9 Key Skylight Terms To Know

When you work with commercial skylight contractors, you may be introduced to new vocabulary for skylights and skylight installation. As your project gets underway, here are a few key terms you will hear tossed around and are helpful to know as you find the right commercial skylights solution for your building. 

Curb

The curb of a skylight refers to the raised frame that is fixed to the deck of the roof and on which curb-mounted skylights are placed. Curbs of typically made of wood and built on site or made of metal and are pre-manufactured and delivered with the skylight.

Fixed skylight

This term refers to skylights that are non-operable, as in they do not open for venting purposes.

Flashing

Flashing is a weatherproofing system that imperviously integrates skylights into the surrounding roofing material. There are multiple types of flashing systems for skylights, such as self-flashing and step flashing, and they are meant to shed exterior water without relying on sealants, which can degrade over time.

Glazing

Glazing is the glass or acrylic portion of the skylight. Typically commercial skylights have multiple layers of glazing, which is referred to as insulated glazing, such as the Velux Acrylic Double Dome. The space between the glazing can also be filled with argon gas to enhance insulation further.

Laminated glass

Laminated glass is made from two panes of glass that are bonded together by a vinyl layer between them. The vinyl layer prevents the glass from breaking apart in dangerous shards when damaged.

Low-E coating

Low-E, or low emissivity, coating refers to a metallic layer that is chemically bonded to skylight glass and works to prevent heat gain and minimize UV rays that can fade interior surfaces. Sometimes notated as LoE, LoE2, or LoE3 which indicates single, double, and triple layers of coating, respectively. 

Tempered glass

A type of glass that is hardened to shatter into small pieces when broken.

Venting skylight

As opposed to fixed skylights, venting skylights are operable. They can be opened manually with a long arm crank or can be remotely operated. Additionally, some venting skylights are outfitted with moisture sensors that automatically close the skylight in the event of precipitation. 

Wrapping

Wrapping a skylight is the process of using roofing underlayment or felt to wrap the skylight curb or frame. Wrapping skylights reduce the risk of condensation forming on the interior skylight surfaces and is additional protection from exterior water penetration in extreme weather scenarios.

 

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