When the clouds overhead dip below freezing, icy hail forms and can come hurtling from the sky. While hailstorms can leave a Perth backyard looking like it’s snowed in our sunny city, they can also be dangerous. For anybody who has skylights in their home, hail on the weather forecast can have you concerned. But just how concerned should you be, if it all?
Factors That Influence Whether Your Skylights Can Withstand Hail
Skylights can be vulnerable to hail damage, and some more so than others. When it comes to plastic domes, some of the main factors that influence how well they may hold up to hail are:
1. The Material Used
Skylights made from high-impact acrylic with UV stabilisers tend to fare best as they’re made from the most versatile plastic. This plastic is ideal for skylights. This is because depending on the thickness of the wall, these skylights can withstand a substantial impact such as hail. Additionally, the UV stabilisers help to prevent harmful UV rays to cause material to fade and become less effective.
2. Their Size And Shape
A smaller dome with a continuing curved surface is more likely to survive if debris hits it at a direct perpendicular angle.
3. The Manufacturing Process
The manufacturing process plays a large part in the strength of a dome skylight. This is done in two parts:
- Vacuum forming— A heated, stretched, flat piece of plastic creates a dome shape.
- Injection moulding— Injecting melted plastic into a mould. The mould is then cooled which allows it to form the dome shape. This is usually used for smaller skylights as it can be more expensive.
4. The Framing
While skylights can be made from plastic or tempered glass, the framing can be made from metal, aluminium, PVC, wood, vinyl, or a combination of these.
Types Of Skylight Framing
1. Metal Frames
Metal frames for skylights may be cosmetically dented by hail which can reduce its lifespan, so it’s important to protect your skylights with metal frames. This can involve covering your skylights with a tarp, wooden boards, or blankets when hail is predicted.
2. Aluminium Frames
Aluminium is one of the least expensive materials for framing skylights and is also a great conductor of energy. This means it can transfer heat quickly from warm and humid outdoor conditions to cool conditions indoors, or the other way around. As this can cause condensation to form, aluminium frames generally aren’t recommended for areas with high humidity.
3. PVC Frames
Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC frames have a bronze cap on the exterior to shield from UV radiation. These are more susceptible to damage from hailstones, especially as the framing ages.
Insurance may assist with calming any anxieties you may have regarding skylights and hailstorms. Using certain materials may even qualify you for a discount on your insurance, depending on your provider and other factors. If you’re concerned about your skylights and their ability to withstand hail, you may want to speak with your insurance provider. You may also want to consider skylight hail protection such as a skylight safety screen that offer additional impact resistance.
Interested In Skylights?
Skylights are a great way to bring natural light into your home and help you make the most of your home’s surroundings. If you’re considering skylights for your home, Skylights WA is the team to call. A WA family business since 2009, we offer natural daylight solutions to help you experience brightness without fear of hailstorms. To get started with skylights, contact our professional team today.