There are a lot of options to mull over when redesigning a garage or building one from scratch. There’s the flooring, the garage door, the storage space, and the possibility of including a loft or how many windows you may want.
While the focus may be on the interior features, one of the most important decisions you’ll make in this project will be on the outside—the roofing material. Are you getting frustrated by your clutter and garage organisation? Here at Garage Storage Solutions, we offer extensive professional organising and declutter service.
How To Choose A Garage Roof
Think About Garage Location And Usage
The location of your garage will impact the type of material that you choose, as well as how you use your garage.
Look at which direction your garage faces and the level of shade it receives from other buildings or plants. South facing garages with no shade or cover can get very hot during the summer months.
If you use your garage to house appliances or as a home office, you will need a roofing material that is durable against extreme weather. In addition, you will need a level of insulation against frost and water ingress to protect your contents.
Also, consider whether you will be storing any flammable materials in your garages, such as paints, gas or oils, as your roof will need to be fire-resistant.
Fibreglass roofing is mould and rot-resistant and non-flammable so that it would offer an excellent durable option. EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) is a cured synthetic rubber that can also stand up to the weather and resist UV rays. EPDM rubber roofing also has an impressive life expectancy of 50 years.
Appearance Of The Garage Roof With Other Buildings
If you are worried about the appearance of your garage roof, it can make sense to use a roofing material that is in keeping with the top of your house.
This can be a particularly appealing option for attached garages or those visible from the road.
You should bear in mind two points, though. Firstly, if any replacement materials are needed for either building, make sure that the materials are available and the appearance can be maintained.
Also, think about any future work that you may plan to do on your property. For example, you won’t want to replace your garage roof in a short time if it doesn’t match your new extension.
Except for slate, the majority of garage roofing materials come in a variety of colours and styles.
Metals and fibreglass roofs are available in different textures and styles, but these options will be more expensive.
Rubber, EPDM and fibreglass are the most cost-effective materials and give even a DIY installation a professional-looking finish.
The Environmental Impact Of Flat Roofing Materials
More and more people are concerned about the impact on the environment of the materials they choose.
It would help if you considered the longevity of the option you have chosen. A shorter lifespan may be a cheaper choice, but longer-term will mean more materials and potentially more wastage as a faster replacement is needed.
If you have concerns about the environmental impact during the manufacture of your chosen garage roof materials, ask your installer or supplier about the manufacturing process, including their wastage policy and use of any recycled materials.
Slate, for example, is a finite material, so you may want to consider more sustainable options if this is an important factor for you. In addition, many manufacturers have white papers and technical information readily available for download on their websites.
Longevity And Cost-effectivity Over The Long-term
Longevity, as previously mentioned, must be one of the most important factors to consider.
A brick-built garage will likely be in place for many years, so to buy a flat roof material that will need to be replaced in under a decade will become more expensive in the long term than a decision to buy a material such as EPDM, for example, which has a life expectancy of more than 50 years.
It is widely accepted that Fibreglass roofs could last for 20-30 years, with EDPM lasting up to 50 years and GRP over 40 years. However, this is based on the correct installation and a proper maintenance programme.
Although you may have an initial preference for the type of garage roof material you prefer, it is wise to compare this with several other options to make an informed decision. Then, consider the factors above, combined with an estimate of costs to help you decide which garage roof material is best for you.
Roof Replacement Styles For Common Garage
Gambrel Roofs (Barn-style)
Gambrel-style roofs are a source of attraction for children. Because the structures they seal look like animal barns. Different materials used in these roofs are;
- Asphalt Shingles
- Cedar Shakes
- Clay/Concrete Tiles
Hip roofs are common to have on houses with multiple rooms. As they have four sloped sides, they appear like a pyramid with a flat ridge on top.
Such types of roofs are efficient in case of heavy rain, hail, or snow. Following materials are used for hip roofs;
- Asphalt Shingles
- Cedar/Wood Shingles
- Clay/Concrete/Plastic Tiles
Reverse Gable Roofs
These are complex and expensive. The main reason for high charges is additional labour.
