If you live in an area with soaring summer temperatures, it is important to consider the best roofing materials for your climate. The shingles on your roof play a pivotal role in the longevity of your roof, and the energy efficiency and comfort of your home. While popular, asphalt —and wood— shingles are not best for areas that experience triple-digit temperatures. Better options for homeowners in warm climates are metal, slate, clay, or rubber shingles.

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Metal Roofing

Metal roofs excel under extreme temperatures. Metal is reflective and considered a “cool roofing” material. Highly reflective paints and coatings can even further improve your roof’s energy efficiency.

Metal roofs have continued to increase in popularity. Twenty years ago, the metal roofing market share was just 3.7 percent, but a recent independent study conducted by Dodge Data and Analytics found the 2016 market share for residential metal re-roofing is now 14 percent. This is partly due to the material’s longevity— metal roofs can last two to three times longer than a typical asphalt shingle roof. Metal is also fire-resistant and viewed as a safer material for a hot environment compared to other roofing types. After several years, exposure to the elements will cause your protective coating to wear down, but a simple re-coating is all the maintenance a metal roof needs.

Metal roofing typically costs anywhere from $7-$10 per square foot. While a metal roof is a significantly larger investment than an asphalt roof, the energy savings in your home combined with the potential for a higher resale value can make it a worthy investment for a new construction or roof replacement.

Slate Roof Tile

Slate roofing is made of stone, it is impervious to weather, sun, heat, and cold. This is why homeowners can expect a slate roof to last up to 150+ years. Unable to saturate with water, slate stone offers a completely fireproof option for your roof. This is a great investment for homes located in states that have roofing regulations due to fire danger caused by heat and lack of rain. While you may think slate only comes in a dark gray, it is actually available in various natural colors.

There are a few special considerations to slate roofing that should be discussed with your roofing contractor. Slate is an extremely heavy material. The weight of slate shingle roofing tile ranges between 800 and 1,500 pounds per square (8 – 10 pounds per square foot). You will need to have your home’s structure professionally evaluated to ensure that it can safely support the new roof.

Slate tiles can also cost between $50 and $100 per square foot. While this is cost-effective when you consider the entire lifespan of the roof, it can be intimidating as an up-front cost.

tile roof

Clay Roof Tile

Thermal resistant, impervious to fire, and available in rich earthy tones, clay tile roofs are an attractive choice for homeowners who love rustic architectural nuances – and who want to beat the heat.

Like slate, clay is a natural product and is therefore eco-friendly and easy to recycle. It is also similar to slate in its weightiness, which means a thorough evaluation of your home will be part of the installation process. Running at $10 to $18 per square foot it is slightly less expensive than the above options.

Rubber Roofing

Rubber roofing is an affordable alternative to the lavish terra cotta and sophisticated slate. However, rubber roofing materials can mimic the look of slate and cedar. Made of affordable recycled materials, a rubber roof can also help with the energy efficiency of your home, as rubber is well-known for its insulating capabilities.  Its price is comparable to asphalt at $4 to $8 per square foot, but it’s more energy efficient and can better protect your home from the heat.

Upgrading to an energy-efficient roof may qualify you for a tax credit. Be sure to look into federal and local rebate programs before you decide on a cool roofing material.