If you were able to choose the absolute best kind of roof for a hot climate, here’s how it would look: a light-colored metal roof in a tile, shingle or shake design. A metal roof can save you as much as 40% on your energy bills!
One of the most important qualities a roof can have in order to be efficient in high temperatures is reflectivity, or the ability to reflect the heat and damaging rays of the sun rather than absorb them. Metal is one of the most reflective materials you can buy. A light-colored roof is better than a dark-colored roof for the same reason – light colors reflect heat and sun rays better than dark colors, which tend to absorb heat (the temperature of a dark-colored asphalt shingle roof on a hot day can climb to as high as 180°F!). And, finally, allowing air to circulate within the roofing material helps the roof to stay cooler, which is why it’s better to choose metal shingles, tiles or shakes.
Other Ways to Keep Your Roof and Your Home Cool
Although there’s no doubt that choosing the right material is extremely important when it comes to keeping your roof and your home cooler in hot climates, there are a few other measures you can take that will help.
- Reflective roof coatings: If you want to improve the heat resistance and reflectivity of your existing roof, you might want to explore the variety of reflective roof coatings available. These coatings can be applied over virtually any existing roof material, and can greatly improve the reflectivity of your roof. This is a short-term solution, however, since roof coatings will degrade over a few years and will eventually lose much of the reflectivity.
- Extra attic insulation: It’s important to have adequate insulation in your attic no matter what climate you live in – it will keep your house cooler in hot weather and warmer in cold temperatures. The higher the “R-value,” the better, but be sure your insulation is at least R-30.
- Attic ventilation: Talk to a roofing professional to make sure you have an adequate number of roof and attic vents, which will help air to circulate and reduce heat buildup in the attic.
More Advantages of Metal
Not only is metal the best kind of roofing material for hot climates – it presents other advantages as well.
- Metal is durable: While it’s true that you may pay a bit more for a metal roof initially, this durable material can save you money in the long run. Many metal roofs will last as long as 50 years or even longer, which means you may never have to replace your roof again.
- Metal is fire-resistant: Often in hot climates, fire is a major concern. Metal is extremely fire-resistant. In fact, many insurance companies offer a lower insurance premium for customers with metal roofs because the material is so fire-resistant
- Federal tax breaks: You may qualify for a tax break from the federal government if you have a metal roof on your primary residence.
- Metal is eco-friendly: Most metal roofs are made from recycled materials.
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