Their double-ended peak at either end of the house allows debris, rain, and snow to slide off. Main construction materials for reverse gable roofs are;
- Asphalt Shingles
- Plastic Tiles
- Concrete Tiles
Flat roofs suit all types of garages. In addition, they have an aesthetic appeal of their own. They appear modern and industrial in both homes and garages.
This makes them the best choice for commercial properties. Following flat roof materials are used during its construction;
Materials You Can Install In A Garage Roof
Multiple types of roofing materials are available in the market. However, without proper maintenance, they will wear down before their lifetime.
For this reason, have a roof maintenance checklist with you to keep you updated on when and what your roof needs. In addition, here are the common roofing materials recommended for garage roofs.
If you need a strong, durable and non-flammable roof for your garage, metal roofing would be a good option.
Whether you keep your car in the garage or use it as a space for doing business, a playroom, a craft room, or for storing some sensitive or even dangerous things and materials, then you need proper and durable protection.
Metal roofs reflect heat, so your garage and the things stored there will not get too heated. Reflecting heat also makes them energy efficient, which means they can save both energy and money on your bills.
They are lightweight, prevent leaks, and look good and add to your curb appeal.
There are different types of metal roofing you can choose from, such as corrugated steel, which is durable and very easy to install; standing seam metal, which is one of the most popular ones; aluminium or coated steel, among a variety of others.
One of the durable and reliable styles is specialised metal roofing. They have an estimated lifespan of 40-50 years. Unfortunately, these are usually made from stainless steel, copper, or aluminium. Hence, these roofing materials are very costly.
However, professional metal roof installation is a good investment due to its long-lasting durability.
They introduce UV protection through an additive roof coating. They require periodic maintenance. Also, the easiest roof repair is that of metal roofs. You can consult a professional on how to install metal roofing for your garage.
If you are planning to build or already have a low pitch garage or a low sloped roof, then rolled roofing will be your only option.
These kinds of garages are generally simpler, faster and cheaper to build, but you can’t choose the type and style of roofing. Similarly to these garages, rolled roofing systems are also more affordable than most other materials.
On the other hand, they are also less durable against extreme weather conditions, such as hail and leaks. If your area doesn’t get much rain or hail, then rolled roofing should present no problem.
It is made of asphalt, the same material as asphalt shingles, but it comes in the form of rolls applied in horizontal stripes across the roof.
This is the ideal roofing material for DIY projects because it is the simplest one to install and does not require a professional to do it. Complete your garage organisation plan by getting your gear off the floor with Garage Storage Solutions’ smart shelving and basket storage.
Shingles And Shakes
The efficiency of shingles roofs is proved with the test of time. They are virtually perfect for any sloped-style property roofing. The most common types of shingles are the following;
Asphalt shingles are the most common—and popular—roofing material for a residential garage.
This is a cost-effective option for homeowners looking for both durability and aesthetics without breaking the bank.
When it comes to residential roofing, asphalt shingles are the most popular choice in the United States, so it is for garages.
Some of their main benefits are that they can suit many different styles since they come in various colours, so it should not be a problem to try to match the garage with your house roof.
They are also very light, so there will be no excess weight on your garage or structural issues to worry about. Asphalt shingles do not absorb water, so there is a very low possibility of water damage, leaks, frost and similar damages.
On the other hand, it has to be mentioned that they tend to absorb heat, so your garage is likely to get rather warm during hot and sunny weather.
Ensure that the things you are storing inside are not sensitive to high temperatures and that they will not be damaged. If you want to decrease the amount of absorbed heat, use lighter-coloured shingles for your roof.
Asphalt shingles can be outfitted on numerous roofing styles. They’re durable and have a long lifespan of about twenty or so years.
This type of roofing material is usually kept in stock at most roofing companies because of its popularity, making it an easy choice for homeowners looking to match the main house and continue their exterior aesthetics.
A few styles in which asphalt shingles can be used include:
- Gambrel roofs (also called a barn-style)
- Reverse gable roofs
- Hip roofs
- Flat roofs
The most popular residential roofing materials are asphalt shingles. Since they are durable and cost-effective, they are available in different kinds.
