Maintenance Guide: How to Clean Solatube Skylights

Solar light tubes are becoming more and more popular as additions to homes seeking to bring more natural light inside. Solatube skylights, unlike traditional skylights, capture sunlight, reflecting down a tube and diffusing it into the chosen room. 

Plus, while traditional skylights can be filtered to reduce harmful UV rays, Solatube skylights block UV rays, protecting not only the individuals in your home but also your furnishings. Solatubes are also more energy efficient than their classic counterparts, and they offer a 30 percent energy tax deduction due to the EnergyStar® ratings and limited heat gain provided. As more people discover all the benefits of Solatube Skylights, the question of how to effectively clean them arises.

The Solar Guys offer this maintenance guide on how to clean your Solatube Skylights.  

How to Clean Solatube Skylights

How to Clean Solatube Skylights

Your Solatube Skylight is typically installed between the rafters which means no expensive roof or rafter modification is needed. Once installed, they deliver warm, natural light into your home, but they do need to be cleaned regularly to keep that natural light flowing in. Cleaning your solar light tubes removes dirt, debris, and stains which can accumulate there inside the dome. Here’s how: 

  • Gather the Needed Cleaning Materials and Tools Needed. You will need a safe, strong ladder to access the solar tube skylight. In addition, you will need a solution of water and soap as well as soft brush or clean lint free cloth. You may also want your favorite non-abrasive glass cleaner or clean lint free cloth for the final step. A broom or brush may be needed for cleaning the roof area surrounding the solar tube.
  • Disassemble the solar tube skylight according to manufacturer’s instructions. You will want to remove the diffuser from the ceiling, by loosening the screws which affix the dome to the flashing. Use caution during disassembly and place all parts in a safe place. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions when disassembling your Solatube Skylight for cleaning. 
  • Clean Your Solatube Skylight Parts with Care. You will use your clean, soapy water to soap the skylight glass to loosen debris and dirt. Next, gently wash each piece – dome, flashing, tube, and ceiling ring. Repeat the process as needed to remove dust and dirt. Once clean, rinse the components with clean water and air dry, or wipe with dry with a clean lint free cloth. Finally, you can clean the glass with your non-abrasive glass cleaner, removing the cleaning solution with your squeegee or clean lint free cloth. You should never use blades, metal scrapers, or knives for cleaning as the glass is easily scratched, causing irreparable damage. Keep in mind, some solar tube skylights have maintenance free parts, like the sash and PVC frame, which only needs to be wiped with a damp cloth for cleaning. 
  • Clean your Ceiling. Once your solatube skylight’s parts are cleaned, you should clean the ceiling to which it is attached. If cleaning the roof outside, use your broom or brush and remove leaves, twigs, dirt, or other debris. Next, clean with a wet cloth the space between the rafters and joists, along with the ceiling where the skylight tube is placed. Most dirt spots, as well as pest droppings can be taken care simply with a wet cloth. 
  • Reassemble the Solatube Skylight. Ensure all parts are dry before beginning this step. Insert the flashing, securing it as before. Next, insert the tubing until it is level with the ceiling. Re-secure each part as before. Re-attach the dome and secure it. Finally place the diffuser in position.

The Solar Guys are Ready to Help

A Solatube Skylight is a great way to bring natural light into your home in an energy efficient way. They are less expensive, offer tax savings, and don’t require reframing for installation.

When you need help with your Solatube Skylights, from installation to replacement to cleaning, The Solar Guys are ready to assist you. Contact us today for a free estimate!

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