How can I prevent this from happening again?


I love this skylight in my bathroom so removal is not an option. How do I keep the paint from peeling off again. I’m preparing a bathroom makeover and want to repair this and prevent it from happening again. The home was built in 1989. About 9 years ago chunks of paint started dropping into the tub when we showered. I used the vent faithfully to keep moisture down. It’s been suggested we put paneling up there, or tile (no clue how to attempt that), or put a frame of plexiglass around the ceiling above the tub to prevent moisture. I’m worried plexiglass might act like a magnifying lens and heat up the room. It is 65 inches long and the opening in the bathroom ceiling is 21 3/8 x 28 1/2 inches. We had a new roof on the home in 2012 and the glass covering was replaced. It is framed in wood.

q how can i prevent this from happening again
q how can i prevent this from happening again
q how can i prevent this from happening again

Chunks of paint and sheetrock peel off.

  10 answers
  • William William on Jan 13, 2019

    It's possible the insulation on the walls of the tunnel is inadequate. Warm moist air rises and hits the cool walls. Sometimes there is condensation and causes the paint to peel. Back in '89 they probably use fiberglass batts. Now they use foam board and seal all gaps.

  • Brittany Bacon Brittany Bacon on Jan 14, 2019

    We have a very tall stairway about 20ft in section so we couldnt get drywall high enough. We made shiplap boards out of plywood. They are much lighter and easier to work with. In your case just cut thin plywood into shiplap look strips and nail over the existing drywall. Stain would probably be a better option then paint.

  • Lou Lou on Jan 14, 2019

    It wouldn't be the easiest or least expensive fix, but consider removing the skylight and replacing it with a solar tube. You wouldn't have the "hole" over your head, but the amount of light they bring into the room is amazing, and the peeling paint problem would simply go away.

  • Pjo26908388 Pjo26908388 on Jan 14, 2019

    The paint will stick if the drywall is dry and you use Kilz or Zerolac. Use two or three good coats.

    This is is an observation from your photo. Since it looks like the water damage is mostly at the top and on one side of the area; could it be that your sky light is not flashed and sealed correctly?

    As another reader stated is there insulation on the back side of the skylight walls? That can trap moisture. Insulate correctly for this application.

    Prior to painting check to see that the Sheetrock isn't decomposing from moisture. It may need to be replaced.

    If your home is in a development of several homes do your neighbors have the same problem? In this case if they do then contact the company that built your home. I may not have been built quite right in the first place...

    And it can be as simple as adding a fan that pulls more of the moisture out. Then repairing the Sheetrock, priming and painting. I hope this is the case.

  • Joan Johnston Joan Johnston on Jan 14, 2019

    We have the very same kind of skylight in our bathroom, had a bit of problem (nothing like yours thank goodness) but found out it was because the bathroom was getting too steamy when taking bath or I keep the door cracked and fan on to eliminate the steam build up inside the is working so far...for a couple of years so far...

  • Sandy Hartnett Sandy Hartnett on Jan 14, 2019

    I tiled mine and that solved the problem and it looks beautiful!

  • Suellen Hintz Suellen Hintz on Jan 14, 2019

    My guess is that your exhaust fan is inadequate and after moist air has gotten into the tunnel, there's just no way to remove it quickly. You could upgrade your exhaust fan but depending on the location of the EF, this may not be enough. Consider piggy back wiring (If that's legal) to install an EF in the tunnel itself. After you have evidence this has corrected the problem, do repairs to the tunnel. A tiler could fix the problem of the damage but you'd still have extra moisture hanging out in the bathroom and that promotes mold growth. If you go for new exhaust fans, get a silent one.

  • Debbie Robson Debbie Robson on Jan 14, 2019

    We have the same skylight and our exhaust fan is right under the shaft. Maybe your skylight is leaking when it rains or snows. We had a new roof put on this summer and our house is 22 yrs old and we just went ahead and replaced all 8 skylights to prevent this. Good luck.

  • Joan Stanley Joan Stanley on Jan 16, 2019

    After you repair the problem, be sure to repaint with a good primer and an exterior paint. (Perhaps an oil base)