How to Fix a Leaking
The Ultimate Guide to Leaking Garage Roofs
After decades of use, the time will one day come when your garage roof starts to leak.
A leaking garage roof can be a nightmare, compromising your valuables or stopping you from using the garage altogether.
With a garage roof leak, the most important thing to do is not perform any DIY projects without research. It may cost you more in the long run.
In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know on how to fix a leaking garage roof, including:
- What causes your garage roof to leak?
- How to identify sources of the leak
- What to do if your garage roof is leaking
- How to fix a leaking garage roof
What Causes Your Garage Roof to Leak?
1. Old Roof Panels
Leaking garage roofs are most often caused by failing roof panels. Old roof panels will erode, crack and scale after decades of exposure to the elements.
This means that garage roof leaks are usually not a DIY project to fix yourself. If your roof panels are old, water ingress is likely to be the start of persistent leak issues.
Leaking Garage Roof – Rust, Cracks and Scaling:
Concrete roofs such as cement fibre or an asbestos garage roof are particularly susceptible. Over time, as their protective layers breakdown, they become porous and retain a lot of moisture.
Eventually, this excess moisture will create cracks in the roof panels to which water will seep through.
This problem is amplified in the cold winter months where frost gets into these cracks and causes them to swell.
Larger cracks creates greater gaps for water to leak through.
Garage roof leaks may be not a leak at all. Condensation can often cause more water ingress than a roof leak.
Condensation inside the garage can occur for many reasons. For example, not having proper airflow to the garage or running sources of heat.
Be sure to check whether condensation is causing your garage to leak before considering a garage roof repair.
You can find out more about condensation in garage here.
3. Lack of Maintenance
The need for flat roof leak repair can sometimes come down to a lack of maintenance.
A few bi-annual checks can help treat a leaking garage roof before it becomes a serious issue:
- Check for build-up of leaves, dirt, algae, mould or other debris and remove them from the roof surface
- Check for any small cracks or blistering that is starting to appear
- Check for standing water and clear from the roof
Even the most waterproof materials like rubber or uPVC need maintenance. Simple checks can help protect your roof from leaks in the future.
4. Failing Drainage System
Failing drainage systems are another cause of water ingress.
A lack of drainage will cause water to pool on the roof or leak onto the walls or floor. This will cause leaks in places other than the roof.
Check your guttering around the garage roof as well as any downpipes and bracketing. Make sure they are doing their job in draining water away from the garage.
How to Identify the Source of a Garage Roof Leak
So, how do you identify the source of a garage roof leak?
First, identify any cracks or holes that are present on top of or on the underside of the roof panels. Next, check for gaps in the brickwork or gaps around the garage door opening. You want to check everywhere around your garage, not the roof alone.
Here is a checklist of what to inspect:
- Immediate area around the leak
- Underside of the roof panels
- Corners of the garage roof
- Sides of the garage roof where panels meet the brickwork
- Your drainage system
- Brickwork (garage walls)
- Garage door and garage door opening
What to do if Your Garage Roof is Leaking
When you find the source of the leak, do not wait around for the water to cause rotten wood, mould, and damage.
If there is a clear gap that water is coming through, you can use silicone sealant such as LS-X to plug the hole.
If you have eroded panels you will see cracks, rust, rot or a combination of all three. Trying to perform repairs yourself on an ageing roof will cause more harm than good.
The best thing to do is to take note of what has caused the roof to leak. Identify where the leak has come from and speak to a professional garage roof replacement company.
How to Fix a Leaking Garage Roof
Temporary repairs for a leaking garage roof are possible for confident DIYers.
In the short-term, this can prevent the initial leak from damaging the inside of your garage. Long-term though, if your roofing panels are on their way out, this may only delay the inevitable.
DIY repairs may buy you time, the rot, rust, and cracks are tell-tale signs that this is a larger problem with the roof of your garage.
The first thing to do if you’re garage roof is leaking is to move anything important or electrical out of the garage.
Next, identify the source of the leak using the techniques we discussed above.
Now that you have found the source of the leak, identify whether it is a problem you can remedy yourself. Otherwise, speak with a professional about what you can do in the short-term whilst you work out your options. For example, a garage roof repair or garage roof replacement.
Gather some quotes and make sure you are getting the best value for money. If you are replacing the roof, be sure to take in all information regarding the material it is being replaced with.
You want to be sure that your new roof is water resistant, durable and long-lasting. You also want to check for anti-condensation options. That will shore up all your worries about water ingress in the future.