Over in the Great Smoky Mountains of Gatlinburg, Tennessee is the lovely Glenstone Lodge. A gorgeous indoor pool boasts two levels and cascading waterfalls. The overhead barrel vault skylights are retractable to allow beautiful daylight and fresh air in as well. Repairing retractable commercial skylights is something that we have done several times. We always enjoy a new challenge.
It All Starts With A Consultation
In November of 2016, Rob Packard agreed to arrange a site visit for the Glenstone Lodge. He was able to investigate the retractable barrel vault skylights to determine the overall age and deterioration of the motors and gears.
Rob has always had a passion for things mechanical and has worked on several other similar retractable skylights with failing systems. Often parts are too old and can be difficult to find. In this case we were able to locate the proper vent drive system.
The Nuts And Bolts
In order for the retractable skylights to start opening and closing again we will install a new vent control system. One skylight will be the master and the other skylight will be the follower. Consequently, this will allow both motors to operate at the same time. The new system will have built-in limit switches that are adjustable. The switch relays to the motor when to stop upon completion of the open or close function. We will adapt the new motors to the old chain drive system, which will be repaired, and wire them with the new controllers. To eliminate the squeaks and squeals that it currently has the wheels that the skylights roll on will be replaced.
Gearing Up For Departure To Gatlinburg!
(Last Pun, I Promise.)
Over the summer in 2018 we will look to have these skylights back in working order. Finally, we cannot promise we will not enjoy the beautiful Smoky Mountains. However, we can promise we will have a successful repair for the folks at Glenstone Lodge.
Ridge skylights in downtown Denver were in need of new glazing. The skylights at DISH Grand Central building have two similar skylights that were built to cover the original, historic glass skylights from 1851, which is an unusual design.
We remove the old polycarbonate panels and replace them with new Lexan white polycarbonate panels and new MAGS Bar System. While we have the old panels removed, the crew is able to get inside the skylight and clean the glass on the original historic skylights. Combined with clean glass on the old system, and new white panels on the new system, the staff working in the building below now have the benefits of beautiful daylighting in their work space.
Once the crew removes the old panels you can see that the newer skylight was built to protect the Historic skylight and mitigate issues that the Historic skylight was having. Historical buildings have limitations on structures being removed or changed in any way that takes away from the Historic designation.
Before MAGS Bar
After MAGS Bar – Skylight Covering Historic Glass Skylight
In order to preserve a Historic skylight there are options, like the decision to cover it, as in this case. If restoration of the original skylight is the goal we can retrofit or repair to meet Historic designations.
Inside there are two workspaces where the skylights bring in daylight. One is over a conference room, and the other over open desk space.
Before Cleaning and New Glazing
After Cleaning and New Glazing
In the before and after photos, the difference is drastic. Instead of dark and dirty skylights, the staff can now enjoy diffused, natural daylighting.
“I do not think it could have gone any better. Jonathan was great and kept us informed . Cleaned up and worked well with all the alley issues in getting material up and trash down.I have heard nothing but good things out of Dish. Would highly recommend your company to anyone. Again Thanks for all your efforts on making this a successful project for everyone involved!” – Bobby Christian, President – Christian and Associates.
Retrofit barrel vault skylights with Velux VMS modular glass skylights. The new space under these skylights will be the headquarters for a nationally known company, AAA of Colorado. Their request was to have a better skylight than a cheap barrel vault, but one that didn’t look too industrialized or institutional look to it. The obvious choice was the Velux Ridgelight.
The Modular System Represents a Significant Upgrade.
The system withstands weather extremes and is easy to install, therefore it lowers costs. And because it has one of the lowest overall U-values for frame and glazing assembly on the market, it will continue to save money.
We were contacted by a contractor in the Narragansett, RI area where they had a residential customer that had experienced long-term leaks from the custom glazing in the bathroom.
The skylight was in such bad shape that they removed and temporarily covered the opening to avoid any more damage to the interior. After discussing their options with us they were able to re-frame—replacing all the rotten lumber and insulation.
The owner also preferred a lighter color look to the exterior of the skylight which is easily solved by having the exterior beauty or snap caps custom matched to the paint on their home.
Interior damage from old skylight
Skylight opening with temporary cover
What We Are Doing:
Remove the temporary cover and install MAGS BAR.
Tie MAGS BAR into the roofing and siding utilizing copper flashing.
Install contractor supplied glass.
MAGS BAR custom glazing system by Skylight Specialists, Inc.
Custom color snap cap—Platinum Gray by Benjamin Moore.
Zinc coated copper flashing.
Low E³ glass.
The contractor waited for a major storm before providing feedback. He couldn’t have been happier, especially with no leaks and the custom color, which the homeowners were delighted with.
