Skylight Flashing Debate

I’m was about to sign a contract with a roofer tonight when the topic came up that I didn’t see reflashing of skylight or vent pipes written. He said that he can’t reflash the skylight b/c he would need a flashing kit to do it. Problem is it’s a Roto Skylight over 20 yrs old (not leaking), and they don’t sell the kits anymore. He’s going to have his foreman check out the skylight tomorrow morning to see if he can reflash it. Can’t you guys make the flashing? People must make their own before these fancy kits came about….?

He also said he doesn’t need to reflash the vent pipes b/c the boot has the flashing as part of it….?

I know this is short notice, but can anyone out there let me know if this is normal to NOT reflash a skylight? Every contractor I spoke with said they would. Is this guy off, or is he the only one honest? Also please let me know about vent pipe flashing.


I’m not a roofer, just hanging around here while I reroof my own house. It sounds like the guy is really cutting corners. I mean new vent pipe boots only cost 5-6 dollars a piece. The old ones may not leak but kind of silly not to replace them considering the small cost. If the guy has a bending brake that will bend metal he should be able to make new flashing for the skylight. However if the flashing that came with the skylight is ok it could probably be reused. Either way he should use new step flashing on the sides of the skylight.

vent pipe flashing should be replaced ,skylight can be reused and reflashed with i/w protection or replaced,if have damage(crack,mold).About flashing kit,yes,roofers can bend any flashings including for skylight,if need,but it all depends on their skills.Good luck

Most flashing kits are 'wee"parts.I chuck em over my shoulder and weeee.Anyways There are 1 or 2 acceptable flashing kits.However I usually make my own on site.You can’t really even call it making it,as you can buy all the required flashing.You’ll need a backpan,step tins(baby tins),piece of wall flashing(apron)and some counter flashing.Once you’ve done a few,it reall is rather simple.Any real roofer can flash a skylight.I knew a roofer once that would tell customers that he doesn’t install skylights because they leak…Yeah they leak,if you don’t know what your doing.

I always replace all flashings,boots,etc.The only exception is some flashings that are under stucco,that are in like new condition.Why not go new everything,especially if you have to put you warranty on it. :?

If I were buying a new roof, I’d spend a few hundred more and buy a new skylight. The newer Velux are so much better designed and built and also have much better thermal characteristics. I’d think they’d pay for themselves in a couple of years in energy savings.

When we do roof replacements where skylights that are out of warranty are involved, we offer the Homeowner a couple of alternatives. We’ll leave it in place and seal around the glass/frame with some clear caulk for free. With that option, we won’t warranty any leaks that occur with or in the vicinity of the skylight. Homeowner can purchase a new one along with the flashing kit and we’ll install it. It then has the same full warranty as the remainder of the roof.

I’ve seen too many bad situations with these old out of warranty piece of crap skylights that I’m simply not going to take the risk. Go back 3 months after the roof replacement, the skylight itself is leaking and the Homeowner expects us to replace it with a new skylight, flash kit and repair the interior out of our own pocket.

As far as the pipe jack boots, if you have a roofer saying replacing those isn’t part of the project, you may want to rethink your choice.

With you wanting to salvage that 20 year old skylight, sounds like you may be wanting to get the cheapest roof possible. Looks like you may have been successful in that endeavor. You may very well end up getting exactly what you paid for.

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Authentic_Dad has some good points. Ask your contractor if they know other material to replace for your Skylight. Remember that if you choose a material that is strong against wind and other things that may broken it there is a tendency that the light passing through is much smaller.

Home depot sells Velux flashing kits, that would work just fine. Mind you we bend our own metal in the shop.

Flashing for a 2x4 skylight:
1 Front Pan (bottom) 4 inch on roof, 2.5 inch up skylight.
20 Step Flashing (sides): 4 inch on roof 2.5 inch up skylight.
1 Back pan (top): 2.5 inch up skylight, 18 inch up roof, and extend 2.5’ to 3’ past sides of skylight

We always replace skylight flashings except on mobile homes where the skylight was hot-tarred installed. Heck it’s not even an option, it gets re-flashed.
Replacing your entire skylight may be a good idea too.

Pipe flashings ALWAYS get replaced, ALWAYS!

sounds like you are getting a “roof over”
instead of a “roof replacement”

I sometimes keep the skylights on a replacement if it is near new.
but keep the boots on a replacement?
Yeah, i suppose that is feasable if it is made of lead and their is no roofing cement surrounding it.

