The do it yourself resource for homeowners from home improvement professionals.

How to Remove a Skylight

Windows do not last forever, and skylights are definitely no exception. The time will come when you either want to replace your old skylight or need to because of damage or leaks. Before you can install a new skylight, you’ll need to learn how to remove a skylight. Be sure to avoid damaging the opening and the surrounding roof deck during the process.

How to Remove a Skylight Instructions

  1. Attach the roof brackets and staging plank so that you can work safely.
  2. Put on the harness and connect it to the bracket.
  3. Take the flat pry bar and start at the top of the skylight opening.
  4. Remove 2 to 4 courses of shingles above the skylight.
  5. To pop the nails holding the shingles, slide the bar beneath the shingle and lift up gently.
  6. Let the shingle fall back to the roof.
    1. The nail heads should have lifted slightly, and you can easily grab them with the slot on the pry bar.
  7. Working downward, continue to remove shingles on both sides and the bottom of the skylight.
  8. Expose a minimum of 12 inches of roof deck on all sides of the skylight.
  9. If possible, keep shingles intact so that you can put them back on.
  10. Otherwise, purchase a package of new shingles to restore the roof later.
  11. You should see 2 layers of metal flashing around the skylight.
  12. Start taking off the top counter flashing.
    1. Remove screws or nails holding it and pull flashing off.
  13. Take off the step flashing along the roof decking.
    1. Pull nails holding it and discard flashing.
  14. Look around the curb holding the skylight for metal brackets.
  15. With a screwdriver or power drill, take out the screws holding the brackets.
  16. Cut membranes around the skylight with your utility knife.
  17. The skylight will now be disconnected, and you can pry and lift it out of the opening.

Tools & Materials

When you pry and lift out the skylight, you might lose your balance. Plan for safety and avoid injury. Fall protection systems reduce the risks of working on a roof.
  • Flat pry bar
  • Utility knife
  • Power drill or screwdriver
  • Fall protection harness
  • Staging plank
  • Roof bracket

Window and Roofing Specialists at PJ Fitzpatrick

If having a professional help with removing a skylight appeals to you, talk to us at PJ Fitzpatrick. We’re offer expert window and roof services in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. If you notice any roof damage while working on your skylight, be sure to get a repair quote from us. Ask for an estimate today!

Need help with this project?

We have trained professionals that can help. Contact us today. 1-877-246-4354

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