Best kind of roofs to beat the heat

Slate Roof

The Kentucky heat is here and if you think 90 degrees outside is hot, you should feel how hot it is on your roof!

We have some great roofing solutions that can help to beat the heat which will not only make your home cooler inside but save you money on air conditioning as well.

Here are the three best types of roofs to cool down your home.

1. Slate Roofing

Slate has been used for centuries in Europe. In the United States, it has been in use since the 17th century, beginning with some of the earliest European settlements. Slate is extremely durable and requires minimal maintenance. A slate roof can last fifty years or longer and is mostly impervious to algae and rot. It is also highly fire resistant.

A naturally light-colored slate roof can reduce heat transfer to the building below. The light color reflects solar energy and stays cooler than a darker roof. The main drawback of slate roofs is the cost. Slate is an expensive material. Its weight and breakability also make it more expensive because it is harder to ship and transport. The added weight also means that not all structures can support a slate roof. In some cases, a building may need retrofitting and added supports to hold a slate roof.

2. Terracotta and Clay Roofing

Terracotta tiles have been in use for centuries in the hot, sunny regions around the Mediterranean. In Spain and Italy, terracotta was so widely used that it has become synonymous with the local architectural styles. Some ancient terracotta roofs have been withstanding the hot summer sun for centuries and are still in excellent condition.

Terracotta traveled to the New World with Spanish settlers and has become a favorite roofing material in Mexico and the American Southwest. In these hot, dry climates its cooling abilities are a major benefit. The light rust color of natural terracotta reflects a significant amount of solar energy and much more than a darker roof. Modern clay tiles may be coated or painted to look like slate or traditional terracotta. Additional coatings can make modern clay roofs both heat and water resistant.

The shape of traditional terracotta tiles also makes them cooler. The half-barrel or “s” shape of interlocking tiles leaves a gap underneath each tile that allows for air flow. The air flow prevents the roof from storing as much heat and keeps the tiles cool.

Clay tiles can be more expensive than other forms of roofing, but their longevity may make them more cost-effective in the long run. It is common to see clay tiles on houses built of concrete, and that is for a good reason. Like slate, clay tiles can be heavy and require a well-supported roofing structure.

3. Concrete Tiles

Concrete tiles are more expensive than traditional asphalt shingles but less expensive than slate and clay tiles. They can be made to mimic almost any other type of roofing. Concrete tiles are incredibly durable, impervious to rot and algae, and highly fire resistant. Like slate and clay tiles, they are heavy and may require extra support.

Concrete works very well for hot climates. It can be made in light colors that reflect much of the sun’s energy. They can also be made in the half-barrel “s” shape typical of terracotta tiles. That shape allows for extra airflow, further cooling the roof. Concrete is slow to absorb heat, but it can also be slow to release heat.