September 23rd, 2021 by
Garages give us extra space for storage, whether it’s keeping your beloved car out of the elements, keeping expensive bikes safe from would-be thieves, or just storing the lawnmower and garden furniture in the winter. Whether you have valuable items in there on not, to be a useful storage area it needs to stay watertight.
Leaks do happen of course, and a garage roof has an expected lifespan of around 20 years but other factors such as harsh weather, accidents, or general wear and tear can compromise the roof or even vulnerable areas around openings such as windows and doors. If you do spring a leak and want to protect the items you have in there, time is of the essence to prevent cracks and fissures getting worse, mould and damp taking hold, and damage being incurred to your belongings.
DIY patch up or professional repair?
This is the big question; can you fix the leak yourself or will you need a tradesperson in to conduct a professional repair? If it’s just a small leak, spotted early, you may well get away with patching that up yourself. If it’s anything more significant, it will probably require something more robust. However, even if it’s not something that you can permanently resolve yourself, you can buy yourself some time and prevent the problem from escalating with a temporary fix.
1. Finding the source of the leak
The first thing to do is identify the exact issue: is it a crack? Is it a hole in the roof? Is it a gap near the window frame or door? How big is the crack or gap? Start with where the water is in the garage and take a look around to see if you can trace the entry point. If you can see that water has come in but can’t see any obvious breaks, try getting someone to run the hose over the roof or down the walls on the outside of that area and observe from the inside. Also look for other signs of dampness such as discolouration, watermarks, or mould/mildew.
2. Assessing the issue
Once you have found where water is penetrating the building, assess how big the issue is. Is it a large hole or just a small crack? Large areas of damage will need a professional to take a look (especially if you think your roof may contain asbestos) but smaller breaks may be fixable, at least in the short term. If it’s something you need to get someone in for, do your best to create a temporary reprieve, such as covering it with plastic sheeting. If it’s something you think you can have a go at yourself, proceed to the next step.
3. Repairing the garage roof or wall
An invaluable product for conducting such repairs is an Emergency Repair Bitumen Spray. Even if you think you will ultimately need to get it repaired professionally, this can offer an immediate reprieve from water ingress and give you some time to find the right tradesperson or get the money together for a more substantial repair.
This spray has an instant sealing effect, filling in small cracks and gaps and fully curing in 30 minutes. Being a spray, it’s also easy to get into tricky areas. For small cracks and gaps, simply spray onto the area. For slightly larger holes, place some gauze or mesh over the gap before spraying to fill the space and provide a surface for it to cling to.
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Make sure the area is clean and dry before you start and then just spray as instructed on the can.
4. How long will it last?
Well, if the gap was reasonably small, you may find that this quick repair can actually last for years. The bitumen spray has an industrial-strength compound, is weather-proof, and will expand and contract in hot and cold weather respectively so won’t crack.
If the damage was more substantial, or a result of the general deterioration of the wider fabric of the building then you will need to deal with the issue, but this fix will certainly protect your belongings in the meantime.
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