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I have a skylight that is essentially a flashed plywood curb with a late 50's era glass paver that "cups" over top. No tar or caulk, just gravity holding it there. Now, because I'm an idiot, I decided to touch it during a kitchen remodel to clean up/paint the curb box which is visible from inside. I ended up breaking the glass paver.

So, what can I improvise to get me through the rest of the winter rain?

Top-Down View From The Side From Inside

Bear in mind these factors:

  • I intend to replace these not-even-close skylights this summer when I have the roof redone.
  • It only needs to be temporary, but as with everything, temporary things have a funny way of needing to last much longer than intended. I'd rather not continue to use the upside-down plastic storage bin method I have in place.
  • It's an unusual size (10.5" x 10.5"), so off-the-shelf skylights aren't an option, and I'd rather not go custom for something I intend to rip out eventually.
  • I'm in the SF Bay Area in CA, so not a lot of extreme weather or snow. I am seeing a good amount of rain though (all things considered).

My initial thoughts:

  • Add a drip edge around the top of the curb box to protect the wood.
  • Then firmly screw down a 12x12 sheet of 1/2" plexiglass that I already have over the top edge with a nice bead of caulk in between, and liberal amounts of caulk and/or tar along the seams.
  • Wait for the next rain (or a hose) and monitor for leaks.

To be clear, I don't have a lot of experience with roofing and roofing products. I've installed vents and understand the basic principles behind flashing and water flow, but that's about it.

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I think your Plexiglas would work but I would use Lexan polycarbonate sheet. Lexan is a few more bucks but will not crack when you drill it or something hits it, tree limb baseball ect. You can heat polycarbonate with a heat gun and bend it. I would do this on the top edge at a minimum. Other than the material I believe your plan will work both short and long term.

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You know what would probably work really well, and offer superb protection in the process? A clear glass baking dish. Pre-shaped, tough as nails and fairly inexpensive (you can probably do better at shopping than I did).

Plop it down on a 3/8" bead of pure silicone caulk (clear, of course) and walk away.

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