What’s the Difference Between an Ordinary and Walk-On Rooflight?

There are a number of different rooflights on the market today. The walk-on rooflight now represents a healthy percentage of the units sold, and for good reason. 

The walk-on glass rooflight offers buyers the best of both worlds, in a sense. You can still enjoy the benefits of a typical rooflight installation whilst retaining any outdoor roof space. 

So, what are the distinct differences between the walk-on variety and the regular kind? Moreover, are there any advantages to be enjoyed when opting for a walk-on rooflight? 

Today, our team is going to explore these topics in full. We want to outline the key differences between the different types of rooflights and offer guidance that will help you make an informed decision. Suitability is important in this industry, as products have different features which appeal to varying requirements. 

The Walk-On Glass Rooflight Explained

With the increase in popularity, we want to take the opportunity to properly explain the walk-on rooflight. By doing this we hope you, our readers, will have an easier time selecting the right product in the future.

We also appreciate that if you are new to this industry, or have limited buying experience, you may be confused. The different types of rooflights, sizing, glazing, frame material: all of these things are important and are determined by your circumstances.

If this is your first time buying however, this can be headache inducing. If you do feel lost, we have a wealth of resources in our blog section. Articles such as the difference between rooflights and skylights are a good place to start for beginners. Alternatively, you can contact a member of the team with any product or pricing enquiries. 

In simple terms, a rooflight is a specialist glazed unit that is installed on a roof to improve sunlight exposure and ventilation. They often feature thermally broken frames and specialist glazing, which help to improve heat retention. Having been a popular product for many years, there have been many innovations since their inception. 

One of those is the walk-on rooflight. As you may have guessed, this type of installation makes use of glass which has an extended weight loading capacity. The result is a rooflight which can be freely walked on without fear of collapse or shattering. They are usually installed flush with the roof, and are manufactured in such a way so that domestic foot traffic is supported. The frame and glass are developed in a way to support weight without any concerns.

Walk On Rooflights

What Are the Benefits of a Walk-on Rooflight?

In our experience, this type of rooflight is hugely beneficial for two distinct reasons.

Firstly if you have access to a flat roof, with limited outside space, you may want to use this roof from time to time. If it is weight supporting, it may be used as a sun terrace in the summer. 

If a buyer opts for a walk-on installation, they can still retain access to the roof. With an ordinary rooflight, access to the roof may be denied as the glass is fragile. This can be a big compromise for those who already have limited outside space. 

If you have children, this can also reduce a lot of anxiety. The last thing any parent or guardian wants is a child to access the roof and fall through the rooflight. 

Secondly, maintenance is made far easier with the addition of walk-on glass. Typically, those with an ordinary rooflight would have to use a ladder to complete cleaning or maintenance. Depending on the position of the installation on the roof, this can either be easy or strenuous. 

If you have access to the roof and your rooflight features walk-on glass, you can easily reach your rooflight without fear of the unit collapsing. Especially if you are intent on completing your own maintenance and cleaning, this is a huge win. 

Simply put, you can still enjoy all of the benefits of a regular rooflight without the limitations that do exist.

Types of Rooflights: Walk-on vs Non-fragile

Within this realm of rooflight, you may hear a few different terms. We have already explained what a walk-on installation is and how it works. 

From time to time, you may also hear talk of a non-fragile rooflight. These are different to walk-on flat roof windows, and should never be confused. A non-fragile installation is designed to reduce collapse or breaking on impact. They should, however, never be walked on. They have a very limited weight bearing capacity.

The glass specifications will vary from installation to installation. Class two glass will not support foot traffic but will support an initial fall, for example. The glass will be damaged, but it will not fail entirely. Class one glass, on the other hand, will support the weight of cleaners or maintenance personnel and their equipment. Still, the unit will not support foot traffic. The distinct differences are important, and each one will be suitable for different people. 

Shop With The Experts

A walk-on skylight offers a lot of benefits over an ordinary installation. As an industry leader with a wealth of commercial and domestic experience, we can attest to this. 

However, we appreciate that each client’s requirements and budget are different. If you would like to speak to a member of our team to determine the correct product for you, reach out to us today.

From pricing enquiries to specification guidance, we can walk you through the entire process.

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