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Home Architectural: News, Designs & Projects Choosing Metal Roofing for Southwestern Homes: The Ultimate Solution for Extreme Climates

Choosing Metal Roofing for Southwestern Homes: The Ultimate Solution for Extreme Climates

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Exploring roofing solutions feature image

Living in the southwestern region of the US presents its own set of challenges for homeowners. With drastic changes in temperatures in a single day to periods of prolonged sun exposure, you want to choose a roof that’s going to perform well and last a long time against this type of challenging climate. These are exploring roofing solutions for warm climates, desert regions, and areas that frequently experience hot sunny days.

Climate Factors to Consider

In the southwest region where the climate is mostly considered arid, one of the biggest concerns is extreme temperature fluctuations. Areas like Arizona and Texas can experience extensive weeks of scorching, well above 100-degree temperatures throughout the summer months. Then, during the winter seasons, temperatures can get below 30 degrees. A roof in this type of dramatic temperature change can cause a lot of stress on a roofing system. You need a material that can flex and slightly move with dramatic shifts in temperatures.

According to the National Weather Service, 2024 is predicted to be warmer than normal in the south and southwest regions of the United States. Is your roof up to the test? Another weather element to consider for these types of regions is prolonged periods of sun exposure. When long periods of time pass by with little to no breaks in sun exposure, some roofing materials end up retaining heat and can end up curling and cracking. With virtually no shady areas in some regions like New Mexico or Southern California, you want to have a roof that will reflect the sun’s harsh rays while keeping the inside of your home cool.

One of the last considerations to think about is the rare but harsh “monsoon” that comes in the summer season. Places like New Mexico and Arizona receive up to half their annual rainfall during the summer monsoon. You need a roofing solution that’s going to shed that precipitation like a pro while still maintaining its integrity through the dry months. This map from the Western Regional Climate Center shows the percent of average annual precipitation that falls in the West between July and August. Can your roof handle this rain?

The Solutions of Metal Roofing

For desert-like climates and areas that frequently experiences extreme temperatures, metal roofing is a great choice. Here are just a few reasons why this material is the ultimate roofing solution for these environments:

Cool Roofing Colors

Cool roofing colors that are perfect for more-hot-than-not climates. Cool roofing colors are determined by a Solar Reflectance Index number, which measures a surface’s ability to stay cool in the sun by reflecting radiation and emitting thermal radiation. The numbers range from 0 to 100, with a standard black surface having an initial SRI of 0 and a standard white surface having an initial SRI of 100. You should talk to your product specialist about your desired color’s SRI number.

Expanding & Contracting Clip Systems

Another reason why metal roofing works well in extreme temperatures is its ability to expand and contract. Other materials, like shingles for example, can crack, buckle, and warp when temperatures rise and drop dramatically in a short period of time. Metal roofing, specifically concealed fastener systems like standing seam, are actually designed to move with shifting temperatures. Slider and floating clip systems will allow for thermal movement — a must in this type of environment!

Weather Tightness

When it comes to a roofing solution that’s going to hold up well during the inevitable monsoon summer season, metal roofing is an easy choice. This roofing panels that easily shed water like a pro while still performing exceptionally during dry months. A variety of panels like ⅞” corrugated, purlin bearing rib, and tuff rib all feature an anti-siphon groove, which is a continuous channel formed into a panel’s edge. This creates a break in the panels and prevents a “suction effect” that typically transfers the moisture between materials. When you’re experiencing half your annual rainfall amounts in such a short period of time, you need a weather-tight roofing option like metal.

Energy Efficiency

Metal roofing systems are also one of the most energy efficient choices on the market today. Their reflective qualities help to deflect and reflect the sun’s UV rays rather than absorbing them. Other materials, like shingles, can absorb and retain this heat, making it harder to keep your house cool. Metal will actually hold less heat and cool off quicker to keep your home comfortable. Homeowners with metal roofs can find themselves saving an average of 10-25% on their annual energy bills after a metal roof is installed. 

Nail strip metal roofing

Conclusion

Metal roofing offers numerous benefits – from low maintenance and increased durability to an incredible lifespan – making it an ideal choice for hot, dry climates. Whether you’re dealing with extreme temperatures, prolonged sun exposure, or heavy monsoon rains, metal roofing provides the strength, energy efficiency, and weather-tightness needed to protect your home and keep it comfortable year-round. Consider metal roofing for your next project to ensure your roof stands up to the unique challenges of the southwestern climate.

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