Many different materials make up a garage roof, and each one has a specific purpose. It’s important to know what is right for your needs before deciding which material to use.
This blog post will help give you an overview of all of the various types of materials available so that you can determine which ones best fit your situation. Are you getting frustrated by your clutter and garage organisation? Here at Garage Storage Solutions, we offer extensive professional organising and declutter service.
Types Of Garage Roofs
If you fold the triangular ends of a gable-roofed building toward the centre of the building, you end up with a hip roof. These roofs are very popular on stand-alone garages because they diminish the roofline, so they compete less with the house roof or other nearby roofs.
Typical pitches for hip roofs on garages are 3/12 through 6/12. Since you lose the gable end, the overhead storage space is cut down unless you use a 6/12 or greater pitch.
Hip roofs are economical to construct because you can eliminate the gable-end wall extensions on each end of the building. Hip roofs are also more aerodynamic and are better suited to places with high winds.
A gambrel roof resembles the classic barn roof with two different slopes aside. This roof provides enough space overhead for a living area or office.
Gambrel roofs also create enough space to get tall vehicles and boats into the garage when you set the door below the gable end.
Shingles are the most common covering type for a garage roof. These asphalt-impregnated fibreglass strips stand up to all kinds of weather, and they are inexpensive compared to most other roof types.
When the garage stands alone, it is still a good idea to have its roof match the roof colour and texture of the home. Since shingles are widely used in homes, they also find their way onto garages. Metal roofs also commonly cover garages, as does rolled roofing, a very inexpensive material that goes on quickly.
Will Your Garage Look Good?
Before you choose your garage roof’s materials, it’s also a good idea to ask yourself if your garage will be seen as an extension of your home or not.
Attached garages and detached garages that are large and visible from the street will look best when they match your home’s roof.
You have more flexibility when choosing a roof for a smaller garage, or even a shed tucked behind the house because it won’t affect your curb appeal.
Although, even a hidden garage roof may still affect how potential buyers feel about your backyard.
Please take a peek at your home’s roofing material and keep it in mind when looking through the material list below.
Materials You Can Install on a Garage Roof
The materials you can use on a garage roof depend on its pitch. High-pitched garage roofs include many styles, from gambrels to hip roofs to gable roofs. As long as your roof’s pitch is above 2:12, you can use the following materials.
Metal roofing: Specialised metal roofing makes for a very durable and reliable roof. However, it’s very expensive. In addition, some homeowners worry it will be noisy in the rain — although that’s not as much of a concern in your garage.
Clay/concrete tiles: Clay and concrete tiles are popular roofing materials. But they aren’t the best choice for a garage roof.
They’re durable, fire-resistant and often beautiful. However, they’re heavy, which may add too much weight to your garage.
Cedar/wood shingles: Wooden shakes and shingles are available to adorn your garage. While they have a finer look than many other garage roofing options, they need more maintenance than all other options and wear out faster in wet areas.
Asphalt shingles: Asphalt shingles are the most popular residential roofing material and make great garage roofs for much the same reasons they’re so widely used.
Asphalt shingles are durable and can be very cost-effective.
If you choose asphalt shingles, you’ll likely be able to match your garage with your home exactly, which is key to maintaining the look of your property.
There are different kinds of asphalt shingles. Three-tab shingles used to be the most common and come in a variety of colours.
Architectural shingles provide durability, mimic other beautiful roofing materials, including wood and slate, and are also available in various colours.
Low Slope And Flat Roofs
Roofs below a 2:12 pitch are considered low-slope roofs. These need special roofing materials, whether in a garage or a home. If your shed is on a low slope, you can’t use shingles.
Self-adhesive membranes: These membranes are much easier to install on or close to a residence than the torch-down membranes you’d find on commercial roofs.
They offer superior water protection as long as the roof has positive drainage (to achieve positive drainage, a roof must be at or above 1:12 pitch).
Further, they were designed with residential use in mind, so they’re available in a range of popular colours, one of which is sure to look good next to your home’s existing roof.
How To Convert A Flat Roof To A Pitched Roof
If you’d rather use asphalt shingles on your garage roof or think your property would look better if the garage had a higher pitch, you could convert the flat roof to a pitched top.
Work with a professional roofer and architect to decide how tall your new roof should be, how steep its pitch should be and what style will work best next to your home’s roof.
There are other options to consider. For example, your roofing professional may be able to keep your original flat roof intact and add the new roof structure on top.
Even though removing the original flat roof costs more, you may want to do so, as it could free up valuable storage space in your garage. Whatever you choose, your new pitched roof will need all of the typical roof layers from the deck up.
How To Calculate The Cost Of A Garage Roof
Another key factor you need to consider when deciding on garage roof material is cost. While the cost of replacing a garage roof will also depend on the size of your garage, you can’t control that. However, you can control the materials you choose to install. You can cut costs by choosing more cost-effective materials from the list above.
Once you’ve chosen your material, calculating the cost of your garage roof replacement is simple. Ideally, the roofing professional you choose may have a cost breakdown of other roofing materials by the square foot.
If so, all you have to do is multiply the size of your garage by its cost. They may even do this for you on the project estimate they provide. If you haven’t chosen a roofing professional yet, or want to buy your roofing materials yourself, you can calculate the cost yourself.
Don’t forget to include other products that your roof may need. Depending on the condition of your existing garage roof, these extras may consist of:
- Drip edges.
We discuss each of these roof accessories below to understand their importance to your roof better.
How To Fix A Sagging Roof
If your garage’s roof is sagging, it is most likely due to improper support. You may end up needing to install a completely new roof from the deck up. You can prepare for a garage reroof the way you’d prepare for your home’s roof replacement.
Drip Edges, Flashing and Gutters
The other major problem garage roofs run into is crumbling or damaged edges. Shingles aren’t enough to protect the edge of a roof because, as water drips off, some of it clings to the surface and soaks up into the decking or underlayment.
The solution is to install drip edges, a type of metal flashing that helps water leave the roof’s edge without causing damage.
Water will leave the drip edge and land in the gutter. Speaking of which, you should also install gutters in your garage.
If you don’t, water may collect around the foundation and cause damage. For example, if your garage is in your backyard and surrounded by grass, the force of the water dropping from the edge of the garage can damage that grass.
It would help if you also used other types of flashing where it’s needed, such as in valleys or against exterior walls.
If you’re not familiar with valleys or other parts of a roof, it’s a good idea to learn about roof components before you decide how to tackle your garage’s ceiling.
Insulation for Your Garage Roof
Not all garage roofs have insulation; however, if your home and garage share a heating or cooling system, insulating your garage is necessary unless you want to increase your heating or cooling costs substantially.
If you choose to insulate your garage, you may want to select thin insulation to give yourself more room for storage.
Many people store their bikes, Christmas decor or other seasonal equipment on ceiling shelves in their garage; it’s a very good spot. Polyiso insulation can help you make the most of it.
You can use thinner layers and still achieve a better thermal resistance than other insulation products would deliver.
Whatever insulation you choose, a professional should install it. It’s not as simple as cutting out the insulation squares and packing them in. There are many fine details you should keep in mind when installing insulation.
For example, you can’t place insulation over your soffit vents because that would prevent air from moving through them.
You also need to carefully choose your product’s thickness and quality, seal it with specialised insulation tape, and follow many other insulation techniques to get the best results. Overall, the job is best left to the professional. Garage Storage Solutions features an innovative wall storage system with heavy-duty sliding wall components such as hooks, garage shelving and stylish, durable steel cabinets designed to hold your gear securely and neatly in place.
Signs Of A Damaged Garage Roof
Moss on Your Garage Roof
When moss grows on any roof, it can cause considerable damage due to its roots establishing themselves and lifting the tile in the process.
Moss also absorbs moisture from the atmosphere and will form a continuous damp layer on your rooftop. This wet, combined with the raised tiles, can have a catastrophic effect on your roof and cause damage that will eventually result in more serious issues.
It is, therefore, vital that you spot moss before it has had an opportunity to establish itself. This will make it far easier to remove, which can typically be done with a low powered water hose and gentle brush.
You’ll find further advice on cleaning moss and other unsightly dirt from your roof in our guide to cleaning roof tiles.
Damp in Your Garage
If you spot any damp patches or mould within your garage, you’re likely suffering the consequences of a leak.
This can rapidly develop into a major issue, with damage being caused to anything stored in your garage as well as the structure itself. It can also cause health issues, such as respiratory problems, to you or anybody else using the garage frequently.
The most common cause of a damp patch or mould is a leak, identified and fixed by following our guide.
However, leaks may not always result from your roofing material, as water tanks located in your loft space may be the route of the problem.
Raised Shingles on Your Garage
Shingles may ‘curl’ throughout their lifespan and, therefore, allow water to ingress. It also makes them far more likely to lift during a severe wind.
Luckily this issue can be identified from ground level as your shingles will not lay flat, and gaps will be visible on their edges.
There are a few reasons this can occur. Firstly, the shingles may have become distorted whilst sitting in their bundle on a hot and humid day. Equally, shingles may ‘curl’ if continuously damp because of a blocked gutter or downspout overflowing.
Missing Roof Tiles on Your Garage
Over time you may begin to find pieces of your shingles or the granules that form its protective coating appearing on the ground or gutters.
Besides looking unsightly, your shingles will no longer be protected from UV rays, and the asphalt beneath will become exposed. Resulting in your shingles becoming dry and cracked, at which point water ingress is far more likely.
Traditional slate, clay and concrete tiles may also crack in severe weather. In some circumstances, they may go missing entirely, which is usually the result of incredibly strong winds. As you would imagine, this allows water to enter your roof space and dampness to form. Thankfully, both shingles and tiles can be individually replaced in most cases.
Why Change Your Garage Roofing Material
If you spot any of the issues above with your garage roof, it doesn’t always have to replace the entire roof. Sometimes you can fix the affected area by replacing a few shingles or tiles, for example.
But if your garage roof does need replacing, there are several garage roofing materials to choose from. These range from stunning tile effect sheets to lightweight synthetic tiles, with each offering a variety of benefits for homeowners.
Garage Roofing Sheets
Tile Effect Roofing Sheets
These provide the stunning appearance of individual tiles whilst requiring far less work due to their coverage.
Many tile effect sheets, such as Britmet Pantile, are also available in custom lengths to suit your project. As a result, you are making it far quicker and easier to replace your garage roof.
As these are produced from steel in most cases, they are a little costly at up to $21 per square meter.
But they offer a great life expectancy of up to 40 years, with Corotile being guaranteed for 15 years and Britmet Pantile being insured for 40 years.
You’re able to use these sheets on pitches as low as 5 degrees. They are made possible by their interlocking design and lightweight build, with some weighing as little as 6kg per square meter.
You can, therefore, enjoy the benefits of tile effect sheets on both low and high pitched garages.
Bitumen Roofing Sheets
Costing as little as $5 per square meter, bitumen sheets are by far the most cost-effect option. As they are lightweight, they are also easy to install by both homeowners and tradespeople. This helps to keep the overall cost of your garage roof replacement low.
The grooves found on these sheets make them strong and resilient to dramatic changes in temperature.
It also allows rainwater to drain off quickly and effectively, which is why Caroline sheets offer a 15-year waterproof guarantee.
These sheets are available in four colours, including black, green, brown and red. They are also great absorbers, reducing the noise of heavy rainfall. This makes them ideal for garages that have been converted to offices or game rooms.
Steel Roofing Sheets
Manufactured from galvanised steel, these roofing sheets are incredibly strong and durable. They are also available as standard corrugated metal sheets or in a box profile, ensuring they can handle falling debris and withstand fluctuations in temperature.
Steel roofing sheets are available with optional coatings, a range of profiles, and a choice of thicknesses.
We provide you with a bespoke solution to suit your application, whether you fit them onto a small residential or a large commercial garage.
Despite being manufactured from steel, these sheets remain relatively lightweight and easy to install. Depending upon the coating selected, they also offer a 10 – 25 years lifespan, with virtually no maintenance being required.
Fibre Cement Roofing Sheets
Extremely popular as both roofing and cladding for agricultural buildings, fibre cement sheets are also a fantastic choice for commercial and residential projects. Made from a combination of Portland Cement, water, and cellulose fibres, these sheets are incredibly durable, offering high resistance to water, UV damage, rot, and fire.
These sheets are available in a choice of up to twelve colours, so you’re sure to find one that will suit your garage perfectly. Plus, thanks to the large sizes available, you’ll need very few sheets to cover your garage. This means installation will take no time—ideal for both professionals and DIYers doing the job themselves.
Garage Roofing Tiles
Synthetic Roof Tiles
Due to the weight of traditional roof tiles, they may not be suitable for your garage. Synthetic tiles are ideal in this situation as they provide the aesthetically pleasing look of a tile or slate.
All whilst being up to 80% lighter than concrete, clay or slate alternatives and ideal for pitches as low as 10 degrees.
Both metal and plastic tiles can be installed up to 25% faster than traditional alternatives. Besides minimising the disruption caused by your project, it helps to keep the cost of your project low by considerably cutting the labour time.
Some of these tiles, such as Envirotile, also have the added advantage of being eco-friendly and are made from sustainable materials that would normally end up in a landfill. Once they’ve outlived their 25-year lifespan, they can then be fully recycled.
Shingles allow you to achieve a unique look whilst still enjoying a simple installation process. This is due to most shingles simply ‘overlapping’, whether you fit them onto a 10-degree roof or 90-degree wall.
They are also brilliant, priced at just $20 for 14 shingles in the case of Coroshingle. This could cover a 2-meter square area, making them a very cost-effective garage roofing material that is incredibly easy to install.
Roof shingles can withstand extreme weather conditions and require little maintenance throughout their 10+ year lifespan. Plus, if any damage ever did occur, you can replace the individual shingle rather than the whole roof.
Flat Garage Roofing Materials
If your garage has a flat roof, you’re limited to which roofing materials you can use. EPDM membranes are a fantastic option if this is the case as it offers outstanding longevity in both heavy rain and high temperatures.
These EPDM membranes are supplied in large rolls with the option to order membranes in the exact measurements you require. This allows it to be installed fast and with few seams for water to ingress through.
A common sight on flat roof sheds and garages, roofing felt is one of the most cost-effective ways to keep your garage roof watertight.
With a large variety of felt roofing on offer, able to be installed in multiple ways, felt is a highly versatile material that can be used on small, lightweight structures and large commercial premises.
Typically produced in easy-to-apply rolls, felt is available in many thicknesses, weights, and styles to suit its vast array of potential uses.
The rolls of felt we offer are lightweight and can be cut or shaped to fit into any space or around any complex roof shape, including being dressed directly into gutters. This makes roofing felt one of the most forgiving, and therefore beginner-friendly roofing materials.
One of the most common questions we get at our roofing company is, “Which type of garage roofing material should I use?”. Of course, we know that there are many options out there, and it can be confusing to figure out which one will work best for your needs, but don’t worry because we have a few tips on choosing! 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.