There are so many different considerations you need to take into account when you’re installing a roof in a traditionally warm climate. Depending on where you live, there may be different regulations about the kinds of roofing materials you may or may not be allowed to use. Here in St. Augustine, anything that has to do with construction to your home is subject to strict state building codes and Florida roofing contractor guidelines. And, with our summer temperatures regularly swelling up into the triple digits, you’ll want the best roofing material you can get to keep your home safe and comfortable.
A quality roof under extreme heat plays a critical role in keeping your home nice and cool. Many homeowners tend to believe that the air conditioner acts as the primary cooling device for the home, but that’s not necessarily the case. A good roof should help let heat escape from your home, rather than keeping it trapped inside.
Different types of roofing material will have different properties regarding how well they transfer or store heat. Materials that store too much heat will give off that heat in all directions, including down into your home. This is one way that your house gets hotter on the inside than on the outside during the summertime! Not what you want at all.
However, there are plenty of roofing materials that transfer heat effectively, and can even reflect it back, keeping your building much, much cooler. Then, when you switch on your air conditioner, it won’t be fighting an uphill battle against a roof that’s constantly letting the cool air out and the hot air in.
Other Factors to Consider
There are other factors that can affect the heating and cooling potential of your roof, too. Just something as simple as the color can make an enormous difference in heat absorption or reflection. We think of colors as being a stylistic choice, but in warm climates, the best roofing materials reflect the heat; so, they’re often light in color. Darker colors tend to absorb even more heat.
As if that weren’t enough, but besides regulating the heat inside of your home, it’s also important to protect your roof from overexposure to super high temperatures, and from UV rays from the sun. These hazards can cause serious damage to a few different roofing materials. Over time, shingles may crack or warp, causing them to expose the roof deck below to more severe issues like rot or infestation. Since roof damage can be very expensive, you don’t want to mess around; make sure your home is protected from the sweltering Florida heat.
With all of these different things in mind, how can you possibly know what the best roofing material could be for your project? Surely there are tropical roofing products for climates like Florida. And, there are! Some of them can be very stylish, too. We’re going to go over some of the best roofing materials you can find for a warm climate to help you make an educated decision about your home; as your friendly neighborhood roofing contractors, we can help you equip your home with the best heat and roof protection in St. Augustine.
Terracotta / Clay Tiles
You’ll find terracotta roofing all over other parts of the world that take shelter from the sun. In many parts of India, where there’s seemingly no end to the hot days, terracotta roofs have decorated the skylines for thousands of years. It is one of the oldest materials used in building in all of human history, and it still finds its own special place in the world here in the 21st century.
Oftentimes colored an orange/brown rust-like color, you’ll find terracotta tiles have a “rolled” appearance, like a groove has been carved into them, or like a half of a barrel. These shapes help lock the pieces into place, and they promote the flow of air and water across the tiles. Water doesn’t catch on them, and heat doesn’t get captured, helping the home to remain cool down below.
One downside; though terracotta tiles are very attractive and practical, they’re pretty darn heavy. This means you may need to have your roof properly reinforced before you can install a material that can be up to four times as heavy as asphalt shingles. Not only is there the cost of reinforcement, but the heavy tiles themselves can be very expensive. Older tiles break easily during hurricane conditions, so protecting your home is a priority. But, since they tend to last for several decades, you’re getting a lot of value out of a terracotta roof. Plus, they look magnificent!
Slate Tile (In a Light Color)
Slate tile is definitely a popular and super-common choice among homeowners. A celebrated tradition in Europe for hundreds of years, it was brought across the Atlantic in the 1600s and has flourished into modern times. It’s practical because it’s suitable for all sorts of extreme and inclement weather.
Plus, slate is very natural and beautiful to look at. There is a wealth of Spanish-influenced architecture in Florida, and slate tiles fit right into those unique designs. It’s possibly the best roofing material for heat protection as far as looks are concerned.
Using a lighter colored slate tile (they come in very attractive earth tones) will give your roof much more reflection against the sunlight, helping to keep the blistering heat off of your home.
Slate, though, like terracotta tiles, can be rather expensive. Because it’s desirable, it’s in high demand. This brings the price up. It’s also heavy, which further drives up the cost. But, for the benefit you get of a downright gorgeous home, and one that’s kept cool and comfortable, the extra cost is worth the great value.
Overlays and Radiant Barriers
Just like you’d lather your skin up with some sunblock for a sunny day at the pool, you can lather up your roof with protective overlays that’ll help it fight off those harmful UV rays.
There are a great number of roof coatings nowadays designed to help maintain a temperature-controlled roof. These are typically foam spray or sealants, but can also include reflective types of paints and even recycled oils.
There’s another layer you can add to the roof, but it actually goes under the roofing material itself. These radiant barriers are thin, reflective substance like aluminum, or some kind of reflective coat, which are built in between the attic and the roof. This helps to transfer heat up and out of the home.
These materials can vary widely in cost, though radiant barriers tend to be relatively inexpensive per square foot. Plus, they can really impact your energy savings, so they’re a great value in hotter parts of the country.
Metal roofs have become incredibly popular around the country, and they’re a great choice to combat the Florida sun. Not only do they have reflective surfaces (which can be any color), but they’re built in two layers with a gap between them, which creates thermal insulation against the heat beating in from the roof above. Plus, they’re often made from recycled materials. Metal roofs are awesome!
It’s true, though, that like any kind of roof, it has a few disadvantages. Primarily, metal roofs cost a lot up front. While it’s definitely the best roofing material to beat the heat, it’s bulky and costs a lot to install. But, considering they last well over 50 years in most cases, you’re getting something that you may never have to replace for the rest of your life. They’re a great value!
Barrel tiles may look like terracotta tiles at first, but they actually just borrow the same sleek and functional design that allows for air to circulate. They’re made from concrete, and they’re excellent at keeping the blazing sun from overheating your home. They are oftentimes painted white to help them reflect the sun as much possible.
Barrel tiles are attractive, and not quite as expensive as some other types of heat resistant roofing materials. If you’re wondering what is the best roofing material for a lower price, barrel tiles could be the way to go.
If you’re still quite sure what is the best roofing material for you, get in touch with us at Elite Remodeling Services to schedule your free roof inspection and estimate.