If you are lucky enough to own a detached garage on your property, you will already be well aware of how useful these structures are when it comes to protecting damage to your vehicles. However, the protection of a detached garage provides is almost entirely dependant on its roof, since it cannot rely on the bulk of an adjoining home to shield it from the worst of the weather. As such, re-roofing your detached garage if and when the original roof starts to degrade is vital to the continued protection of your vehicles, and you should make sure the roofing materials you choose are right for the job.
With so many different roofing material options on offer, it can be difficult to decide which is best for your garage roofing needs. The following materials are commonly used to roof both attached and detached garages and come with unique advantages and disadvantages that you should familiarise yourself with before making your decision.
Many detached garages are located towards the front of a property to make parking easier, and as such are the first things passersby and (more importantly) prospective home buyers will see from outside your property. Many detached garage owners will therefore opt for an attractive roof covering similar to that used on the main home, and tiles are a popular choice for the image-conscious garage owner.
Opting for tiles is therefore an attractive prospect for homeowners looking to raise the value of their property with a garage re-roofing project, but you should take care to note what the tiles are made from. Tiles made from clay or metamorphic stone (such as slate) are generally considered the most attractive and provide excellent heat insulation, but can be fragile and brittle during inclement weather and tend to be expensive. Concrete and fibre cement tiles, on the other hand, are far more durable and inexpensive, but can look somewhat rough and spartan without a little architectural flair.
Metal garage roofing does not have to resemble the bare, utilitarian metal roofing seen on commercial and agricultural buildings. Modern protective treatments, such as rustproof paints and powder coatings, are available in a wide range of attractive colours and style, and a carefully chosen metal garage roof can actually become an attractive accent to your property.
Metal roofing isn't all style and no substance either, and when fitted well a metal roof provides unmatched durability and resistance to impact damage (such as falling branches and hailstones). Metal roofing tiles and panels are also comparatively light and easy to install. However, they provide very little in the way of heat insulation without supplementary insulation installed in ceiling voids and can rapidly fall victim to damaging and unattractive rust if their protective coatings become compromised.
If your detached garage is located in a more secluded location, or you simply don't care about looks as much about practicality, reliable asphalt roofing can be the way to go. Available in both solid tiles and malleable 'rolls' (which are particularly handy for use on sloped roofs), asphalt roofing provides exemplary durability, and can weather just about anything Australia's fickle climate can throw at it. Asphalt is also an excellent heat insulator, keeping your vehicles safe and cool and making your detached garage a more pleasant place to be in general.
Unfortunately there is no getting around the fact that asphalt roofing isn't exactly beautiful, and aging asphalt roofing can become an outright eyesore if allowed to degrade. Asphalt tiles made to resemble more traditional roof shingles are available and can create a far more attractive roof, but these shingles are generally more expensive than standard asphalt roofing types.