I have an old fashioned dome skylight that looks like this: Text

My roof is leaking. Roofer was not able to pinpoint the exact cause of the leak on my roof but suggested that the skylight might be the issue. I am planning to apply some henry patch around the skylight to see if that is really the cause. Here is the problem. I am fearful of ladders and I am not able to climb the roof. This may sound crazy, but would it be possible to open up the skylight from the inside? That way I can access the roof. Kind of like this guy:


2 Answers 2


"This guy" isn't exiting from a skylight, that's a roof access hatch specifically designed to give roof access. Also, there is often (but not always) a ladder to climb to get access to that kind of roof hatch.

Unless your skylights are hinged (a pic from the inside of your skylight, zoomed in close enough for us to see if there are any latches might help), then no, the only way to access the roof through the skylight would be to break the plastic/glass. Doing so would guarantee that's the source of the majority of your leak.

If you're that fearful of ladders/heights that you're not willing to climb onto the roof (is your roof flat, by the way, like the stock image you shared, or is it pitched), then I'd strongly suggest that you get someone else to climb up there to do the work. Being on a roof, for someone who is afraid of heights, is just a bad idea. You're likely to be so focused on not falling that you may fall anyway, and even if you don't, you may not do a good job of patching since you're not thinking about that, but about falling.

It doesn't have to be a contractor, maybe a family member or friend who is willing to help you out.

  • Thanks. I am more afraid of ladders than the heights. I could climb the roof if I had a safety ladder with rails
    – Emin Ozkan
    Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 19:17
  • 1
    If it's just climbing a ladder, then rent/buy a ladder that you feel comfortable with. Do be aware, though, that working on a pitched roof can be quite... sketchy. Even when I was young & foolish, climbing to the top of my 12:12 pitch roof on my 2-story house was a very uncomfortable endeavor. Climbing back down that roof was even worse!
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 19:23
  • Pitch is less than 4:12. It is a midcentury house similar to this: static.dezeen.com/uploads/2017/08/… . The pitch of my house is a little bit more.
    – Emin Ozkan
    Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 19:35
  • Also, wouldn't you have to climb a ladder (even though it's inside the house) to get up to the ceiling to get out through the skylight?
    – FreeMan
    Commented Feb 1, 2023 at 17:08
  • It is true that I have to climb a ladder inside as well. But that ladder is a sturdy step ladder that doesn't shake. Also bathroom ceiling where the skylight is not very high.
    – Emin Ozkan
    Commented Feb 2, 2023 at 0:32

Most skylights like shown are just held on by screws installed from the outside, say 3 or 4 per side. Otherwise, they just sit on top of the curb, perhaps with a gasket in between. So you will just have to find a daring person to go up there and undo those screws and lift off the dome.

  • Not sure I follow you. How does this help the OP? Also, wouldn't all those screws likely be covered in some sort of waterproofing goop (roofing tar, silicone sealant, something)? That would all have to be scraped off to get access to the screws then have to be reapplied, thus increasing the likelihood of future leaks.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Feb 1, 2023 at 17:10

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