Tag Archives: commercial skylight

How to Clean Your Skylights

How to Clean Your Skylights - skylight contractor - Mares Dow

While wall windows should be cleaned every one to two months, skylights should be cleaned at least once every year. If possible, aim to clean your skylights once every three to four months. If your skylight contractors didn’t give you cleaning instructions specific to your skylights, you can follow the manufacturer’s instructions or those in this post.

Set up your work area with the appropriate equipment

Skylights can be difficult to reach without ladders or scaffolding. For your own safety, please consider using fall protection, such as harnesses and hard helmets, in addition to following your equipment guidelines. Your skylight contractors might also have specific advice for your layout.

Gather your cleaning materials

You’ll need a soap and water solution, a non-abrasive glass cleaner and applicator (such as a soft brush), a squeegee, and a damp lint-free cloth. If your skylights can vent and have insect screens, you should also have a dry towel and a garden hose available outside.

Clean your skylights following these steps:

  1. Start at the topmost section of your skylight and work your way down to avoid dirt and debris from traveling down just-cleaned areas
  2. Soak the glass with your soap and water solution
  3. Clean the glass with your non-abrasive applicator and glass cleaner
  4. Immediately squeegee away the glass cleaner
  5. Clean the skylight frame with your damp lint-free cloth, using the soap and water solution on stubborn dirt
  6. For venting skylights that are electrically operated, turn the power off at the breaker box after the skylight is open and wipe a dry towel along the chain
  7. Remove the insect screen and spray it outside with your garden hose
  8. Replace the insect screen after it’s completely dry

Important cleaning practices:

Take care to avoid touching the metal parts of your equipment to the glass, and don’t use scrapers, knives, or other abrasive tools. Skylight glass is durable to withstand climate, but it’s vulnerable to damage from sharp materials.

While cleaning, look for these signs you need skylight replacement:

  • Scratched, cracked, or otherwise damaged glass
  • Water damage along the edges of the glass (damp ceiling, peeling paint, mold growth, etc.)

Reach out to your local skylight contractors for repairs and replacement

Contact the skylight contractors at Mares & Dow Construction and Skylights today for help with replacing your old skylights with the latest VELUX models. With over 40 years of experience, we offer the best in skylight installation.

5 Ways New Skylights Will Expand Your Business

5 Ways New Skylights Will Expand Your Business - commercial skylight - Mares & Dow

Commercial skylights are not only beautiful, but create a positive and pleasant work environment as well.  There are also several energy-efficient styles to choose from, so you can’t go wrong. As many studies show, natural lighting benefits not only employee wellness, but company growth, too!

So why, exactly, are commercial skylights a great option for your business? 

  1. Increased Productivity: It’s true. Well-lit spaces foster productivity, and commercial skylights provide just that. Imagine working in a dull, dim office; it sounds like a recipe for fatigue. Instead of promoting nap time, encourage efficiency. Natural lighting enhances mood, creates a cheerful environment, and even reduces eye strain. Employee wellness should be a priority, and by investing in natural light, you’re showing your employees you care.  
  2. Improved Mood: There’s no doubt about it, sunlight is a mood enhancer. It’s proven to increase the release of serotonin, aka the “happy hormone”. Responsible for regulating mood, Serotonin can decrease anxiety, improve focus, and support an overall pleasant state. Happy employees make happy customers!
  3. Welcoming and Bright: Dark and dingy, or bright and cheerful? Sounds like a rhetorical question, right? The latter creates a more inviting atmosphere for employees and clients alike. Spaces look larger, and rooms appear more open. (Hint: there’s a reason homeowners opt for light paint!) 
  4. Higher Resale Value/Lease Potential: Natural light is a hot commodity that comes at a cost. Brightening things up using skylights can not only make your space appear larger, but also make it a sought-after property. Think it’s a sham? According to New Day Office, properties with ample natural lighting can lease for $2-$4 more than their dark alternatives! 
  5. Cost-Efficient: Allowing an abundance of natural light to flow through, this is often reflected in decreased electrical bills. Buildings equipped with skylights luck out with natural heat, and light without having to flip a switch! It’s also worth noting, Mares Dow uses only the highest-quality materials when installing commercial skylights. With their impenetrable water barrier, you can be confident that the skylight product you receive can stand up to the elements. 

If you’re ready to transform your space and experience the advantages of natural light, commercial skylights are a fantastic addition. Remember, you can’t put a price tag on employee satisfaction. As productivity grows, so does your business. 

