Hello all - I'm fixing to embark on what to me seems a fairly major project: replacing the broken glass in three large skylights. First some background then I'll ask my question(s):
1. The skylights are about 25 years old and I've been unable to identify them. I've sent pictures to various manufacturers to no avail. They have an aluminum frame, and I think they're the type called curb mounted (there's flashing that runs under the shingles then up a frame above the roof a couple inches; the aluminum frame that holds the glazing sits down and over this part almost like a big cap over the entire opening).
2. Size is roughly 24x72.
3. They were originally a thermopane-type glazing, but at some point both interior and exterior panes of glass cracked on all three windows. Unknown when/why this happened - they were broken when we bought the house in 2000.
4. The panes collect a huge amount of moisture inside them, on the order of six to eight inches (of the 72" length) at times... Sometimes in the winter it snows between the two panes... They don't actually leak water into the house at the cracks, but I know we must be losing lots of heat since we have essentially no insulation with broken windows.
5. We don't believe we have any leaks with the flashing. We replaced our asphalt shingles about five years ago and fixed some minor leaks then.
6. We live a long ways (800 air miles, no road access at all) from building contractors, large hardware stores, experts, etc. We do essentially all of our own home repairs, both major and minor with whatever we can learn from books, ****** forums, and a whole lot of trial and error.
7. Last summer we decided instead of replacing the entire skylight unit, since the frame doesn't seem to leak, we would simply replace the glazing. We measured (and measured, and measured again) the existing glass and ordered the replacements. It arrived too late in the year to replace then, but now that we've got a couple weeks of summer we want to start working on them.
Question 1: Has anyone ever done something like this before, and can you offer any advice?
Question 2: Any recommendations on what type of sealant to use?
Question 3: Will I need a gasket, and if so, any recommendations on what type and how are they installed?
Thanks so much to any of you who can help.