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Can you install a skylight on a metal roof?

Yes, you can install skylights on a metal roof. Here are some things to consider before talking with your contractor.

Two open skylights on a silver standing seam metal roof

Skylights are a beautiful and valuable option for bringing natural light into a home. And increasing numbers of homeowners are looking to metal roofing either as an accent that adds curb appeal or as a long-lasting roofing material. When it comes to installing skylights on a metal roof, many homeowners wonder if combining the two is possible. The answer is “yes.” Among their many benefits (energy-efficient, natural cascading light and fresh air) skylights are compatible with many roofing material types, including metal.

If you’re thinking of re-roofing your home in metal, now’s the time to start planning for skylights because adding skylights to an existing metal roof is much more difficult and costly to do. Start your planning process with these considerations.

What are the best types of skylights for metal roofs?

Both deck mounted and curb mounted skylights can be installed on metal roofs. Let’s start with the VELUX No Leak deck mounted models FS, VS, VSE, VSS. Installed with the VELUX flashing system, these models are ideal for metal roofs since they qualify for the VELUX No-Leak warranty.

But before installing a skylight on a metal roof, it’s important to determine which type of metal roof panel you plan to use. From there, you’ll be able to solidify which flashing systems and skylights will work best for you and your roof. At VELUX, we’ve divided metal roofing into three categories: exposed fastener, concealed fastener and continuous corrugated metal roof panels. Here’s an overview of each to help you choose the best flashing system for your project:

  • Exposed Fastener: Exposed fasteners are the most common metal roof paneling, featuring a pronounced flat area between the seams. VELUX type EDM metal roof flashing is the preferred system for this type of panel with profiles measuring 1½ inches and less.
  • Concealed Fastener: Concealed fasteners represent any one of a variety of hidden fasteners with a flat area between the seams. Similar to exposed fasteners, VELUX type EDM metal roof flashing is the preferred system for this type of panel with profiles measuring 1½ inches and less.
  • Continuous Corrugated: In contrast, continuous corrugated metal roof profiles feature a continuous rolling profile with no flat area between the seams. VELUX type EDW high profile flashing.
Open skylight metal roof closeup

How do I install VELUX skylight flashing on a metal roof?

Whether it’s a roofing contractor or a VELUX-certified skylight installer, if you choose deck-mounted skylights the person installing your skylights should consider the following before ordering the skylights, flashing kits and materials needed to add skylights to your roof.

  1. Don’t forget the roof deck. While some metal roofing systems can be installed on rafters and battens without a roof deck, if you want to add skylights they’ll need to be secured to the roof deck to ensure a weather-tight installation. When installing VELUX deck-mounted skylights, the installer must wrap the skylights with the underlayment included in the flashing box to qualify for the No Leak warranty.
  2. Know what to order. Metal roof panels are ordered in custom lengths to span from the ridge to the eaves in a single, seamless panel. If the panel is interrupted by a chimney, vent or skylight, you will need to order them with a little extra length to allow for the necessary overlapping seams.
  3. Use a VELUX engineered flashing kit. While roofing contractors can create their own flashing kit using excess metal roofing material, in order for your skylights and installation to be covered by the VELUX 10-year No-Leak warranty, a VELUX skylight flashing kit must be used. VELUX flashing is designed to shed water without relying on sealants that can break down over time.

Watch the entire skylight installation process in this video showing the installation of EDM flashing on each of the three types of metal roofs mentioned above.

Tips for installing curb-mounted skylights on a metal roof

Your installer may choose a curb mounted skylight – FCM, VCE or VCS – so the flashing material can be made on-site from the same roofing material and match the color of the roof. This requires the installer to add a site-built curb to the roof and flash the curb, similar to how they would flash a chimney.

Most metal roofing manufacturers provide instructions for flashing skylights and chimneys. If the installer follows these instructions, including wrapping the curb with underlayment, the curb will be a weather-tight part of the roof envelope. The skylight simply sits on top, like a lid on a shoebox, and is secured to the curb with screws.

While curb mounted skylights installed in this manner don’t qualify for the No Leak warranty, this installation method is reliable and proven to provide a weather-tight installation, in addition to a cleaner exterior appearance. The curb-mounted skylights would still be eligible for the 10-Year product warranty.

Four skylights on a brown standing seam metal roof

How do I get the VELUX 10-Year No-Leak warranty?

Skylight flashing kits must be purchased with skylights and installed properly to benefit from the 10-Year No-Leak warranty. Depending on the project, your contractor may opt for flashing made from their own materials. By doing so, your skylight installation will not be eligible for the warranty. Only VELUX No Leak Skylight (deck mounted models FS, VS, VSE, VSS) installed with the VELUX flashing system qualify for the No-Leak warranty.

Ready to add skylights to your metal roof? Find a skylight installer in your area or schedule a virtual consultation with a VELUX daylight designer today.

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