Man Installing Tiles

Performance Test: What Types of Roofing Materials Are Best in Desert Climates?

Here in Arizona, we have a lot to contend with. Though we don't get the snowfall or dramatic freezing temperatures of northern states, we do deal with extreme heat and sun. Both UV rays and high temperatures can degrade roofing materials and shorten the lifespan of your roof. Because of this, it is important that you select the right roofing materials for your home and your climate.

Keep reading to learn more about the best roofing materials for desert climates.

Clay Tiles

Tile roofs are incredibly common across the southwest. They have also been a popular roofing material for hundreds of years in places like Mexico and Europe. This is because they are incredibly long-lasting (there are tile roofs that have been around for well over a century!), and they perform exceptionally well in hot climates. This makes them a natural choice for Arizona homes. It is also popular for its fire, hail, and wind-resistant properties.

Clay tiles are made by molding and baking clay into the shape of tiles. You typically see clay tiles in the traditional Spanish or "S" style. However, clay tiles are incredibly versatile and come in many different colors, glazes, surface textures, and shapes. You can even get clay tiles molded in the form of cedar shake!

Other types of tile include:

  • Sand-cast tiles
  • Concrete tiles
  • Slate tiles

When it comes to selecting tiles for your roof, you should consult with our roofers. We have installed countless tile roofs in the area, and we can help you make the important design choices that will ensure a beautiful result.

Modified Bitumen (MB) Roofs

Modified roofing is a type of roofing used for flat or low-slope roofs and is known for its long-term durability and for being low maintenance. These systems are asphalt-based and are chosen in large part because they are very fire-resistant and weatherproof. They can withstand a wide range of temperatures without suffering damage. Modified roofs are incredibly popular because they are an excellent value and are one of the lowest-cost roofs to install.

Sprayed Polyurethane Foam (SPF) Roofs

This is another type of roofing material that is commonly used on flat roof systems, and it has been around for decades. Spray foam roofs are remarkably energy-efficient and easy to install. They are also long-lasting, durable, and self-flashing. A thick layer of foam is sprayed onto your roof, followed by a base and top coat to seal the foam. Granules may also be added as the very top layer. Form roofing is incredibly popular in Arizona because it helps insulate buildings to keep the interiors cool during the summer. It truly is SPF for your roof.

What About Wood and Asphalt Shingles?

Though wood and asphalt shingles are commonly seen in the area, they are not necessarily the best choice for hot climates. Wood can last for upwards of three decades, but it is not as good at insulating from the heat, and they are more susceptible to fires and insect damage (such as termites). Asphalt is popular because of its low cost and wide range of color choices. Yet, it does not allow for the same air circulation as a tile roof might, and high temperatures can potentially degrade the material faster.

However, this is not to say that wood and asphalt shingles shouldn't be used in our area nor that you cannot make them work for you. For example, cedar shakes and shingles can be treated to be fire-resistant. By working with our professional roofers, you can benefit from our expertise. We can help you select the roofing materials and products that best meet your needs, design goals, and budget.