Contact your trusted contractors at Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights today to discuss the advantages of commercial skylights. With over 40 years of experience, you can feel confident you’re choosing the best in business.

Questions to Ask Before Installing Commercial Skylights

Questions to Ask Before Installing Commercial Skylights - velux commercial skylights - Mares Dow

Are you wondering if it’s possible to install commercial skylights in your business? There are limitless benefits of commercial skylights, including increased productivity and increased overall health of employees. Many businesses-owners have made the switch to natural lighting.

There are also risks involved with skylights, such as leaking, unwanted temperature changes, and bad installation. Before you decide to invest in skylights, ask yourself these questions to know if your business is a good fit for installing commercial skylights.

What is the shape of your roof?

Leaking is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to deciding to install commercial skylights. This fear can be alleviated if the shape of the business’s roof can accommodate lousy weather. A steeper roof allows for water to flow with ease, while a flat roof can trap water and create buildup around the skylight.

If your roof isn’t a preferred shape, it’s still possible to have skylights. Contractors resolve leaking issues by the addition of a waterproof protective layer and sealing joints thoroughly. These newer technologies have allowed for a no-leaking ten-year guarantee. Be sure to discuss your options with your contractor.

How is your Electric Bill?

Ventilated skylights are also an option to provide extra airflow in the workplace. These skylights open to allow air from the outside to come in. During the summer, natural wind can provide cooling in an office.

During the winter, the skylights absorb extra heat from the sun’s light. The skylight can keep the cold out while allowing natural light to warm up the office. Extra ventilation and sun-exposure can save a considerable number of electric bills.

Are you planning on Reselling?

Skylights add massive value to buildings if you are ever planning on relocating or reselling. One of the top priorities for buyers is access to natural light. Buyers will be excited about saving money on electricity.

They will also be excited about the increase in productivity for their employee’s natural lighting has proven to make employees happier and more productive. The aesthetic value of the workplace will also exponentially increase. Natural lighting makes the workplace look much more beautiful. Investing in skylights is a smart choice if you are thinking about reselling in the future.

Are skylights compatible with the climate where you live?

While skylights are useful for ventilation, they can also have the opposite effect. Newer technologies have allowed for less heat and cold exposure through skylights. However, unwanted winter cold or summer heat due to skylights is still a possibility.

The use of glazing technologies such as heat resistant tints and e-coatings prevent additional summertime heating and wintertime cooling, through the skylight. Talk to your commercial skylight contractors about options if you live in a climate prone to extreme weather.

Skylights are a significant investment, and it can be challenging to know if your business is ready to make the switch. Will adding commercial skylights be a good investment for you? Almost any business is right for skylights if they partner with knowledgeable and adaptable contractors. The benefits of adding skylights to a business are many, and your employees will thank you for the new natural light in the office.

Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  As Certified 5-Star Velux Skylight specialists we bring the highest level of commitment to all projects. Contact us today to learn more about installing commercial skylights in your business!

Commercial Skylights: Can They Keep Your Team Productive?

office-skylight-commercial skylight-Mares Dow-2

According to The Washington Post, 25% of Americans spend their entire day working indoors. That’s a lot of fluorescent and artificial lighting. Does this fact really affect the productivity and output of your business? 

The economic and physical cost of working mostly independent of the sun’s light is higher than most might assume. One way to let some natural light back into the workplace is by installing commercial skylights. So, what are the benefits? More than you might think. Here are the four best reasons for investing in skylights for the workplace is a great idea.

Commercial Skylights for Healthier and Happier Employees

Fluorescent lighting is more harmful than we know. While artificial lighting is not directly harmful, it is known to cause temporary and lasting effects. It has been proven that stress levels are related to constant exposure to artificial lighting. Migraines and headaches can also be caused by overexposure to artificial lighting. 

No one goes to work excited to spend another day in a stuffy dark environment. Commercial skylights installers can install a variety of skylights that will enhance an employee’s mood. Also letting in sunlight will increase the natural intake of vitamin D and B12, improving the overall health of your employees. According to the Sleep Foundation, sunlight is known to regulate sleep schedules, making workers better rested.  

Increased Productivity

When employees are exposed to natural lighting, they are more productive, less stressed, and enjoy their work. Vision is better in natural lighting, increasing depth perception, color visibility, and lowering blurriness. Studies have shown that natural lighting increases motivation and focus. 