Both the inboard and outboard lights have crazing, cracking and all skylights show signs of condensation. Additionally, the skylights are not fall protected.
Numerous attempted repairs have been made to the skylights, by others, although none have been effective. The “repairs” consist of dumping on tar or mastic and using the wrong sealants. We even see roofing tape (with large holes in it caused by animals) and rubber backer rod to ineffectively help with gutters and other problems.
Skylights on the Site to be Replaced with MAGS BAR :
(2) 19’ x 19’ (nominal) structural, acrylic, pyramid skylights. These are in a saw tooth pattern and in a cluster. These skylights are located over the hotel atrium.
(2) 10’ by 10’ (nominal) structural, acrylic, pyramid skylights. These skylights are located over the pool.
All four skylights will be replaced with our MAGS BAR system with polycarbonate dome sets. The work eliminates any gutters and re-flashes the exterior of the curb to the new roofing. These changes will make the skylight leakproof now and long into the future.
With the interior protected and safety zones set up, the demolition of the old skylights proceeds. The flashing and framework installation is the next step.
A final check of the protection and safety zones.
Demo and prep is complete.
Flashing installation proceeds.
Perimeter and main frame pieces come next.
Smaller skylight over the pool is ready for glazing.
Then the glazing is installed and a final cleanup finishes the job.
Interior framework proceeds with the installation of the glazing.
Setting a polycarbonate skylight lens set.
Completed smaller skylight.
Completed pool skylights from above.
Larger Skylights Completed.
A long day and this larger skylight is completed.
Larger Skylights, interior at night—one done, one to go.
Extreme fiber blooming creates need for new Quadwall polycarbonate retrofit.
This building is part of the City of Loveland Water and Power facility. The building’s skylight has degraded to the point that replacement is the only option. While there is some yellowing, the major problem is fiber blooming.
Fiberglass skylights are protected from the elements by a coating sometimes referred to as “gel coat”. The coating has a UV blockage component to help prevent the sun’s rays from damaging the fiberglass and causing fiber bloom. The gel coat is subject to degradation, and as it does so, the glass fibers come to the surface and “bloom”.
Failed Majors Fiberglass skylights
One panel was replaced when wind sucked off the outer layer.
Yellow interior light is depressing
Interior electrical lights are needed in daytime because of the failed skylights
What We Will Do:
Replace the existing Major Industries fiberglass skylight with a CPI Daylighting polycarbonate skylight.
CPI 4″ Quadwall Single Slope Skylight.
11.92′ odc x 270.00′.
Awaiting completion of the job.
Correct the daylighting and solar heat levels required for the space.
Reduce dependence on electric lighting—increase energy savings.
The owners love the energy savings provided by the new skylights.
Increase the facility’s property value.
Healthy, natural daylight in the space with soft translucent light and accurate color rendition.
No required maintenance or re-coating costs—individual exterior panels are easily replaced.
In work environments, increased daylighting has been shown to increase productivity.
In retail environments, increased daylighting has been shown to increase sales by as much as 40%.
In classroom environments, increased daylighting has been shown to increase students performance.
Some of the hail was still present the day after the storm.
The wide cell polycarbonate was punished!
The July 28, 2016 hailstorm that smashed Colorado Springs wreaked havoc on the airport’s original canopies and walkways. The second phase is to replace the old, wide-cell, polycarbonate product with new Nano-Cell® technology. We do not need to replace the aluminum framing, just switch out the glazing with new Pentaglas panels.
Part of our office and field crew
Phase Two deals with the replacement of the hail damaged canopies and walkways along the exterior of the terminal. You can see in the pictures the differences between the old damaged panels and the new Pentaglas® Nano-Cell® Glazing.
Some are even missing large pieces of the outer lens.
Cracked and broken skylights present a hazard to those beneath them.
The crew replaces all outer lenses.
All outer acrylic lenses on all 26 skylights will be replaced with new polycarbonate lenses and will include new gaskets and sealants. Total lens replacement is 96 panels plus two end walls have cracked exterior clear lenses.
The crew removes one of the acrylic skylight lenses.
Cleaning the chanels prior to installing new gaskets and lenses.
We clean the inner lenses prior to installing the new polycarbonate outer lenses.
Final spot cleaning finishes the installation.
The weather cooperated and the project was completed on schedule.
Some of the hail was still present the day after the storm.
The wide cell polycarbonate was punished!
The July 28, 2016 hailstorm that smashed Colorado Springs wreaked havoc on the airport’s original skylights. The first phase is to replace the old, wide-cell, polycarbonate product with new Nano-Cell® technology. We do not need to replace the aluminum framing, just switch out the glazing with new Pentaglas panels.