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Discover the Top Roofing Materials for Hot Climates

January , 2024 | 13 min. read

By Nicole Corson

black standing seam metal roof on a beautiful home

Living in a region where the mercury soars isn’t just a challenge for you but also your roof. That's why choosing the right roofing material is crucial in hot weather.

We get it. Our family at RoofCrafters has been helping homeowners make well-informed decisions for 3 decades. Now we want to share our experience with you. 

In this guide, we'll uncover the best roofing materials that not only withstand the heat but also help keep your home cool. We’re not just focusing on durability here. We’re also considering energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Summer sun over the water

By the end of this article, you'll understand which roofing materials perform best in hot climates. You'll also learn their average costs. If you're in the south or any other hot region, make an informed decision. It could save you from frequent roof replacements and high energy bills. Let's explore these heat-beating option

Top 5 Roofing Materials for Enduring Extreme Heat


In the battle against the scorching heat, not all roofing materials are created equal. If you're dealing with high temperatures and looking for a roof that can take the heat, here are the top five contenders.

These 5 materials excel in hot weather conditions:

  1. Metal roofing
  2. Slate roofing
  3. Clay tile roofing
  4. Concrete tile roofing
  5. Synthetic roofing

Each of these options has its unique benefits. They can offer long-term durability and efficiency for homes in hot climates. We'll cover that and also provide an average cost per square foot for these materials. That way you can make a well-informed decision based on your budget and preferences

Metal Roofing: A Durable Choice for Hot Climates


Metal roofing excels and performs extremely well in all hot weather climates. They are highly reflective and with the right color paint finish are energy efficient. The sun will not break the metal down. Metal roofing stands as a top performer in hot weather.

galvalume standing seam on home with board and batten siding

There are 2 main types of metal roof systems:

  • Standing seam (concealed fastener)
  • Screw-down (exposed fasteners)

Standing seam is a concealed fastener metal roof system and screw-down is a metal roof with an exposed fastener through the metal roofing. The installation method is important in metal roofing. Both metal roof systems have their advantages and disadvantages. 

Pros and Cons of Standing Seam Metal Roofing


The advantages of the standing seam are their longevity, properly installed they will easily last for 50+ years, they provide a very high wind rating, the highest in our industry, they don't blow off in wind storms, they handle the extreme heat, and add value to almost any structure. 

Concealed Fastener being installed on standing seam metal roof

The disadvantage is the upfront investment. They do cost more because the attachment method takes longer for your roofing contractor to install and requires a much higher skill level to properly install the flashings and other metal components that make up a metal roof system.

Pros and Cons of Screw-down Metal Roofing


The biggest advantage of the screw-down roof is it's the most economical and straightforward for your roofing contractor to install. They also perform extremely well in high winds. Screw-down roofs don't blow off during a high-wind event.

roofers installing a screw-down metal roof off a ladder

Their disadvantage is that they require maintenance within the 5-year mark. With all the thermal movement (expansion and contraction) that happens with metal roofing, the exposed screws can start to come loose. And they do in time.

The Top 3 Metal Roofing Materials: Aluminum, Steel, and Galvalume


You have many choices of metals to use for roofing. Yet, 3 metal materials are most common in hot weather climates. 

  • Aluminum 
  • Steel
  • Galvalume

The 3 metal roofs listed are the most economical. If getting a cost-effective solution is important, one of these metals will provide a great option. They offer a wide range of aesthetic looks, longevity, and price ranges. 

All of these metal roofing materials are available in a standing seam metal, screw-down, and even a shingle-style profile.

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Aluminum Metal Roofing: Efficient and Versatile


Aluminum is one of our most natural energy-efficient metal roof materials available. Aluminum metal comes in different thicknesses; typically, we use a 032, 040, or 050 thickness for roofing. The higher the number is, the thicker the aluminum roofing. The 032 and 040 thicknesses are most popular on residential and commercial roofs. 

large home with red, standing seam metal roof-1

Aluminum comes in a raw metal finish, think of an aluminum ladder. yet, typically it comes in a painted finish.  It comes in a wide variety of painted finished colors. Most of the paint finishes come with a 40 to 45 year paint warranty. We recommend and only use aluminum for our clients that live on or within a mile of the salt water. 

Steel Metal Roofing: Durable and Cost-Effective


Steel roofing is the most popular metal material used for roofing residential and commercial buildings. Steel consist of a galvanized metal that is hot dipped or coated in a zinc coating. Steel is less costly and can be as effective and efficient as any of the other available metal materials.

residention metal roof

The steel commonly used for roofing comes in 24 gauge, 26 gauge, and 29 gauge. Don't get fooled, unlike aluminum, the lower the number the thicker the steel roofing will be. 

4 of the most common steel profiles installed on residential and commercial roofs are:

  1. Standing seam metal panels (12”-18” wide panels, concealed fasteners)

  2. Interlocking steel shingles  (tile, slate or shake look, concealed fasteners)

  3. 5-V crimp metal roofing (2-foot wide panels, exposed fasteners)

  4. R-panels or multi-rib panels (3-foot wide panels, exposed fasteners)

Because steel is not a non-corrosive metal, the metal requires a paint finish. Paint finish warranties range from 20 years to 45 years depending on the thickness, type of panel, and the manufacturer of the metal and paint.

