Best Roofing Materials For A Gambrel Garage Roof

Choosing a garage roof material can be simple if the garage abuts your home roof and you simply want the two to match. But a freestanding garage or garage roof that's at a different level than the main roof offers some design creativity. If your garage has a gambrel roof, you will want to choose an attractive material since so much of the roof will be visible from the curb.

What are the best roofing materials for a gambrel garage roof? Here are a few options to discuss during your next meeting with your roofing contractor.

Metal Roofing

Gambrel roofs have a flatter sloped upper and a steeper sloped bottom, which doesn't always translate well to water runoff. Standing water on the flatter sloped upper roof has the potential to cause water damage. The upper segment can also collect falling snow, which adds extra weight to the roof. The gambrel is only supported with two beams and lacks good weight distribution so the extra weight of snow can cause the roof to collapse.

Metal roofing might seem like too industrial of a roofing option for your garage, but metal roofing now comes in tile shapes in a variety of colors and even textures to better disguise the material. The metal provides a great water runoff service for the top of your garage while also remaining low maintenance.

Asphalt Shingles

Gambrel garage roofs are not recommended for structures that will take on a lot of high direct wind due to the aforementioned weight distribution issues. If your garage does take on a lot of direct wind, avoid asphalt shingles, which are also prone to wind damage. If your garage doesn't take on a lot of wind, asphalt shingles might be a great fit.

Asphalt shingles are highly affordable and so light in weight that there's no chance the tiles would cause your gambrel roof to collapse. Asphalt can also be fabricated in a variety of colors and textures to resemble wood or slate, and the end result tends to be a bit more convincing than the metal fabrications.

Wood Shakes or Shingles

If you do want to use a higher end roofing material, steer away from the weighty slate or clay tiles and instead go with wood shakes or shingles. The wood used is typically cedar, which is heavier than asphalt but should still be safe for your gambrel. The natural appearance and available stain colors can give your garage a bit of a storybook look.

Wood shingles are installed in an overlapping pattern that leaves gaps to help water run down from the flatter sloped upper roof. The shingles are higher maintenance due to vulnerability to insect damage and freeze-thaw cycles, but garage roof damage tends to be easier to notice and fix than damage on your main roof, and you can get a contracting company like Absolute Roofing to make annual checks.