A Look into Skylights – Commercial Roof Safety and Leak Prevention

skylightSkylights can offer many benefits to a commercial building, like natural light and lower electric costs. Did you know, however, that 10% of all fatalities within the roofing trade are a result of falling through a skylight? If your facility has skylights, there are steps you can take to protect anyone accessing your roof, including employees and external vendors.

Commercial Roof Safety Steps

  • Always review where skylights are from INSIDE the building if the ceiling permits view
  • Create a rooftop map to highlight all roof penetrations like skylights and HVAC units
  • Never allow skylights to be coated with the same color as the roof
  • If possible, install guards around the skylights.
  • Make sure anyone working around skylights is following OSHA requirements of being protected through personal fall arrest systems, covers or guardrail systems.

To maximize the beneficial aspects of commercial roofing skylights, they need to be properly maintained. After all, they are penetrations in the roof so they can increase the likelihood for water intrusion resulting in a roof leak.


  1. The skylight itself is cracked. If so, it usually needs to be replaced to eliminate the issue. While temporary repairs are possible, they should not be considered long-term solutions.
  2. The perimeter around the skylight is deteriorating. In this case, repairs can generally be made to stop the water from coming in. If the skylight area has too much dry rot, though, a replacement is usually required.

Commercial roof skylights can be a great enhancement to a building. It’s important, however, to take proper measures to keep people on your roof safe – and people inside your building dry.


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