Skip to content
Home / Help / No Leak Skylight

Why Columbia Skylights Don’t Leak

One Million HomesColumbia has been manufacturing skylights for over 5 decades, and over a million of our skylights grace homes and businesses across Canada and the US. Our high quality products incorporate the latest manufacturing processes, glass, parts, and materials.
  • Our mission is to produce a skylight that can easily withstand our extreme Canadian climate. Designed to handle the dramatic fluctuations of hot and cold, rain, ice and snow, wind and hail.
  • We understand that in Canada condensation is an issue because of the humidity that builds up in our homes. We designed the Columbia Condensation Control Technology System to combat the damage condensation can cause.


  • The entire range of Columbia skylights is engineered to repel the harsh Canadian climate and operate at peak performance for many years to come.
  • Columbia specializes in curb mount skylights, known for their superior leak prevention. The way a curb mount skylight is mounted to the roof makes for a watertight connection.
  • The best condensation control technology in the industry. Columbia’s wide 4 sided rigid integrated gutter wicks away even the most severe condensation buildup.
  • Our industry leading warranty, equal to any competitor. We are so confident in our skylights that we offer a 20 year warranty on glass seal failure, 10 years on parts, a 10 year hail warranty on laminated glass, and 5 years on controls.


Colby Rain

Aluminum Exterior Frame
Durable extruded aluminum frame with baked enamel paint finish.
Double or Triple Glazing
Choose from Cardinal Glass Industries Double and Triple glazing options to meet ENERGY STAR requirements.
PVC frame
Highly efficient long lasting PVC frame, thermally broken. It doesn’t conduct cold from the exterior to your home’s interior.
Adhesive ‘wet’ seal
Columbia recommends sealing your skylight to the curb with long lasting flexible silicone caulking or glazing tape – this ensures no air leakage, water infiltration or heat loss. Provides additional protection over rubber gaskets that do not uniformly adhere to uneven curb surfaces.
Aluminum flashing is the primary protection against water penetration. Can be supplied by Columbia or your installer. Integrates the curb to your roofing system and protects against moisture, snow, ice and wind. Designed for Columbia’s Fixed and Venting Curb Mount Skylights. Features precut aluminum steps and preformed head and sill flashings. Ask your contractor about an insulated curb.
Roofing Underlayment
Rugged puncture resistant self adhesive membrane eliminates air and water penetration.
Curb mount
Lifts the skylight off the roof deck to minimize snow and ice build up. The curb is structurally part of the roof, so it creates a secure watertight bond for the skylight to sit on.

The Columbia Curb Mount WaterTight 9 POINT DEFENCE System

  • Columbia Skylights incorporate a multi layered defence system against leaking. Decades of experience and product testing have taught our engineering team a thing or two about keeping water out of a skylight.
  • Our experience has led to the development of our unique 9 levels of defence. Working as a system to create the ultimate watertight skylight. As well as defending against snow, wind, and hail penetration.
  • Modern roofing technology has advanced considerably. Over the last decade, glass, sealant, and frame technology have improved dramatically.
  • Our skylights are designed to work in combination with the roofing material to create a water and weathertight bond that is incredibly durable. Essentially, Columbia Skylights are part of your roof.
Extruded Aluminum
Extruded Aluminum Frame
  • All Columbia frames are made of rigid, durable extruded aluminum. The extrusion provides rigidity and tensile strength, with baked enamel paint finish.
  • Aluminum is naturally lightweight and exceptionally strong. It can also be easily recycled.


Pvc Internal Frame
PVC Internal Frame
  • PVC is the most popular material utilized in window and skylight frame construction.
  • PVC is known for its excellent insulation qualities, Columbia’s extrusions feature a multiple chamber design with glass stop incorporated.


Curb Mount Roof Installation
Curb Roof Integration
  • A curb mount installation is actually part of the roof structure. The wood curb is attached directly to the roof deck.
  • The curb is built into the roof allowing the roofing installer to flow the underlayment along the roof plywood surface and continue up the side of the curb, creating an impenetrable barrier.


Waterproof Underlayment Barrier
Underlayment Waterproof Barrier
  • Underlayment is a tough waterproof adhesive membrane. It is applied around the skylight as a wide 6” apron, adhered to the roof deck, and wrapped seamlessly up the sides of the curb. Creating a single watertight barrier.
  • It provides protection against water, snow, ice and wind penetration.
Flashing System
Flashing System
  • Columbia’s flashing system is made of overlapping step aluminum sections that can accommodate any skylight size (the step flashing). The downward overlap means that water cannot enter.
  • Head flashing is applied at the top of the skylights, directing water away from the skylight.
  • Sill flashing protects the bottom of the skylight, triangular corners prevent water from flowing back to the skylight.
  • Top flashing protects the top of the curb, overlapping the step flashing.


