Surviving the Heat: How to Choose The Best Roofing Material For Your Hot Climate Home


Choosing the best roofing materials for hot climates means taking a number of factors into account in order to make the right choice for your budget, climate, and design needs.


Often the budget for a project will dictate, at least in some way, the materials used. When weighing budget constraints, it’s important to take two things into account:

  • The project budget

  • The lifetime budget

The project budget is how much money is available to complete the project. A higher budget can mean higher quality and longer lasting materials while a lower budget can mean making do with what’s affordable at the moment.

The lifetime budget takes into account the lifetime cost to maintain materials. Depending on the roofing material, lifetime maintenance costs can heavily impact the lifetime budget. If constant maintenance is necessary, often in the form of staining, treating, and repairing the roofing material, it can affect whether or not other maintenance concerns are addressed.


A “hot climate” differs depending on location. Some areas are hot and humid with a high moisture content in the air and lots of rain. Other areas are hot and dry. Still others deal with salt water conditions, high winds, and other weather events. This means that the best roofing materials for hot climates should be able to stand up to local conditions.


The type of material can determine what type of roof is best for a hot climate. Some hold up incredibly well in humidity while others do better in a dry heat.


Asphalt shingles are manufactured by coating a fiberglass sheet with asphalt and then applying a layer of crushed stone granules. The asphalt makes the fiberglass water resistant and stiff enough to work with, though they are still flexible.

In a hot climate, lighter colored asphalt shingles can reflect light, and will keep the roof cooler than a darker version and are more cost-effective than other hot climate roofing materials. It’s estimated that they are used on 80% of U.S. homes.

Asphalt shingles don’t last as long as other hot weather roofing materials, and typically need to be replaced between 15 and 20 years. They are prone to wind damage and are less energy-efficient than other hot climate choices.


Metal roofing has grown in popularity in recent years and can stand up well to hot climates. Light colors, especially, can reflect light and help to reduce the cost of cooling the home. Metal is durable and cost-effective and can last up to 80 years with proper maintenance.

This type of roofing can be difficult to repair because it is installed in large sheets, but it can be patched if there’s a hole or other damage. In some climates, metal roofs can rust or may dent more easily when in contact with hail.


Clay roofing tiles have long been the answer to the question “which roof is best for hot climates?” For thousands of years, clay barrel roofing tiles have been used to protect homes from heat with their light color and durability. Barrel tiles offer the best roof shape for hot climates because they allow for airflow that helps dry out tiles in high humidity areas and may help reduce cooling costs.

They are incredibly heavy, however, and can chip or crack over time, and if they sustain an impact. Authentic clay roofing tiles are expensive and their weight can add to the overall cost by requiring additional structural support.


Slate roofs work well in hot climates because their light color helps to reflect heat from the roof and lower cooling costs. Natural slate looks beautiful and is a durable material.

Slate roofing is also very heavy, and often requires additional structural support, so it is one of the more expensive types of hot climate roofing materials. It’s also prone to chipping or flaking over time, and because it’s difficult to walk on without breaking tiles, repairs can be complicated and expensive.


Composite roofing tiles can mimic the look of traditional clay or slate tiles but without the weight and maintenance requirements. Made with a blend of recycled rubber and plastic and formed in molds state-of-the-art compression molding technology, composite tiles offer superior durability and resistance to UV damage, fading, cracking, or splitting.

Though composite roof tiles are more expensive than asphalt shingles, they are comparable cost-wise to slate and clay tiles but are more durable and don’t require any maintenance.

Cool Roof Requirements

Cool roofs, which are required in California, can help decrease the energy it takes to cool a home, and its design can help reduce heat island effects that can happen in cities. Determining which roof color is best for hot climates is an important consideration, one that goes way beyond aesthetics. Choosing a light color for the roof can help to reflect light rather than absorb it which can help to reduce cooling energy and costs.

A cool roof can be achieved through the use of lightweight and light colored materials, materials that require no maintenance, and materials that have a Class A fire rating and Class 4 impact rating, among other requirements.

Brava’s Synthetic Roof Tiles Are The Best Roofing Material For Hot Climates

Brava’s synthetic roofing materials are the best choice for hot climates for many reasons:

  • Class A and C fire ratings

  • Class 4 impact ratings

  • No maintenance

  • Authentic colors

  • No repeat patterns

  • 50-year limited transferable warranty

  • Sustainable

  • Durable

Contact an expert at Brava today to discover the best roofing material for hot climates!