metal roofs in hot climates

Are Metal Roofs Good for Hot Climates?

In Home Exterior by Jamie

Metal roofs are less common than shingles and people often assume that they’re a bad choice in hot climates because they worry about them retaining heat. But is that really the case?

Metal roofs are actually excellent for hot climates, they can reflect heat and keep your home cool during the hot months. They are more durable than other materials too, plus they’re a great option for installing solar panels.

If you are considering a roof upgrade and you want to learn more about metal roofs, I will tell you everything you need to know! I have experience with some properties where I have had to install metal roofing. I have done research on the products so I will pass on my knowledge on the topic.

Are there Any Safety Concerns Using Metal Roofs in Hot Climates?

People often avoid metal roofs in hot climates because they are concerned about safety issues. However, most of those concerns are based on wromg information. For example, a lot of people worry that the sunlight will reflect off the roof, increasing the risk of fire or shining into people’s eyes.

In reality, metal roofs are painted or treated with other coatings to stop them being extremely reflective. Even an untreated roof is not reflective enough to cause a safety issue.

The other potential issue is the buildup of heat on the roof. This can be a problem if you need to get onto the roof for any reason. But, again, the treatment that is used on the metal can reduce the heat buildup. So, as long as you avoid climbing on the roof when on boiling hot days where it is constantly in direct sunlight, you shouldn’t have a problem.

All roofing materials have their downsides and metal roofs are no more dangerous than asphalt or shingles. Keep in mind most roofing materials will get hot to touch during direct sunlight on a hot day. 

How Long Do Metal Roofs Last in Hot Climates?

The lifespan of a metal roof in a hot climate all depends on how well you maintain it. Metal roofs are incredibly durable and can easily last up to 50 years, even in a hot climate. However, the hot sun can take a toll on the roof. Reflective paint and other coatings will prevent some of this damage and keep the roof in good condition.

In order to make sure that the roof lasts in the hot weather, you should reapply the reflective paint every 5 to 10 years. This ensures that the bulk of the UV rays are reflected and do not cause extreme wear damage to the roof. This will also help it to stay much cooler!

Does the Color of the Metal Roof Matter?

Does the Color of the Metal Roof Matter

Yes, the color of the metal roof does make a big difference to the energy efficiency and lifespan, as well as the aesthetics. The color affects whether the roof absorbs more heat or reflects it. Lighter colors will reflect heat and keep the roof, and your home, cooler. Darker colors have the opposite effect and absorb the heat, so avoid touching dark metal roofs in hot climates.

In a hot climate, it’s definitely better to go for a lighter color so you can keep your home cooler.

Does a Metal Roof Make Your House Hotter?

Yes, in some cases a metal roof can make your house hotter. However, all dark colored materials like asphalt and shingles, as well as painted metal, will absorb heat and distribute it around your home. But a metal roof won’t make your house hotter than other roofing materials do. If you are concerned about the heat, you just need install lighter colored metal roofing.

What are the Pros of a Metal Roof in Hot Climates?

Energy Efficiency

The roof is where most of the heat transfer takes place in your home. In winter, you lose a lot of heat, meaning you spend more on heating your home. In the summer, you can absorb a lot of heat, so you have to spend more on air conditioning.

Metal roofs are a good choice for hot climates because they’re more energy efficient than other materials. In the summer, they can reflect heat and keep the house cool. It’s also very easy to add good insulation to a metal roof so your house stays warm in the winter months. 

Longevity

Metal roofs last a lot longer than other types of roofing. For example, an asphalt roof has an average lifespan of around 25, however this is dependent on the type of shingles and some may only last 15 years. Shingles also are prone to damages from wind, and often hot climates have more storms so avoiding shingles in these areas is recommended.

A metal roof, on the other hand, can easily last 50 years with relatively little maintenance. So, if you want to save time and money by avoiding roof repairs and replacements, a properly installed metal roof is the way to go in hot climates.

Durability

Damage to your roof leads to a lot of expensive problems. Once shingles come away and holes start to form, water leaks in and before you know it, you’ve got a big damp problem throughout. Metal roofs are much more durable and they can easily handle heavy rains and high winds without being damaged. You don’t have the problem of individual shingles coming loose either, so there is less maintenance.

Metal roofs are more durable than shingles, clay tiles, and slate roofing when it comes to all aspects of mother nature.

Better For Solar Panels

If you plan to put solar panels on your home, a metal roof is ideal. Solar panels will last around 30 years, and you need a roof that will outlast them, if possible. Trying to conduct repairs to a shingle roof while you have solar panels installed is a bit of a nightmare, but you won’t have this problem with metal because it lasts longer than the solar panels anyway.

It’s also very easy to fit solar panels to a metal roof and the panels themselves will help to reflect heat, just like the roof, so your home will be nice and cool. 

Design

Finally, metal roofs look great! They make a simple but effective alternative to shingles, and you are free to have them colored most any way you like. If you want your home to have a more modern feel to it, the design of metal roofs is perfect. You have different options too, like large sheets or panels, even tile looking panels, so you have a lot of freedom when it comes to design.

What are the Cons of a Metal Roof in Hot Climates?

Cost

The biggest potential drawback of a metal roof is the cost. They can be quite a bit more expensive than other materials. The large size of the metal sheets also means that you have to replace large areas, which can more expensive if repairs are necessary. With a shingle roof, you can just replace a few shingles and leave the rest of the roof.

But bear in mind that the metal roof lasts a lot longer, which can offset a lot of the cost. In the long term, you will probably make savings by installing a metal roof, as long as you can afford the upfront initial costs.

Noise

heavy rain hitting steel roof can be loud

Noise can sometimes be a problem with metal roofs too. When heavy rain is hitting it, it can get loud. If you don’t get much heavy rain, you don’t need to worry. But if you live somewhere with a wet climate, this could be an issue for you. Often hot climates receive heavy rainfalls, but the good thing is that the metal roof can handle all the water without leaks, if you can handle sounds you will be fine.

Denting

Metal roofs are more prone to denting than other materials. If, for example, there is a heavy hail storm, it can leave lasting damage on the roof. Again, this is dependent on the climate in your area and whether it’s likely that you will get a lot of heavy hail storms.

Can You Use a Metal Roof on a Flat Roof Surface? 

Yes, you can put a metal roof on a flat roof surface. It is possible to replace the roof or simply put it over the top of the existing roof to give you more insulation and protection against the elements. You will get all of the same benefits whether you install a metal roof on a flat or sloped surface.

Should You Get a Metal Roof in Florida?

Metal roofs are excellent for somewhere like Florida with a hot climate. They help to keep your home cool and they’re incredibly long-lasting. On the other hand, during the rainy seasons in Florida, a metal roof can be quite loud and the hail may cause damage.

That said, the metal roof is better equipped to deal with high winds and tornadoes during the storm season. Overall, the pros outweigh the cons and a metal roof is a good option for people that live in Florida.

Final Thoughts

Metal roofs are excellent for hot climates. There are misconceptions about them reflecting light or getting too hot, but the reality is that they’re excellent for managing the temperature in your home, they last a long time, and they look great. If you are wondering about prices in your area, I recommend calling multiple roofing companies to get multiple quotes. The cheapest deal isn’t always the best though, do your research and contact the best reviewed companies. Good luck with your roof!

About the Author

Jamie

Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.