Customers prefer to shop in businesses with lots of natural lighting. Overall energy levels rise in natural lighting as well. The investment will become worth it as the output coming from your employees improves. 

Greater Aesthetic in the Workplace

Brightening your office space will add beauty to your everyday environment. An aesthetically pleasing space will make employees feel more comfortable. Clients will be more likely to enjoy the time they spend in your business.  

Skylights also add value to the price of a property due to these reasons. Tenants are more likely to be interested in a space with plenty of natural light. 

Economical Advantages

Powering a business is financially and environmentally expensive. Skylights have the ability to save on temperature costs and lighting costs. Depending on where you place your skylights, you can usually save about 30% of these energy costs a month

Certain skylight features include being able to open a skylight to increase the circulation of air. Utilizing the sun’s rays can increase heat in the workplace during the winter, without letting unwanted cold air inside.

Some common worries of installing a skylight include leaking due to rain, and unwanted temperature changes inside of a building. Leaking can be resolved by the addition of a waterproof protective layer and sealing joints thoroughly. In addition, glazing technologies such as heat resistant tints and e-coatings are being used to prevent additional summertime heating and wintertime cooling, through the skylight. 

Commercial skylights are one of the best ways to bring sunlight into your office. Employees will find themselves happier, healthier, and more productive in their day to day activities. Skylights will be an investment in a company with greater output and healthier staff. For a business that’s environmentally and economically conscious, commercial skylights can be the next right move to make. 

How Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights Can Help

Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights offers a variety of Velux commercial skylights for your business in the surrounding San Francisco Bay Area. To find out more about our services, contact us at 925.671.9500. We can help you with all your commercial skylight needs.

Is It Possible to DIY Install a Skylight?


If you are like many homeowners, you likely have a do-it-yourself itch when it comes to home remodeling projects. And there are many projects where a DIY sensibility can not only save you money but also provide an opportunity for your skills and creativity to shine in your handiwork. But when it comes to skylights, asking if it is possible to DIY install a skylight brings up another question: is it the best approach for the project? Here we’ll explore both those questions and weigh the cost and benefit of installing your own skylights. 

What is involved in skylight installation?

With the right tools and know-how, a person can certainly take on a skylight installation project for their own home. If you have the skillset and resources of home remodeling contractors, for example, putting in a skylight can seem like a surmountable challenge. 

There are several steps for this project, which starts with acquiring all the necessary materials. There are multiple types of skylights and some are self-flashing or come with flashing kits, which are needed for sealing the skylight against the surface of your roof. When you have chosen your skylight and gotten the materials for the installation, next you will need to identify the best place to put it. This is not as simple as deciding which space would benefit from natural light, but instead also involves finding a location that will not impact important elements of your house’s infrastructure like the roof trusses. 

Once you’ve gathered your materials and scouted your skylight location, you will need to precisely measure and cut a hole in your roof that will perfectly fit the skylight frame – because once you’ve sawed through your roof, it can’t be undone. From there you will need to remove the shingles surrounding the opening and then drop the frame and skylight in place. The process of affixing and sealing the skylight to the roof involves laying down the flashing so it is secure and waterproof and reinstalling your shingles. Applying a silicone caulk around the edge of the flashing or any joints might also be helpful to further seal the skylight. 

What is the downside of DIY skylight installation?

While the installation steps might seem straightforward, there are a few additional considerations to take into account before you cut into your roof. First, there are the safety hazards of doing significant construction work on your roof. Any costs you avoided in not hiring a professional can be quickly spent with a trip to the ER. Additionally, some older homes still have asbestos insulation in the attic that you could unknowingly and unnecessarily come in contact with when installing your skylight. Lastly, some skylight manufacturers have specific guidelines for installation, including having certified commercial skylight installers do the job. If you don’t follow the guidelines you may void your warranty, which will cost you money in the long run. 

If you are excited about doing a DIY home remodel project, skylight installation might not be the easiest or best option. But if you are excited about adding a skylight to your home, the good news is that there are professionals like Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights who can help with the project. Contact us today to learn how we can help.

Benefits of Natural Light

dayight-office-Mares Dow

While artificial lighting certainly has its place in commercial buildings, natural light has been shown to offer a range of benefits to building occupants. Many modern office buildings are designed around natural light for this very reason. For most of us, a majority of the daylight hours are spent in the workplace, so it’s no wonder that the desk by the window becomes the most coveted position in the office. Beyond the superficial benefit of having a nice view, employees who enjoy a good amount of natural light during their day also enjoy improved health, well-being, and productivity – while businesses simultaneously enjoy improved revenues. Read on to learn more about these benefits of natural light. 

