Does a Solatube sun tunnel need cleaning?
I’ve heard that they can fill up with dust and flies – is this true?
The last thing you want to be doing is cleaning a sun tunnel. It’s bad enough having to clean the windows every so often, so you’ll be pleased to know that a Solatube sun tunnel can, and should, be maintenance free and not require any cleaning.
However, much of this all depends on how well your Solatube system has been installed and this is a vitally important point. Any Solatube sun tunnel can only ever be as good as the quality of the installation itself. A poor and shoddy installation by someone who does not know what they are doing is likely to become dirty and less effective at delivering light. Whereas a well installed system should give you many years of maintenance-free, bright daylight.
Do I need to clean the dome on the roof?
Fortunately, the answer is ‘no’. The dome is made from a very smooth polycarbonate and combined with its curved shape and sides it means it is ‘self-cleaning’, to use some marketing terminology. What this actually means is that, even if your dome scores a direct bird hit it’ll wash off in the next rain.
In fact where I live we are surrounded by tall trees along with plenty of wood pigeons, but despite all the debris and sap that falls from the trees and the attentions of the pigeons, the domes on our bungalow roof remain clean throughout the year.
If you do get the urge to clean your dome because access to it is easy and safe (don’t try it otherwise), then some warm, soapy water is all you need.
Does the tube fill with flies and cobwebs?
Only if your sun tunnel has been poorly installed.
One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of an installation by an inexperienced or lazy installer is to seal the tube up, once it’s installed. I suspect that far too often these installers think that because the tube is connected from the roof down to the ceiling, then they needn’t do anything else.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Every tube should be thoroughly sealed up by taping over every joint. It’s never going to be a vacuum but it should be enough to prevent any tiny bugs and insects getting inside. Just think; in a dark loft, just the smallest pin prick of light emanating from a joint in the sun tunnel will attract every type of insect directly to it, so taping up is a vital part of the installation process.
Intelligent design and professional installation = maintenance free Solatube sun pipes
It’s also worth observing that the design of some sun tunnel systems means that it is almost impossible to seal up both ends effectively so there’s very little you can do about preventing ingress from dirt and insects. Fortunately the Solatube sun pipe has seals at both ends to ensure nothing can enter.
So, make sure your Solatube sun tunnel is properly installed in the first place and you’ll get years of maintenance-free daylight without a duster in sight!
If you are interested in bringing natural light into your home, why not give us a call at Solatube Southwest to find out whether a Solatube sun pipe can help you. Typically, a fully installed system might cost anywhere between £900 – £1,200; that’s supplied, professionally installed and includes the VAT.
Call 07989 976 010