What Roof Shape is Best for Hot Climates? - A Comprehensive Guide

Sloped roofs are the most popular choice in tropical regions, and can be found in both traditional and contemporary homes. There are several types of sloped roofs, with some of the most popular styles in tropical regions including sheds, gable and four-pitched roofs.Terracotta tile roofs are very durable, and some older buildings have used the same tiles for centuries. The material plays an important role in terracotta's heat resistance, but the shape and design also help maintain its overall effect. Terracotta tiles are generally molded in the shape of a half barrel or an S-curve, and when shingles are placed on the roof, they intertwine to form arches.

These arches allow greater air and water circulation and reduce the amount of heat that is trapped in the roof. The main drawback of terracotta tiles is the weight. These tiles can weigh up to four times more than common asphalt or composite shingles, meaning they need a strong foundation that can support that extra weight, which may require the addition of additional structural reinforcements to their home. If you live in an area that experiences a cold and humid climate, terracotta tiles can crack and break. Concrete tiles, a slightly more affordable option than terracotta, are built thickly, meaning that it takes longer for the sun to heat up through a concrete slab and reach your home. Like terracotta, concrete tiles can also be formed in semicentral or S-shaped forms, allowing greater air ventilation.

Staining concrete a lighter color can also help prevent heat absorption. However, concrete can be heavy, which means that you may have to spend more to support the foundations of the roof, and without painting or staining the concrete shingles, your roof design may not be the most aesthetic. Short for ethylene-propylene-diene monomer (EPDM), this synthetic material is similar to rubber and is commonly used in commercial roofs. EPDM comprises a strong thermoplastic that is effectively resistant to weathering, UV radiation and general wear and tear. Optional roof coatings with titanium dioxide can improve the potential for heat reduction by reflecting heat and sunlight. Since EPDM is generally seamless, it can also help as a barrier against water and air leaks.

Unlike the two previous options, EPDM is also lightweight and malleable, allowing for easy installation. However, EPDM is not as durable; while it can withstand most weather conditions, it can be easily damaged by fallen branches, rocks, and other debris. Metal is the trending material of choice in most of the warmer climates these days. Versatile and durable metal roofs have experienced an increase in use thanks to their generally sustainable nature. Most aluminum, steel and copper roofs are made from recycled materials.

Compared to other roofing materials, metal takes longer to heat up, retains less heat, and cools faster at night. Most of the metal roofs that are installed also have a visible space between the roof and the actual metal panels. This space acts as a buffer or barrier that can prevent heat from traveling from the ceiling to the actual living room below. Green or living roofs consist of roofs covered with plants and moss suspended over an impermeable protective membrane (usually EPDM). The membrane is filled with soil and spreads with a variety of local plants. The naturally cool temperature of the soil and the plant's growth process keep the house cool by preventing heat absorption.

During the colder months, a green roof also acts as an effective form of insulation to prevent heat loss. Water runoff from plants can also help cool the building, and plants naturally act as a radiant barrier to the roof foundations, increasing its longevity. Best of all, green roofs are considered energy efficient and naturally reduce the heat island effect. They also return oxygen to the air, making them particularly important for large urban areas and areas that suffer from high traffic congestion. However, green roofs require good planning, experience and vision; they can be installed on traditional roofs such as gables or four-pitched roofs so homeowners can take advantage of their many benefits. You may also have to spend more to maintain your roof from watering it regularly to eliminating weeds and repelling any potential pests.

These roofs do much more than keep the sun out of your back; if you live in one of America's hot areas such as the South or Southwest (often called the solar belt), changing roof materials could help cool your home reduce your energy bills by 10-15%, and make your city or town a more pleasant place to live. Modified bitumen is no different from traditional bitumen; both are rolled asphalt sheets that are applied to a roof with hot asphalt or cold adhesive; however modified bitumen has an outer layer of lightweight materials that reflect heat instead of absorbing it. It is used throughout America especially in commercial applications and large buildings. One of the most effective ways to cool a roof while reducing energy bills is installing photovoltaic shingles. These shingles absorb sunlight converting it into energy for use even selling it back to power grids in your area. Modern advances have made them much more attractive both in appearance and effectiveness making them increasingly popular.

Roberta Neubecker
Roberta Neubecker

Infuriatingly humble pizza specialist. Avid social media advocate. . Devoted beer enthusiast. .