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If you live somewhere that has very hot periods of the year — or maybe even year-round — you probably wish you could do anything to keep the inside of your house cooler. Whether it’s because you want that blissful feeling of walking into a nice and cool environment, or to help reduce your energy bill, you can help your cause by having your roof redone.
There are many different materials you can use for a roof. They all have their advantages and disadvantages — cost, durability, longevity, appearance, and so on. However, when it comes to being able to keep your house cooler in hot climates, there are a select group of roofing materials that are the best for the job.
Concrete is not commonly used for roofing due to being more expensive than more traditional materials like asphalt or wood. The tiles also tend to be heavier, but when it comes to durability and being able to block the heat from entering your home, they are one of the best kinds of roofing you can get.
This is because concrete takes a long time to heat up, so even on the hottest day concrete tiles will not absorb enough heat to reach peak temperature. They tend to stay closer to a middle temperature between evenings and midday. You can make them even better by painting them a cool color that better reflects heat, such as white, red or yellow.
Roofing that is made from metals such as steel, aluminum or copper is another great option for reflecting heat away from your home. There are other materials that might reflect more heat from the sun, but metal also cools down the fastest out of any roofing that is good at reflecting heat. So it might be a bit hotter at midday, but it will also help your home cool down faster at night when you want to sleep.
Once again, you can have your metal roof painted white, yellow or red to give it the best heat reflectivity. It offers great energy savings in addition to being very durable, low maintenance, and long-lasting. So while it can be more expensive to buy a metal roof initially, it does offer significant long-term savings. The best energy-efficient metal roofing will be built with a gap between the metal sheets that gives room for air circulation, and a thermal gap that absorbs more heat before it gets to the interior parts of the roof.
Read more: Colorbond roofing
Also known as photovoltaic shingles, this type of roof is actually a solar panel roof that is made to look like normal shingles. It looks more natural as a roof that normal solar panels, and aside from the benefits of providing solar energy to your home, they also help keep your home cool too.
These types of shingles absorb solar rays as part of their normal energy-creation and storage process, which means they also absorb most of the heat as well. Because most climates with high temperatures also usually get a lot of sunlight, solar shingles can be a great option to help keep your home cool.
There are a few reasons why you see a lot of homes in countries like Spain or Italy with roofs that use terracotta tiles, and one of them is because they are very good at reflecting heat. Terracotta is a unique type of ceramic material that is used in many parts of the building and has a natural red, brown, and/or orange color.
They’re not as durable as concrete or metal, but they’re easier to form into different shapes than just flat tiles. The best shape for roofing that has been shown to best reflect heat is S-shaped tiles that form interlocking arches over your roof. The shape allows air to circulate better underneath the tiles, which keeps the roof and your home’s interior cooler. With S-shaped tiles, terracotta can be arguably the best roofing material for reflecting heat that you’ll find.
Synthetic Membrane Roofing
Also known as “EPBM Membranes” (which stands for ethylene propylene diene monomer), this material closely imitates rubber and is effective at resisting the heat and radiation from sunlight. It has been shown through testing and uses to be very durable and long-lasting, in addition to helping keep your house cool.
They are used in roofing very often for commercial buildings, thanks to the large rolls and sheets that can quickly and effectively cover large roofs, and for their long lifespan. When combined with the right colors, you have yourself a very cool-efficient roof material.
Europe and the Americas have been using slate tiles for centuries, and for good reason. They are very durable, they look great, and they last a long time. As an added benefit to people in hot climates, slate also naturally reflects heat. Add some good cool colors, and slate tiles present a highly viable option as a roofing material for keeping your home cool.
Like other materials mentioned in this list, slate can be more expensive than the more commonly used roof materials. However, thanks to its durability and heat reflection, it does have good long-term affordability. You can also get cheaper slate tiles by using reclaimed or salvaged slate from other construction projects.
Read more: Roof sheathing