The tropics endure some of the harshest weather in the world, regardless of the time of year. For Australian homeowners living in the tropics, that means careful consideration is needed when choosing building materials for your home, especially the roof.
The roof of your home is one of the structures which is most heavily bombarded by severe weather. Exposure to extreme sunlight, rain and wind can cause extensive damage to your roof. So, when you build a home in the tropics, it is important to invest in durable roofing materials that withstand tropical weather conditions.
For a durable roof that isn’t affected by the relentless tropical sun, Terracotta is a great choice. This material has low heat absorption, so it will help keep your home cool in the summer months. Terracotta tiles are kiln baked, which makes them extremely durable and able to withstand the harshest extremes in tropical weather.
Concrete is a relatively cheap and effective material, which is often overlooked for use in roofing. Not only is concrete extremely durable, adding lighter colour to the material will increase its heat efficiency. As such, the affordability of concrete makes it a top contender for suitable roofing materials in the tropics.
Slate is a reliable roofing material which stands the test of time. Like concrete, homeowners can choose lighter colours to offset the amount of heat that is absorbed through the roof. While slate is a great practical choice, it is also a material which is guaranteed to add style and attractiveness to your home.
One of the newer technologies in roofing uses Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM). This roofing material, which is similar in appearance to rubber, is formulated to withstand harsh weather. The process is commonly referred to as membrane roofing.
When living in the tropics, homeowners have the option of using the weather to their benefit. Photovoltaic shingles are a solar roofing technology, which allows homeowners to harness the energy of the sun for home electricity.
Although it is not considered the most attractive option by many homeowners, reflective metal roofing provides considerable protection from the hot sun. The metal is also treated, which makes it highly resistant to corrosion. Reflective metal is durable and does not require as much maintenance as other materials, making it a cost-effective option for roofing.
If you are buying a home, there are also options for improving the current roof’s heat absorption efficiency. Roof coatings can completely change the reflective properties of a roof, making it more suitable for tropical climates. This option is also considerable cheaper and cleaner than replacing the entire roof.
When choosing a roofing material, it is important to consider the year-round temperatures and weather where you live. The Australian tropics experience a variety of extreme weather conditions, depending on the time of year.
The weather in the tropics is typically broken down by seasons. There are wet and dry seasons, as well as monsoon seasons which can last for as long as six months each year. To help ensure that your roofing material is the best choice for you, it is a good idea to hire an experienced local builder who is familiar with the weather in the area.
The durability and lifespan of your roofing materials are also important factors, as the cost is easily offset because of reduced maintenance needs. So, paying a little extra for a hardier material will save you money in the long run.
Lastly, before you purchase a new property, make sure to discuss the efficiency of the roof with your building inspector. If your roof is built from suitable materials and in good condition, it will make living in the tropics a much more pleasurable experience when the more extreme weather rolls around.