Texas Living

Avoid These 3 Skylight Risks

By Casey Kelly-Barton 7.12.17

Skylights are a great way to boost natural lighting in windowless stairwells and north-facing rooms, brighten up kitchens and bathrooms, and lighten the mood in a home. According to the National Association of Realtors, skylights can bring in 30% more light than a window.

But it’s important to install your skylight correctly — and pick the best spot. Avoid the top three skylight risks by following the tips below.


When a skylight is the only thing between you and the sun, your home can overheat. Steve Thompson, chief engineer for the Texas Department of Insurance, recommends avoiding placing your skylight where it will receive full afternoon sun and choosing the lowest possible U-value — a measure of heat loss used to rate insulation.

The Texas Department of Insurance recommends Texas homeowners look for skylights with the following U-factors:

  • Gulf Coast to Waco: .75 or lower
  • Panhandle: .6 or lower
  • The rest of Texas: .65 or lower

Storm Damage

Skylights are made to be safe, but severe weather can damage even the sturdiest skylight. Avoid storm damage by keeping tree limbs pruned away from skylights. Also try to avoid areas “close to hips, valley, or ridges” in your roof to reduce wind stress and heavy rain runoff.

“Skylight products have safety glazing, either tempered, laminated, heat-strengthened, or polycarbonate plastic,” Thompson says. “However, keep in mind that even aluminum framing and laminated glazing materials can be damaged by hail,” Thompson says.

Improper Installation

It’s a good idea to leave the installation to an experienced contractor unless you’ve successfully installed skylights before; improper installation can nullify the skylight’s safety and durability features.

If you do choose to install, make sure you check with your local city building department to make sure your skylight and installation meet the required standards.

Once you’ve avoided these skylight risks and are basking in the glow of the sun or moon, be sure to check in with your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent to protect your new investment and make sure your property insurance policy is up-to-date.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. © 2017 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance