Why shouldn't you repair your own garage roof

Why shouldn’t you repair your own garage roof

Our garages aren’t just used to store cars these days; we use them for all kinds of purposes. Junk, heirlooms, treasured souvenirs and furniture all make their way into the garage somehow. For some homeowners, the garage doubles up as a workshop space. Some even convert theirs into a bedroom.

Most garages have flat or pitched roofs, and over time, they are vulnerable to leaking. That’s just one of the reasons that you might want to have your garage roof recovered.

Damage and Wear

Flat roofs are designed to channel water away from a house. If your garage was properly designed, water should not pool on the top unless the rainfall is extremely heavy. If you notice splitting or an uneven surface, it’s a sure sign that damp has started to cause damage, or a puncture in the roof is letting moisture in.

A damaged gutter can also wreak havoc with a garage roof. Water can clog up and overflow, causing rot to set in, and wet rot cannot be repaired easily without removing the wood and starting again. And if there’s a hole in your roof, it can be extremely difficult to locate, meaning the problem just gets worse over time.


Garage roofs have been constructed from all kinds of materials in the past, the most notorious and dangerous being asbestos. If left in place, asbestos is not harmful, but it becomes very dangerous once disturbed. If you suspect that there is asbestos in your garage roof, that’s a good enough reason to have it removed and replaced, for your health and also your peace of mind.

Your garage roof can be recovered using layers of material that keep heat in and moisture out. Bitumen-backed felt has been used for decades, and there are also modern membranes, fibre glass panels and rubber roofing materials designed to keep the garage water right.

Naturally, recovering a roof is not cheap, since the job needs to be done right to withstand the weather. Despite the need to economise, we never recommend working on a roof yourself, particularly if there is nobody there to help you. Even though your garage roof is at single-story height, an awkward fall could still put paid to future DIY escapades. As professional installers, we are obliged to work on scaffolding or via an access tower – it’s the law, and there is good reason for it.

Longevity and Performance

A well-fitted garage roof can last up to 50 years, providing the job’s done right and with good quality materials. For a basic bitumen felt roof, your installer should offer a 10 year guarantee at a minimum. In a garage, you don’t need to worry about insulation, so it might cost less than you think.

If you’re not sure what kind of replacement to choose, allow us to inspect your roof and recommend the right solution. South Thames are experts in flat roof construction, and we can advise you on the best way to get your roof replaced.