Many older homes in Vancouver still have old-fashioned T-bar skylights. T-bar systems are created from a number of panes of glass joined together and held in place by aluminum brackets lined with rubber and caulked to seal the joints from the elements.
Such skylights are easy to recognize because the joints are plainly visible either horizontally or vertically across the skylight.
Still common in heritage homes but not newer homes
T-bar systems are still very common and Absolute Roof technicians see them on at least a third of the houses they re-roof every year.
The major problem with T-bars is that over time the caulk and rubber will degrade, loosening the joints and allowing rain to leak into the house.
As well unlike modern skylights, they are not sealed units or even well embedded into the structure of the house. Consequently, they are very energy inefficient
It has been such a problem that T-bar skylight systems are no longer allowed by the building code in residential properties although they are still used commercially.
They will leak eventually
But that doesn't stop them from leaking into the houses they are currently installed. And leak they will.
There are two solutions.
Need regular inspections or replace
One, every five to ten years get these skylights properly inspected to address any degradation of the system otherwise a leak at some point in time is guaranteed.
While Absolute Roof Solutions provides such inspection services, the solution we recommend is to replace these units with modern sealed skylights. These units properly installed rarely leak, providing peace of mind. Because T-bar systems are usually custom-sized, there may be a larger outlay for a custom-sized sealed unit. But ultimately it would be worth it.
It should be kept in mind that when these new systems do leak, it is 99% because the skylight was improperly installed. So proper installation is key.
There is nobody better than Absolute Roof Solutions for skylight installation. We are a VIP Certified Velux Installer. Velux is the premier manufacturer of modern skylights today.
If you have a T-bar skylight system, give us a call when you need us.