued, screwed and cemented into the framing around it - he didn't want to cut and pry around the framing and damage that and have a lot of bent up pieces of aluminum that might not seal well into the new glass panel. So I brought it home and put it back in.

    Back to the internet (isn't it a great thing?) Like I thought, the Company that made it was no longer in business, but a little more looking, I found a place that did still have replacement parts - a few e-mails later, and pulling it out again for measurements - he said "yup - got the replacement for it".

    I ordered it - showed up the other day - put it in today and it was a perfect fit! I only had to do some minor cutting on the brackets holding it down, since the mounting holes were not quite in the same place.

    I'm saving the old one with the 1 glass panel for a spare (like I need more junk in the attic) in case I have a major blowout on either of the other 2.
  9. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Congrats man, and you saved a good chunk of change also. Now take some of that cash you saved and buy another one or two of those replacements for future needs :).
    Glad it worked out for ya. And not too much fuss. That makes doing a repair so worth while and feels good when done.
    Golf clap :) woot!!!!!!!
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Take a bow Hog, great tip.
  11. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Ah, my pleasure. It feels almost as good helping someone as it does repairing something and having it work again.
  12. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    Well - anyone have any guesses on how long I'll keep finding little chunks of glass in stray places around the room... my guess it will be a while.... anyway - the window at least passed its first water test with some heavy rain - so all looks good. Thanks, everyone.

    And one last pic for BG... I think the cactuses/cacti??? are all happy now that they are getting some more sun.

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  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Nice! I also like the contrast of the snowshoe and sombrero. When you need the snowshoes, thoughts of Mexico come to mind for me too.
  14. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Man thats a nice looking room.
    Makes me think of Mexico, scuba diving, and lots o Coronas by the bucketfull. I'm overdue for that. ;)
  15. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    LOL - long story behind that sombrero - but I don't think I have enough space to tell it here, but give me a few corona's and lime - I might be willing to tell that tale ;-)
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