Needless to say, it’s important to ensure that any flat roof skylights you install in your home are as safe as they can possibly be. Whilst we’d never underestimate the importance of style or design, you’d never be able to enjoy your skylight in the same way if you weren’t certain of its structural integrity.
Here, we’re going to take a look at the biggest factor in ensuring rooflight safety: the glass itself.
What’s the ideal specification?
When it comes to security, you should always look at a double glazed unit with an external pane made using toughened glass. For the inner panel, meanwhile, you should ideally look for heat strengthened and laminated glass.
What is toughened glass?
Tempered glass, as it’s otherwise known, is treated specifically to ensure that it’s far more resistant to breakage than standard glass. It’s this that makes it the perfect choice for the outer pane: even if something does manage to break toughened glass – which is unlikely – it breaks into far smaller pieces than the normal material. As you can imagine, this is much safer: there’s far less chance of dangerous jagged shards falling into the room.
The process for creating toughened glass is relatively simple: traditional glass is heated above 600°C before the surface is rapidly cooled whilst leaving the centre of the high-temperature. This technique creates both compressive and tensile stresses in the material: the counteraction of the two is what gives the material its higher resistance levels.
What is laminated glass?
Laminated glass, meanwhile, is a great choice for the inner pane due to its design: it’s manufactured in such a way that it doesn’t shatter. Instead, it cracks. Again, this really cuts down the risk of sharp glass fragments. More importantly, the glass will support itself even when cracked: again, there’s no chance of fragments falling out of the frame.
Laminated glass is made from an interlayer of polymeric material, which is then fitted between two or more layers of traditional glass. There are two main methods for creating this material: the first is to use pressure and heats to push a layer of PVB between the glass. The second is simply to secure the two panes close to each other and then pour the resin between them.
Are there any pros and cons?
The only noticeable downside to this combination is in the toughened glass itself. Because toughened glass is much safer and cuts down the risk of shards, it’s a given that it’s also safer for any intruders: glass shards are one of the major risks to burglars.
However, it’s very important to note that this is negated by the combination of the two panes. The reason that the laminated glass is used on the internal pane is specifically because it’s so secure. A combination of both is an extremely effective way of making your skylight as safe as possible.
Get in Touch
Remember, if you’ve got any questions about rooflights in general, or how to proceed with your own design, get in touch with Sunsquare’s industry-leading flat roof skylight experts today.