Articles

How to Clean a Skylight

Skylights and roof windows have increased in popularity in recent years and are becoming a staple of the modern home. It is therefore important to know not only how to install them well, but how to clean them after installation, so you are delivering the best possible product for your customer.

There are many factors that go into cleaning a skylight or roof window, including safety, efficiency, and even recognising when and when not to clean. Read our guide on how to clean skylights or roof windows safely and effectively.

Practise Safety

Safety is an important practice when it comes to cleaning any roof window. Since these windows are usually out of reach, cleaning during installation is most efficient. Equipment and extra protection is sometimes required. When cleaning, it is important to follow safety procedures – many will be inline with installation safety procedures.

  1. Using fall protection, such as a fall restraint. This is a holding device connected to a reliable anchor, preventing you from reaching areas where you could fall.
  2. Wear PPE (Personal Protection Equipment), such as a hard hat, to minimise damage if there is a fall.
  3. Scaffolding – If you are already installing a roof window you may already have scaffolding and can use this to clean the window safely.
  4. Undergo training that focuses on safe working practices, as well as the correct use of relevant equipment. You should keep these up-to-date as they’re applicable to installations as well as cleaning procedures.
  5. If the risk of a fall can’t otherwise be reduced, use collective equipment, such as airbags, to reduce the impact in the event of a fall.

 

Best Way to Clean a Roof Window (Exterior): Step-by-Step

Centre pivot roof windows can be cleaned even from inside the room by rotating the sash. Some of the roof windows are equipped with a barrel bolt, which can secure the sash in cleaning position. Read our step-by-step guide on how to clean the exterior of a roof window.

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    Clean water will normally be sufficient for cleaning the pane. Non-abrasive household cleaners can also be used. Avoid contact from silicone with the pane. Soft water is best for cleaning panes, therefore, in hard-water areas add a small amount of detergent to soften the water.
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    Soak the skylight or roof window glass with the solution, loosening any dirt and debris present from the installation.

Water on window

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    Next, use a mild, non-abrasive glass cleaner as well as a soft brush or other non-abrasive applicator, to clean the glass. A squeegee can also be helpful.
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    The cleaning solution should be removed with a lint free cloth or soft sponge immediately to prevent streaks.
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    Keep any metal parts of the cleaning equipment from touching the glass, or any other abrasive materials, as these could damage the glass.
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    For hard to remove spots like tree sap, label adhesive, paint or other construction material, you can use a small, new razor blade. If it’s needed, the razor should only be used in one direction, to avoid damaging the glass. This should only be done on very small and stubborn spots - for example, if construction material has been splashed on the window.
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    Rinse the glass. If the skylight or roof window is cleaned from outside the roof and the window is closed, a hose can be also used. Avoid using high-pressure jets, especially from bottom to upwards direction, because the direct high-pressure water stream can cause water leakage on the window.

Cleaning a roof window with a squeegee

Best Way to Clean a Skylight (Interior): Step-by-Step

Interior surfaces can be cleaned simply with a damp cloth, as well as using a mild, soapy water solution against tougher dirt. If the window has become dusty during installation, we recommend cleaning both the exterior and interior to deliver the best for your customer. We also advise informing your customer of the best way to clean the interior of their new window.

  1. Make a milder version of the solution used for the exterior – water and a bit of soap – in a bucket.
  2. If the skylights or roof windows are hard to reach, you can either use a step ladder or an extendable cleaning device. If you opt for a ladder, make sure you are safe when climbing up and down.
  3. Soak a rag in your cleaning solution and wring it out with your hands to get rid of the excess moisture. Wipe the window.
  4. Wait a few minutes, then wipe the window with a dry rag.

 

Maintaining Skylight and Roof Window Quality

Not paying attention to the condition of skylights can damage their quality. It is a good idea to inform your customers on how to keep skylights or roof windows in excellent condition, as not paying attention to the upkeep may cause the room to grow humid. If this happens, condensation can build up quickly.

Condensation can lead to:

  • Peeling wallpaper
  • Damp patches on walls and ceilings
  • Streaming windows
  • Growth of mould and mildew
  • Structural damage

You should inform your customers to:

  • Open the skylight up every so often to avoid condensation. This is easily done with Dakea Control/Control+ skylights or many of our roof windows.
  • Clean the skylights at least twice a year to remove debris and dirt.
  • Leaves and other debris can accumulate around your skylight or roof window, which can affect its ability to repel rainwater and prevent leaks. At least once a year, it is important to clear the leaves, twigs, and other debris to allow rainwater to flow freely around the window.

Find out more about how to stop window condensation in our helpful article.

Upkeep of Roof Flashing

Make sure to inform your customers that poor or deteriorated flashing is one of the biggest causes of roof window and skylight leaks. They should ensure the flashing is in a good condition and checked over regularly.

You can find our range of high quality Dakea roof flashing in our installation accessories.

installing roof window flashing

 

When cleaning a customer’s skylight or roof window, safety is of the utmost importance. For more advice on presenting mint condition skylight or roof windows to your customer, visit our Trade Matters pages. We have loads of information for installers, roofers and other professionals.

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