6 different types of metal


Steel metal roofing is very cost-effective and offers a wider range of prices depending on which profile you choose, the thickness of the metal, and the paint warranty. 

Galvalume Metal Roofing: Combining Strength and Corrosion Resistance


Galvalume metal is also a metal that has a steel core and is coated with aluminum to prevent corrosion.  Galvalume is much like steel roofing and comes in the same thicknesses, 24 gauge, 26 gauge, or 29 gauge. It is also available in all 4 of the different panel profiles. 

standing seam galvalume metal roof with valleys

The main difference with galvalume is that it comes as a mill-finish metal. This makes it slightly less expensive and easier to work with as the painted materials can get scratched during installation. It is also a great option to use around the ocean or if you live anywhere near saltwater.

house on a lake with a standing seam metal roof

The cost of these 3 metal roofing options ranges betwen $8.50 a square foot to $15.50 per square foot. Agian, the price range varies depending on the metal type, paint finish, and complexity of the job.

The Enduring Elegance of Slate Roofing


Slate roofing is a natural stone cut from a slate quarry. Slate is fireproof and impervious to the weather making it an excellent option for extremely hot climate regions. Slate is also good for cold weather conditions. slate roof

When slate is installed properly you can expect to get 100+ years. Slate roofing is one of the most expensive roofing materials to invest in and to get installed. Slate requires a special skill set that not many new roofers have.

roofer repairing a slate roof

Because slate is a natural stone the average weight of a slate roof is 1000+ pounds per square foot.So, before deciding on a slate roof I recommend consulting with your roofing contractor or an architect to ensure that your property is built to support the weight.

The cost of slate roofing ranges between $15.50 and $25.50 per square foot depending on the type, color(very important), and complexity of the project.

The Timeless Appeal of Clay Tile Roofing


Clay tile roofing is another great option for any area that reaches triple-digit heat. Clay tiles are a natural product that is both thermal and fire-resistant. Which make them perfect for the hot weather.

Upper hip roof and a small lean-to with Spanish clay tiles

Clay tiles are sometimes referred to as a Spanish roof or a Spanish tile roof and are one of the premium natural roofing materials that are designed for longevity and to appeal to a certain architectural design. 

Multi-color Ludowici clay tile roof on 2-story home

Typically clay tile roofing is installed on Mediterranean, European, Modern, and of course Spanish style homes. With multiple colors and styles to choose from, they will provide you with a unique one-of-a-kind roof. 

The average price of a clay tile roof ranges from $12.50 to $18.50 depending on the style, color, and complexity of the roof.

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Concrete Tile Roofing: Versatile and Efficient for Hot Climates


Concrete tile roofing is made of sand, cement, iron oxide, and water mixed, molded, and heated together. They provide a class A fire rating, are energy-efficient, and perform extremely well in hot weather climates.  

concrete tile home

When it comes to concrete tiles, no material is more versatile. Concrete tiles can even match the look of cedar shakes, slate roofs, and clay tiles. They come in various styles and colors to choose from, known as tile profiles.

White stucco home with a concrete tile roof

The cost of a concrete tile roof system will range anywhere from $9.50 to $13.50 per square foot depending on the profile you select and the complexity of your roof.

Exploring the Versatility of Synthetic Roofing Materials


Most manufacturers of synthetic roofing provide both a slate roof and a wood shake roof profile. Typically synthetic roofing materials are made from affordable recycled materials such as rubber and plastics. Some are also made from engineered polymers. 

stone mansion with beautiful multi-colored slate roof

Rubber is well known for its insulating capabilities which help to make synthetic roofing more energy efficient in hot weather. Most manufacturers offer a 50 year material warranty for synthetic materials.

up close shot of a multi-colored synthetic slate tile roof

Because of their durability and longevity, synthetic roofing products are a great alternative for any extremely hot climate region. If you love the look of a slate roof, they're also more cost effective than a natural slate.

The average cost of a synthetic roof ranges between $12.50 and $18.50 per square foot depending on the style or color you choose and the overall complexity of your roof.

Selecting the Ideal Roofing Material for Your Climate: Expert Guidance


You now have knowledge about the top five roofing materials perfect for hot climates. It's time to make an informed decision for your home. If you're wondering how to pick the right roofing contractor or wondering about the ideal time to replace your roof, we've got you covered. We offer insightful guides and tips.

At RoofCrafters, our three decades of expertise are at your service. Whether you have queries about your specific roofing needs or you're diving deeper into the world of roofing, we're here to assist. Feel free to reach out to us or explore our extensive learning center. We share over 30 years of experience on all aspects of roofing.

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You're now ready to tackle the challenge of choosing a material. It should withstand the heat and complement your home. And don't forget to check out our article: Optimal Timing for Roof Replacement: Seasonal Considerations to better plan your project.

Nicole Corson

At RoofCrafters, our mission is to provide job opportunities for others to thrive and grow while making a meaningful impact within our communities.