The Essential Guide to Leaking Garage Roof Repair

Eastman Winter

Some types of home repairs are perfectly suited to the DIY approach – others, not so much. You might be able to handle a garage roof repair on your own, but don’t jump into it without doing your research. Some roof repairs take a lot of knowledge and skill, and can also be time-consuming and difficult.

It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it

Even if you’re only dealing with a small leak, it’s best to take action right away instead of sitting around expecting it to fix itself. If you wait, you could end up having to spend a lot more to fix it later on, and in fact, if you wait for too long, you could end up having to fix or replace the entire roof. Never allow your garage roof to leak. It’ll encourage mold and mildew to form in the ceilings and walls, and cause wood to rot.

Do the whole job, not just a patch‑up

Garage roofs are prone to the same problems that any other roof can develop. Even concrete, durable as it is, can sustain damage. If your garage roof is made of concrete, it could retain moisture because it is porous. Then it can crack, or become vulnerable to scaling and spalling.

Anywhere that moisture collects, there can be leaks, cracks and corrosion. No matter where the leak occurs, you should waterproof the whole roof. It’s far better than constantly having to waterproof your cement or apply sealant to the leaky areas.

Make sure to clean the roof before taking on the rest of the project. This could be a fairly big job, and you might want to consider using a pressure washer. Once the roof is clean and dry, fill any big cracks with mortar or roofing cement.

The next step is to apply a solid primer. Once it has dried, seal all the damaged areas using an elastomeric sealant. Make sure you get every single damaged part, no matter how small and insignificant it might appear. Then add a coat of sealant over the entire roof. Finally, in 24 hours, add another coat of sealant.

Make sure to check under the tiles

Garage roof tiles don’t always fit tightly. If your tiles appear to be loose, or if they’ve developed leaks, it isn’t always enough to reposition them, or even to replace them. Sometimes the issue is actually with the roofing felt that is underneath the tile.

Old roofing felt can begin to leak even if it appear to be perfectly fine. So, if you’ve exhausted all the other possibilities, there could still be a solution to your leaking garage roof. Replacing the felt could be the solution.

The leak could be anywhere

Don’t assume that the origin of the leak is going to be immediately above the point where the water is dripping down inside the garage. You need to check the entire roof. Look at the sides, the corners, the roofing felt and the drainage pipes.

It may be that you won’t be able to easily identify the source of the leak. The roof may appear to be perfectly sound in one area, but water could have collected there and caused the roof to leak elsewhere. The leak could also be caused by a plumbing line that wasn’t properly installed.

Check the timbers, since you’re up there anyway

If you have to take the covering off your roof, take some time and examine the roofing timbers. Obviously, if there are any that have been damaged, they will need to be replaced. Usually, though, it’s the roofing sheets, not the timbers, that need to be replaced.

Why not upgrade your garage door, too?

Perhaps your garage door is also leaking, or you simply feel that your garage could use a makeover. A new door can definitely enhance the appearance of your garage, thereby increasing the resale value of your home. It can also deliver significant energy savings.

At A‑1 Overhead Door Systems, we can answer your questions, and help you select the garage door that’s perfect for your taste and your budget. Browse our selection of quality residential doors, or use our online tool to build your ultimate garage door.

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