6 Best Roofing Materials For Southern California


While hot summers can be great for recreation and trips to the beaches, they can also cause an increase in utility bills and energy consumption. Higher temperatures require homeowners to make small adjustments to their homes to adjust for higher temperatures. This will not compromise comfort or style. High energy bills can be caused by the incorrect type of roofing. 

There are several ways to remedy this situation. The most important is to choose hot climate roofing materials. That is why we put together this list of the 6 best roofing materials for SoCal.

Slate Tile

The light and dark colors of tile are durable, reflective, and require little maintenance. They are however heavy and delicate, making them more expensive than other options. Even when salvaged or local materials are used, transportation and installation costs can be high. 

Slate tiles are the best choice for roofing in hot climates. They are particularly popular in Spanish, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern architecture. Slate tile is also a popular choice for hot climate roofing, particularly in areas where it is not readily available.

Terracotta and Clay

Traditional structures were topped with clay and other earthen material, which act as natural heat reflectors. Terracotta can be made to look like old terracotta or expensive slate tiles. It is a great roofing material in hot climates like Southern California. These treatments can also be used to increase reflectivity and weatherproofing. These clay roofing styles are heavy and require a strong structure. They can also be curved into an “S” shape mold to allow the pieces to interlock, particularly for intricate architectural designs. 

The tiles can snap in cold and wet environments, even though they are often used on stucco or other San Diego homes. Proper construction creates space beneath the tiles for air and water escape. This allows for the roof to cool down and avoids this problem.

Concrete Tile

Like other hot-climate stone roofing materials, concrete tile is heavy and has the natural ability to reflect UV rays. This can raise the roofing temperature and allow heat to escape through the roof to the structure below. This material can be a cost-effective middle ground, with prices falling between asphalt shingles and more costly slate or terracotta. Concrete tile is particularly affordable when produced in large quantities, which makes it an attractive choice for areas that are developing and industrialized as well as areas where mass housing is being built.

Concrete tile is more flexible and easier to work with than pourable concrete. It is also easy to color, making it a popular choice for industrial areas in San Diego. This hot-climate roofing material requires little maintenance because the imporous composition doesn’t allow moisture to penetrate into the underlying structure. Concrete tile roofing can withstand even the most severe weather conditions thanks to the baking process that binds the cement, sand, and water.

Rubber and Plastic Membrane

Synthetic rubber and thermoplastic roofing materials are a simple solution to an old problem. All umbrellas, raincoats, and car covers have water-repelling properties. This synthetic rubber is called EPDM or ethylene propylene diene monomer. Because it is durable and efficient in reflecting sunlight rays, it has been extensively used in Southern California’s commercial and retail roofing.

EPDM and thermoplastic materials are weatherproof and flexible, making them a good choice for any type of roof. Because they are reflective, very little ultraviolet energy can be absorbed into the building or home. These materials can be used to support other types of cool and energy-efficient roofing options. These roofing materials for hot climates are affordable in San Diego because they are easy to apply and don’t cost much.

White Barrel 'S' Tile

These tiles are made of a concrete composite. They are an affordable way to keep your roof cool in hot climates. These white tiles can be molded into half-barrel, ‘S” shapes and are designed to imitate terracotta designs and patterns. 

Barrel Tiles can also be installed in the same way as molded clay or terracotta roofing options. They are easy to form and can be installed in a matter of days. Their excellent reflective properties make them an excellent choice for hot climate roofing, both residential and commercial.

Flat Tile

Another roofing material, White flat tile cool roofing is similar to the white barrel S’ tiles and slate tiles. It can also be colored to match the owner’s preference. Although they are lighter than their concrete and stone counterparts, white flat tiles can be used to keep roofing temperatures cool in hot climates. These tiles are usually made of cement, ceramic and elastomeric composites. White flat tiles can reflect more than 75% ultraviolet radiation from the sun. This makes them one of the most popular roofing materials in hot climates.

The only problem with reflective white tiles is the need to be cleaned regularly as part of a regular maintenance program. The concrete and porous stones and concrete options are better at hiding dirt and grime than the white tiles. It is worth the cost of periodic cleaning compared to the energy savings for homeowners and commercial developers.

We can help you choose the right roofing material for your home or company. ACCI Roofing of San Diego will come out for a consultation and free estimate. See our list of Service Areas.

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