Superior Gasket System
Superior Gasket System
  • Columbia’s internal frame is made of extruded PVC (or aluminum for larger sizes). High performance rubber gaskets create an air and water barrier and reduce the transmission of cold from the outside of the frame to the interior.
  • Some imported skylights utilize a flexible rubber gasket, with no internal frame, just an external aluminum frame with the gasket stapled to it. This approach is not suitable for a northern climate.
The Wet Seal Advantage
The ‘Wet’ Seal Advantage
  • A ‘wet’ seal keeps Canadian weather out. The ‘wet’ seal is either Butyl tape or silicon caulking applied to the base frame – sealing the frame and the curb together to ensure no water or air penetration.
  • The long lasting seal locks the skylight to the curb, creating a water and air tight barrier against the elements and time.
  • Imported curb mount skylights rely on a tight friction fit between the skylight gasket and curb to keep the skylight watertight, which will not perform if the curb is out of square or uneven.
4 Sided Extra Wide Gutter
4 Sided Extra Wide Gutter
  • Columbia skylights include an integrated 4-side interior gutter, catching condensation and draining to the exterior of the skylight.
  • Condensation is caused by the difference in temperature from the outside to the inside, combined with airborne moisture from the kitchen, bathroom, laundry, and the inhabitants – it can stain your interior skylight lightwell.
  • Imported skylights tend to use a soft narrow gutter without ‘weepage’ some models only include a drip gasket along the bottom of the frame.
Industry Leading Guarantee
Industry Leading Guarantee
  • Columbia is proud to offer the best warranty in the industry.
  • Typically, your skylight will last longer than your roof.
  • Including a 20 year warranty against the glass unit failure. 10 year glass cracking or hail damage, 5 years on motorized controls, rain sensors, handles and rods.


Columbia skylights are engineered for energy efficiency

Throughout our history our mission has been to produce the most energy efficient glass skylights in North America.
  1. Energy savings of double & triple glazing
    • Columbia recommends two options of Cardinal high efficiency glass, selected for the extreme demands of the Canadian climate.
    • LoE3 i89 provides close to triple glazed performance in a double glazed unit.
    • Triple Glazed LoE3 366 Temp/Temp/Temp is the choice for severe climatic conditions, for those looking for maximum energy efficiency. It is also available with a laminated glass option, Triple Glazed LoE3 366 Temp/Temp/Laminated (the innermost interlayer holds together in case of breakage).

Energy Savings Icon

  1. Utilizes two panes of Cardinal’s LoE3 glazing
    • For maximum energy efficiency Columbia’s triple glazed (Temp/Temp/Temp) incorporates two panes of LoE3 glass, unlike competitors.
    • LoE3 creates an excellent all climate skylight because it offers superior performance in colder weather (U-Value) and enhanced performance in summer (SHGC).

Triple Glazing Icon

  1. Robust aluminum frame
    • Our frames are constructed of rigid extruded aluminum for additional strength and durability. Some manufacturers use thinner gauge roll formed aluminum coil stock.
    • Aluminium, glass and PVC are highly recyclable.

Robust Frame Icon

Triple Glazed LoE3 366 Temp/Temp/Temp


Triple Glazed L<span class="lowercase">o</span>E<sup>3</sup> 366 Temp Temp Temp

  1. Reduces exterior sound
    • Double and Triple glazing with argon gas filled air spaces reduces exterior noise transmission. If you require the best sound protection, choose triple glazing including a pane of laminated glass.
    • Sound pollution causes stress and anxiety. Turn your home into a quiet relaxing sanctuary.

Reduces Sound Icon

  1. Argon gas filled air spaces
    • Argon gas has natural insulating properties and is inserted into the air spaces of the glazing unit to increase energy efficiency. Argon gas is denser than oxygen and reduces heat loss in the winter, heat gain in the summer and sound penetration, dampening the resonance of exterior noise.
    • Invisible to the human eye and nontoxic, argon gas does not impact the clarity of the glass, but does reduce your energy use and costs.

Argon Icon

  1. White PVC base frame
    • PVC is the most popular material utilized in window and skylight frame construction. It possesses superior thermal conductivity properties.
    • Columbia Skylights include an integrated 4-side interior gutter to accumulate condensation and drain to the exterior of the skylight.
    • Condensation is caused by difference in temperature from the outside to the inside, combined with air borne moisture from the heating system, kitchen and bathroom, and can stain your interior skylight lightwell .
    • Some imported skylights utilize a flexible EPDM rubber gasket with a soft narrow gutter, forming a minimal return, which does not capture and direct moisture to the exterior of the skylight. Other competitive models only include a drip gasket along the bottom of the frame. These approaches are suitable for a northern climate.

Pvc Icon