Ps, i do like the honest guy!!
Sometimes you dont like what they have to say but they always do the best work. because they are honest with their hands too, not just their mouth.

The dishonest guy will tell you exactly what you want to hear and then their work is horrible. they are dishonest with their mouth first, and then their hands follow.

I like to think that the OP didn’t fully understand what the roofer was saying.

Every new roof should get new pipe flashings, they cost less than $10 each.
If your roofer plans on reusing the existing pipe boots, find a different roofer.

Skylights, it is a good idea to replace the skylights with a reroof, if it is a quality brand of skylight you can usually get 2 roofs out of it/them though.

Plastic bubble skylights, I refuse to reinstall them, either it gets a new skylight or it gets removed and sheeted over.

A real skylight will have a manufacturer fabricated flashing kit, if this kit was installed correctly the first time it can easily be reused.

By reusing a skylight you do run the risk of the skylight itself leaking, this isn’t a roofing issue per say but it will result in water entering the home and a callback from the customer.
If this occurs you will be in the undesirable position of trying to explain why the roof isn’t leaking as water drips on the floor…

If your skylight looks like this it has a flashing kit already, or it is part of the skylight itself. … ndows.html

we replace all skylights with Velux or no warranty period!! no exceptions. A skylight is part of the roof system. If you replace the roof you should replace the skylight. And only use Velux, everything else is junk!!

Aaa. That"s who bought all the stocks Velux!!! :wink:

The plumbing flashings you got now, are they lead, sometimes they can be re-used, we always go new everything, flashing a skylite is very easy to a exp. roofer, if he’s trying to get out of it i would be really wondering why, how much does he really know :roll: …

Hey Guys-

Thanks for all the quick replies. So, roofer had his foreman check out the skylight this morning. Said the skylight is in really good condition so they said they want to reuse the skylight flashing (after using the ice & water shield, of course). They said they have no problem warranteeing the work for 10 yrs.

Maybe I didn’t explain it well earlier, but the roofer didn’t say he wouldn’t change the pipe boot, he said he didn’t add flashing to the boot. I spoke with a new roofer friend and he explained to me that flashing is inside or somehow part of the boot. He said standard is just replace the boot. So after learning this, then the roofer seems legit that he will replace the pipe boots.

And no, he wasn’t the cheapest, and no i’m not being crazy cheap b/c I chose him. There’s shady people who want 11k for the job, and shady people who want 6k for the job. The key is to learn to differentiate them from the good guys, and stick to the good guys.

Thanks again to all who helped out.

I’d insist on new skylight flashings.Tell him you’ll give him an extra hun.Very important(IMO)If he still says no,tell him thats the deal breaker(unless you already signed)I don’t see the big deal,we do it with every skylight(no exceptions)

extra 10years warranty for used skylight? :shock: No doubt.Everything will be as the say.

The thing about skylights is also that the glazing can go, and also leak. you either bring in a guy to change the glass or put in a new one.

The older style skylights I’ve seen used a rubber gasket that sealed the glass and the metal frame. Over time, this rubber gasket would lose its pliability and become stiff. If you have to lift the old skylight off the roof to reset it, flexing the frame is enough to cause that old rubber gasket to crack. Next big rainstorm after the job has been completed, a leak appears where the water is entering between the glass of the skylight and the metal frame.

The new Velux skylights are designed differently and use a silicon seal. Much better.

Problem with rebuilding an old skylight is by the time you figure new parts and the labor, not much different in $ than simply purchasing a new skylight and flash kit.

If the Customer wants to go cheap on something like this, I don’t care. I’m simply not going to warrant an area that has a product on it that is already 10 years out of warranty. Simply doesn’t make sense.

Replace the skylights , they do not hold up for 40 years . I have gotten where i refuse the job if they dont replace the skylights , i can easily make it so it doesnt leak for 20-50 years around the flashing but the seals around the glass will go bad & leak & cloud up the glass . Replace the skylights .

If you’re installing a self-flashing skylight, you’re now ready to position the skylight.But if your skylight is a curb-mounted unit, you need to flash the curb.It is a fact that the 2 biggest heat loss areas in your house is your windows and your roof.With a skylight your are putting a window in the roof.I have checked out many skylight instalations and even attempted a few myself.