Stay Cool and Comfortable With These 5 Heat-Resistant Roofing Materials

by Jennifer Sample 04/25/2021

Photo by SUNBEAM PHOTOGRAPHY on Unsplash

Your roof plays a major part in the insulation and comfort of your home. If you’re building in a climate that frequently has extremely high temperatures, you have many choices of quality roof material to stand against the heat. However, not every material will work for every situation, so it’s important to know your options. Here are the 5 best roofing materials for hot-climate homes:

Terra Cotta Tile

Terra cotta, meaning “cooked earth” in Italian, is an iconic building material in the American Southwest and warm climates around the globe. The distinctive orange coloring is easily recognizable and gives a home a traditional and long-lasting aesthetic. Besides its looks, terra cotta tile is an excellent choice of roofing material because of how heat and weather-resistant it is. Terra cotta tile roofs can last as long as 50 years, and some historic buildings built with terra cotta are still standing after centuries. All of this impressive durability comes at a high price, however: terra cotta tile is one of the most expensive choices in roofing material. It’s also very heavy and will require extra reinforcement so your roof can safely handle the weight.

Concrete Tile

Concrete tile is like terra cotta in terms of efficiency and durability, but far less expensive. It obviously does not come with the same distinctive color, but many vendors offer stained concrete in a variety of subtle colors. Concrete tiles are usually very thick and absorb heat from the sun at a much slower rate. This prevents the heat from getting into your home and therefore keeps you cool and comfortable without as much strain on your energy bill or your wallet.

EPDM Roofing Membranes

EPDM is a synthetic material similar to rubber. This scientifically engineered substance works by reflecting the heat away from the roof rather than blocking it like terra cotta or concrete. EPDM membranes are more susceptible to damage and ideally need regular inspections in case of cracks. That said, it’s very easy and inexpensive to repair, and when taken care of can last up to 50 years. Just make sure you hire a contractor with a lot of experience and knowledge, as it’s very easy to install improperly.


Metal roofing is a popular choice for homes in hot climates. Metal roofs are typically made of aluminum, steel or copper, and often contain a high percentage of recycled material. This paired with its insulating properties makes it an attractive choice for an environmentally conscious homeowner. Metal surfaces can both block and reflect UV radiation. Most roof builders will include a small layer of empty space between the metal and the roof foundation, which creates an additional thermal barrier. Overall, metal roofing is a versatile and effective option for homes in high temperatures.

Green Roofs

Green roofs have a layer of living vegetation on top of a special waterproof membrane. A green roof can use grass, ground-covering plants, moss and even flowers. While it won’t work everywhere, a green roof is an excellent choice for hot and cold climates alike because of its high insulating properties. The combination of the plant matter, soil and membrane are an efficient temperature barrier. Also, the plantlife releases extra oxygen into the atmosphere while filtering pollutants from the air. This type of roof is affordable but requires a lot of upkeep—after all, you need to keep it alive.

When choosing a roofing material for your home, you have many considerations. Because of specific climate needs, you might feel you have limited choices, but luckily there are many different materials that provide excellent insulation and aesthetic.

About the Author

Jennifer Sample

I Live Here - I Work Here- I Love It Here! With 30 years’ experience buying and selling homes in San Antonio, Jennifer knows this market well and is ready to share her knowledge and expertise to serve you – whether you’re buying your first home, downsizing and selling your family home, or investing.