Three-tab shingles are the most common type, with a lifespan of 50 years providing durability. Also, they come in a variety of colours.
Clay Or Shingles:
These are popular roofing materials for durability and resistance to weather. In addition, they are fire-resistant and have a lifespan that is on par with asphalt shingles.
But, these are more expensive and heavy. Therefore, they add too much weight to the garage. However, these are not the best choice for garages.
Cedar Or Wood Shingles:
Wooden shakes and shingles are available to furnish your garage. They gave a finer look than any other type. Unfortunately, these need more maintenance and wear out faster in wet areas.
Sometimes, a garage isn’t an extension of your main house but rather a small, extra workspace.
If that sounds like your situation, you might not be interested in springing for something as expensive as a metal or asphalt roof.
Composite shingles are an excellent option because whatever they “lack” in typical aesthetics, they make up for durability and cost-effectiveness.
Composite shingles are made of plastic, and while you might baulk at the thought of using plastic as a roofing material—think again. These shingles will last just as long as a metal roof—up to 50 years—without the expensive price tag attached.
Not Ideal Roofing Options
It’d be a broad statement to claim that the following are “not ideal” roofing materials. However, for some, these materials might be a good option.
I am generally speaking. However, a few roofing materials should give you pause, especially depending on where you live.
Climate can play a huge role in your final decision, so you should consider your geographical location when picking out the best roofing material for your garage.
These tiles can look nice (clay especially), but clay or concrete might not be the best choice for a garage roof.
The reason being is because of their sheer weight. Too much weight on a small structure like a garage can be dangerous.
The garage isn’t that large for the average homeowner, so you might want to skip these options, even if they are fire-resistant and extremely durable. Instead, perhaps consider using them elsewhere, like on your main housing structure.
Concrete tiles are made from a variety of aggregated rock, sand, gravel and much more. After drying, they are as strong as any roofing material.
Some roadwork projects use affordable and durable concrete. So they can last for 50 years with efficient installation and regular maintenance.
These tiles are known as composite shingles. Plastic is a highly durable product. However, plastic resistance decreases with temperature.
It guarantees airtight insulation and improves the lifespan for up to 50 years. The best thing about plastic is that they are relatively inexpensive.
Cedar And Wood Shingles
Cedar and wood shingles are beautiful to look at. However, for a garage, installing these shingle styles will sign you up for what could be some unwanted maintenance.
For some homeowners, the desire to match the main house in roofing material outweighs any negatives, so if you choose these shingles, you should be sure to inspect your roof every year if it needs repairs or replacements.
Have you considered a roofing membrane? They’re products that can be used instead of shingles or other roofing materials that adhere directly to the roof’s surface.
The membranes are attached with nails, offering water protection and extremely simple installation.
Because roofing membranes are just that, membrane sheets, the cost is low. It’s the perfect solution for a garage that doesn’t have much roof, and you don’t feel like spending a ton of money on its top but still want to protect it.
A simple but durable roofing membrane is recommended for roof replacement. Thus, sloped garage roofs can get away with a thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) membrane. Both of these have a lifespan of 30-40 years.
For flat-roofed design, ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) is the most affordable solution. In addition, they have a potential lifespan of 30-40 years.
Roof-Fast product is available in three membranes. That can be used together or separately to protect the garage roofing.
The usage of the two membranes depends on the base sheet. Base sheets are of two further types;
- Roof-Fast Base MA is a mechanically attached base sheet. It can be secured with nails.
- Roof-Fast 95 Base is a self-adhering base sheet.
The Best Roof For Your Garage
The best roofing material for your garage truly depends on you—the garage owner. So here are a few guiding questions to ask yourself when selecting your material:
- What type of climate does your garage experience?
- Do you want your garage’s roof to match that of your main house?
- What features do you favour? Durability, longevity, aesthetics?
- What’s your budget?
These guidelines will help narrow down which roofing material is the best fit. There are multiple roofing materials out there of superior quality and features, so it’s up to you to find out which one will fit your personal preference. Garage storage wall hooks should form part of any garage makeover as they provide a clean and really easy way to lift anything from your garage floor and have it accessible via your garage wall.