Patios and decks make a home ten times more beautiful and functional. But if you live in a hot region, outdoor spaces tend to be out of the question when you build or renovate. No one’s going to enjoy being baked under the sun. The only time outdoor spaces will become helpful is if you create a pool.
But a pool is too expensive for the typical homeowner. Not to mention costly and bothersome to maintain. Thankfully, there’s an easy hack that makes your outdoor space functional even without a pool: a good roofing material.
Aside from metal, other affordable roofing materials suit hot climates, such as:
1. Photovoltaic Shingles
More commonly known as solar shingles, this roofing material lets you draw renewable energy while cooling down your outdoor space. They’re typically installed flush with an existing roof, so if you want to go with a metal roof, consider leaving space for solar shingles. They come with wires that run across the roof to power your home’s electric panels.
Solar shingles are a good alternative to traditional solar panels. They grew popular because of their seamless installation, unlike solar panels that jut out from the roof, which can disrupt aesthetics. There are some downsides to this material, though. The pitch and angle of the roof must be perfect because the shingles can’t be adjusted to fit the exact position of the roof. If that’s going to be a problem, traditional solar panels will suit you better.
2. Clay Tile or Cement Tile
If you’d make your outdoor space extend from your exterior walls, consider clay tile or cement tile roofing. Both materials are durable and heat conductive, so they’d absorb all the sun’s heat and leave the space underneath cool and shaded. Their rustic look also adds a vintage and cozier quality to your abode. But of course, they should match your main aesthetic; otherwise, the roof may look out of place.
Regardless, clay tile and cement tile can withstand all the elements, so rest assured that they won’t come off during a strong typhoon.
3. Natural Materials (Grass, Thatch, Reed, etc.)
For tropical-themed homes, roofs made of natural materials, like grass, thatch, reed, etc., look best. These materials are breathable, low-maintenance, aesthetically appealing. However, they’re not the toughest if you deal with typhoons often. Natural materials degrade fast. They’re also flammable, so if the sun’s heat reaches a certain degree, the roof itself may become a fire hazard. So while natural materials offer cooling and aesthetic benefits, only go for them if the climate in your area won’t make them a danger.
Slate is a superior material when it comes to aesthetics. Its streamlined appearance and neutral color fit most modern and contemporary homes. It can be an excellent alternative to natural materials because it’s fire-resistant and environmentally friendly. However, it falls a bit flat on durability, despite its heavyweight. And since it’s heavy, your outdoor space should have a structurally sound supportive structure so that it can bear the weight of the roof.
5. Galvanized Iron
Studies show that galvanized iron roofing works well in hot climates because they heat up fast, then cool down quickly when the sun sinks. But that can make your outdoor space only comfortable in the late afternoon and evening. To minimize the heat during the day, install vents. Then paint the roof in light and reflective color.
For energy efficiency, natural lighting, durability, longevity, and aesthetic quality go for polycarbonate roofing. Specifically, polycarbonate corrugated roofing sheets. They’re your ultimate choice as they carry all the benefits. Even the transparent type won’t heat your space by much.
What’s more, polycarbonate is easy to install; you don’t need a professional. It doesn’t require structurally sound structures and heavyweight beams. Just pre-drill the screws before fixing the sheets to ensure easy installation. Also, one side of the roof is UV protected, and it must be the one facing the sun when it’s installed.
Polycarbonate roofing can also be used for skylights, greenhouses, and sunrooms. It’s indeed the most functional and versatile out of all your options.
Additional Tip: Making Any Roofing Decrease Heat Levels
Another hack is to make the pitch of the roof at least 30 degrees. Going up to 45 degrees will also work well. The house-to-roof ratio should be 1:3, meaning the height of the walls should be one-third of the roof’s height. This positioning will optimize the heat conductive properties of the roof.
You can make any roofing material work outdoors as long as you’d have an insulating layer underneath. However, natural and polycarbonate roofing can do without them, making them a lower-maintenance and cheaper option.
Whichever material you choose, ensure that it suits your home’s design and that it will stay intact no matter the weather.