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How to know if you need a garage roof replacement

After refurbishment of a garage, with galvanized steel garage roof replacement and white garage door

At first-glance, it may be difficult to know whether your garage is in need of a simple repair, a garage roof replacement or a complete refurbishment. We’re going to offer some advice about the early signs of a damaged garage. We’ll discuss the simple ways to identify potential water leakage, and the steps you can take to keep your garage and its roof in good condition. In some cases, your garage may require help from a specialist. This is particularly true if you have noticed significant water leakage, your garage is of a certain age, or you are concerned about the risks relating to asbestos removal. Here’s a simple guide to understanding exactly what your garage needs.


While minor-looking leaks or damp patches may be easy to dismiss, these are early signs that your garage roof will soon be in need of refurbishment or replacement. Though this may sound like an expensive and time-consuming job , dealing with the damage quickly will certainly save you money and hassle in the long run. It’s not only crucial to consider the impact that a damaged roof may have on the garage itself, but also the belongings in it. Damp areas and leakage will likely result in broken and rusty electrics and damaged furniture, particularly if it’s wooden, as damp causes wood to swell or contract. 


So, how can you identify whether your garage roof is in need of a refurbishment or replacement? It’s recommended that you check your garage a minimum of twice a year for any potential signs of damage. Here are three warning signs that your garage roof may require some TLC:

  • Water damage and leakage – noticing water in your garage could suggest that cracks or holes may be present in the roof. Even small signs of leakage can indicate that your roof requires replacement – or at least repair.
  • Loose roof tiles – you may be able to spot loose or missing tiles on your garage roof; ignoring this could result in significant damage and even cause the roof to cave in. So if you notice this, act fast.
  • Mould and moss growth – ignoring moss, mildew and rotting on your garage roof will allow bacteria to build between tiles, likely causing gaps and cracks to emerge in your roof. This could result in water leakage. Finding large amounts of mould is a clear indication that repair is absolutely needed.
  • Garage roof condition diminishing – you may start to see the timber structure of your garage roof rotting, causing the roof to sag inwards or flake off and crumble. 

Replacing or refurbishing your own garage roof is not advised, and neither is ignoring the issue all together. Not only could this worsen the garage condition and make fixing it more expensive, but it may also be unsafe. One clear indication that your garage needs some maintenance is if the roof appears to be uneven or sagging; this may be as a result of excess water, poor quality materials or incorrect installation. If this isn’t recognised and treated by a professional quickly, it could result in the complete collapse of your garage roof. 


The age of your garage roof is also a key factor when determining whether a repair or a complete replacement is required. Older roofs will gradually erode and rot, leading to excess moisture becoming trapped within tiles or panels. This can in turn cause cracking to occur. Cracks in garage roofs allow water to seep through into your garage and this problem can worsen in cold and frosty weather. Noticing signs of erosion, cracking or rotting means that your garage roof requires repair and possibly full refurbishment. Attempting to complete repairs yourself, particularly on an older garage roof, will undoubtedly cause more harm than good. Professionals recommend that it’s much more cost-effective to totally replace an ageing garage rather than to continually make small repairs. 


In most cases VSF can arrange your garage roof replacement without disturbing any other components of the garage, keeping the cost as low as possible. However, if you leave your damaged roof too long it can begin to deteriorate other components of the garage such as cracked concrete panels, rotten timbers and joists. In this case, for us to provide you with a quality installation we will have to replace other components as well. This will generally increase the cost and in the worst case scenario, you may need the entire garage replaced if the integrity of the roof is compromised. 

How do you stop leakages? 


Garage roof leaks, whether big or small, can cause significant harm to the condition of your garage and anything in it. Water leakage or damage can be caused by a number of issues – a broken or poor-quality drainage system, a lack of regular upkeep for your garage roof, or rusting and rotting panels resulting in large holes and cracks (particularly if roofing panels are old).

Firstly, low-quality or failing drainage systems can cause excess water to collect on your garage roof and seep into your walls. It’s crucial to regularly assess guttering and downpipes to make sure they are draining water effectively and protecting your garage. Ageing can cause the roofs to crack and cause leaking in corrugated cement/asbestos roofs (95% of our roofs are corrugated cement/asbestos], when it’s hot the roof expands and when it’s cold it contracts, this can increase the likelihood of cracking and flaking resulting in leaks.


Lack of regular maintenance will increase the chance of leakage and a need for full repair. Here are a few simple tips for preventing severe water leakage:

  • Frequently checking for and removing any debris, mould and leaves building up on your garage roof. 
  • Getting rid of any stagnant water present on the roof.
  • Looking for any emerging gaps, blistering or cracks.


Completing these checks twice a year could prevent garage roof leaks from becoming a serious problem in the future. 


Again, having old roof panels will increase the likelihood of damage or water leakage. Good quality garage roofs that have been installed correctly should be replaced around every 10 years – if poor-quality materials have been used, replacement will likely be required much sooner.


Our Roofs are guaranteed for 10 years


There are various ways to identify the source of a leak; look for holes and cracks in and around roof panels, as well as in the brickwork and around the garage door. Additionally, inspect the corners of the garage roof, the underside of panels and the drainage systems. Once the source of the leak has been located, it’s advised to contact a professional garage roof replacement company as soon as possible to prevent further damage and rotting.

Carry out a house-pipe test by pouring water on the roof to identify the source of any leaks (we do this on every job on completion to ensure there are no potential leaks.



Homes built before 2000 could contain asbestos.

Asbestos was a widely-used building material up until the 1990s and is therefore regularly found in older garage roofs. While asbestos is still considered safe if it’s in good condition, if roofing panels become damaged and decayed, asbestos fibres will be released into the air, and if inhaled, can become extremely dangerous. Breathing in asbestos dust can lead to fatal lung diseases and cancer and for this reason, it is crucial to leave the removal and refurbishment of asbestos roof garages to the professionals. Garage roof experts have the ability to remove this type of roof with little disruption to the hazardous substance; they will also have suitable protective equipment and clothing in place to prevent any exposure of asbestos fibres. VSF will also incorporate an exclusion zone around the property, and contact neighbours advising to close windows and doors whilst the work is carried out.


So, there are a number of factors to take into account if you are considering a garage roof repair or refurbishment. While there are simple steps that you can take to maintain and assess the condition of your own garage roof: checking regularly for signs of water leakage, damaged or ageing roof panels, mould, rotting and cracking, if you think that your garage is in need of replacement or repair then it’s highly recommended to contact a specialist. This is particularly the case if you have noticed signs of severe damage and leakage or your garage is around 10 years old and was installed using poor-quality materials. Additionally, if you are concerned about asbestos in your garage roof, it’s crucial to act quickly and contact the professionals. VSF, the UKs number 1 garage roof replacement company, are equipped to help with any of your garage-related issues. With an industry-leading 10 year guarantee, VSF provides reliable, quality services in roof repairs and replacements and asbestos garage roof removals, as well as complete garage refurbishments.

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