Improved health

It is common knowledge that exposure to natural light is essential for good physical health. It is our easiest source of vitamin D, which is important for our bodies’ ability to absorb several key nutrients. Natural light is also pivotal for healthy natural sleeping patterns. Because the white light from the sun is what sets our internal clocks or circadian rhythms, those who get greater exposure to natural light tend to sleep better and longer. This has resonating health benefits as healthy sleep patterns are connected to better health overall. And improved health is an ideal outcome that not only positively impacts employees but their employers too. Something as simple as commercial skylights can potentially cut down on sick days.

Improved well-being

Vitamin D is not just necessary for good physical health, but it also impacts a person’s sense of well-being. Natural light has been shown to combat depression and elevate moods, even help with chronic pain. For employers, having a staff that is in a good mood does a lot of good in the workplace. For example, Pacific Gas & Electric studied the impact of skylights across several Walmarts in the same geographic area. The study reported that the Walmarts that had more natural light from the skylights had 40% higher sales than the Walmarts that only used fluorescent lighting. Employees and customers alike could feel the positive effects of natural light. 

Improved productivity

Employees who enjoy a good amount of natural light during their workday are more productive than those who do not. While improved health and well-being directly impact productivity in decreased sick days and elevated mood, those with natural light in their workplace also say they feel more engaged. This increased level of engagement allows employees to better focus and collaborate, getting more done with more successful outcomes. 

Improved revenues

A more productive workforce certainly has its positive impacts on revenue generation for a business, but there are other ways natural light in the workplace influences the bottom line. For anyone who has worked with home remodeling contractors to install large windows or skylights, it is no surprise that those features help to increase the home’s value. Plenty of natural light is a key selling point. The same is true for commercial buildings. Prospective tenants are more likely to pay more for a space that provides ample natural light. Additionally, building owners who install features that promote natural light experience a reduction in energy costs as building occupants don’t need to rely only on electricity to light the space. 

Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights has been serving the Bay Area since 1983. We are experienced home remodeling contractors, commercial skylight experts & siding contractors. We enjoy working with homeowners & businesses to ensure their vision becomes a reality. Contact us today to get started on your next project!

3 Common Myths about Commercial Skylights


Most building occupants can agree, skylights can transform commercial buildings and suffuse interior spaces with all the benefits of warm, natural illumination. Despite the many benefits of commercial skylights, misperceptions about their durability and performance persist. Some myths founded initially in the realities of early iterations of skylights are quickly debunked by modern commercial skylights that boast new technologies and materials. Here are three common myths about commercial skylights and how today’s skylights prove them wrong.

They are leaky

A common refrain about commercial skylights is that they either lack a proper seal to the surrounding roof or curb or that the seal quickly deteriorates to allow water to leak into the interior of buildings. In the first place, often these “leaky” skylights were dripping condensation that had formed on the inside surface of the skylight due to the moist interior air reacting with surfaces subject to external temperatures. However, modern commercial skylights have been designed to confront this problem and utilize insulated glass, multiple domes isolating interior domes from external-facing domes, and encapsulating frames that can include condensation wicking systems and create a reliable barrier keeping outside precipitation from coming in. Additionally, frame varieties made from long-lasting material such as silicone that has a life-cycle of fifty years.

They are energy inefficient

Many building owners will opt out of commercial skylights due to the belief that they would exacerbate already sizeable HVAC utility costs. Certainly, some older skylights were subject to undesirable heat transfer, but the advancements in skylight technology have worked to mitigate this issue. Skylights have several glazing options that can manage heat transfer, while Low-E coatings help to reflect heat to its source, keeping buildings cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Simple structural innovations also increase the energy efficiency of skylights: venting skylights can let fresh air in and regulate internal temperatures in the same fashion as windows, and remote-operated blinds with reflective exterior-facing surfaces can also be used to minimize heat transfer.

They are easily damaged

After investing in the capital expense of commercial skylight installation, the last thing a building owner wants to have to do is replace or repair them due to damage. For buildings in areas prone to extreme weather such as hail and high winds, skylights can seem like an unnecessary risk. For this reason, modern skylights use materials engineered to withstand these types of forces. For example, the Velux Dynamic Dome skylight utilizes a geometric design and thermoplastic materials that have been factory tested to hold up to two-inch hail propelled at 88 miles per hour without scratching its surface.

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