An onsite skylight survey and inspection was made on 04/04/2018 by Skylight Specialists, Inc.
Represented by Rob Packard.
Skylights on the site:
Atrium Ridge Original Skylight
Skylight Manufacturer: Unknown One 32’ x 125’ (nominal) glass, ridge, structural, original skylight.
What We Found:
Glazing: Glass, tempered over laminate, green tint, dual glazed, fall protected Structure: Adequate spacing and size structural aluminum frame Anchors: Adequate anchor size and count around perimeter. Curbs: Adequate height and flashing in good shape. Evaluation: Skylight has new sealants applied in recent years, however about 15% of the insulated units have failed. Flashing: Ridge flashing and possibly end wall flashing not secured properly. Rating: (1-10 scale) 5 Expected Life Span: 25-50 years Recommendation: Glazing will need replacement to achieve expected life span. Otherwise the glass ridge skylight is in good shape and can be expected to provide many years of maintenance free daylighting.
Evaluation of All Skylights
Our onsite examination of this skylight provided information that was verbally reported to the Chief Engineer on the day of our visit. It was reported that a wet seal and cap replacements on the glass ridge had been performed in 2016. We observed that the front two bays on the west side and the front three bays on the east side had not received the reported repairs. The other sections were completed and looked in good shape.
It was also observed that about 15% of the glass units had lost their seal and were failed with visible signs of moisture and mineral deposits in between the glass unit. Any reported leaks in the future may be coming from these failed units and successful leak repairs cannot be performed without the replacement of the unsightly glass.
Five Year Plan
Priority #1 – Immediate (must be done; leaks, life safety etc.)
Priority #2 – Short Term (should be done within the next year or two)
a. Replace glass
b. Inspect every 5 years for structural integrity.
Priority #3 – Long term (within 5 years or more)
a. Perform wet seal maintenance on glass ridge skylight every 15 years, next would be due in 2031
Inspection/Certification Nationwide —
It all starts with a simple phone call.
Glass Pyramid Skylights Receive Much Needed Replacement Glass
Ten glass pyramid skylights atop Denver Water’s Moffat Treatment Plant date back to the opening of the facility in 1937. During the Great Depression, the construction of the entire north collection employed over 1,200 men. Located in Lakewood, it is Denver Water’s oldest.
What Is Interesting About This Project?
What’s interesting about this project is the fact that these glass pyramid skylights are over an area of the treatment plant where the filter beds are located. In order to reduce the amount of direct sunlight into the filter beds which contributes to algae, the treatment plant personnel painted the glass on the pyramids with black paint. The new glass panes that will be installed by our crew will also be painted black.
Skylight Specialists, Inc. to the Rescue!
We start things off with sending our commercial foreman out for a site measurement verification. These glass pyramid skylights have several different shapes and sizes of glass. We strive to be 100% accurate before ordering the glass to get ready for installation.
Our glass order from Oldcastle BE arrives without incident. Watching our pros off-load the 188 units of glass into the warehouse only caused me to have a mild bout of anxiety.
Therefore, the next time I will stay in the office and not torture myself by watching!
Glass Pyramid Skylights Are Complete
Work begins with installing a protective tarp underneath the glass pyramid skylights to ensure debris protection. Finally, the new glass panes are installed on each skylight and they all fit like a glove. The team at Denver Water will follow behind us and paint the new panes with black paint. Why cover the glass with paint again and not remove the skylights altogether you ask?
Glass Pyramid Skylights After
Pyramid Skylights After
Because when the North System Renewal Project is completed in 2023, the Moffat treatment plant will be repurposed into a distribution site. And in return, the new treatment plant will feature updated technology and systems.
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.