How Hot Do Roofs Get in Texas?

Rooftops can become virtual ovens in the scorching Texas heat, reaching staggering temperatures.

A dark-coloured roof can heat up to 140 and 190 degrees Fahrenheit on a typical sunny day. 

In contrast, a light-colored roof tends to be much more relaxed, with temperatures ranging from 102 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

As you can see, light-colored roofs can be 38 to 70 degrees cooler than their darker counterparts!

While color is a significant factor, the type of material and the quality of installation also play crucial roles.

Also, it would be best to consider how long the roofing system has been in place. 

This blog post explores why roofs get so hot in Texas, the contributing factors, and strategies for effective roofing heat management for your property.

Factors Influencing Roof Temperatures in Texas

Climate Conditions

Texas’s weather varies significantly depending on the season. 

The state experiences many conditions, including tornadoes, hail storms, heavy rainfall, and strong winds. 

However, the summer heat is particularly intense. 

According to BKV Energy, summer temperatures can soar to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, which usually occurs around July. 

Prolonged exposure to such high heat can degrade roofing materials. 

In such times, roofs endure significant wear and tear throughout the year due to these harsh climate conditions.

Similarly, Texas is one of the most affected states by hail storms in the country. According to MSN, it experienced about 706 hail storms last year. 

In short, our roofing system goes through extreme tests due to harsh climate conditions. 

Texas faces extreme weather, including tornadoes, hail storms, and intense summer heat reaching 90°F. These conditions significantly wear down roofs, especially during the 706 hail storms recorded last year.

Types of Materials

The type of roofing system installed is a critical factor in determining roof temperature. 

Color also has a significant impact.

The material’s ability to reflect the sun’s energy into the atmosphere is known as ‘solar reflectance.‘ 

The capacity to reject heat instead of absorbing it is called ‘thermal emittance.

For both measures, higher values indicate more effective heat management.

Name of the Roofing MaterialSolar Reflective Index (SRI) – 1 to 100Thermal Emittance (TE) – 0 to 1
AsphaltDark Colors: 20 Light Colors: 29-300.85
MetalDark Colors: 25-30 Light Colors: 55-850.85
Clay TilesDark Colors: 20-30 Light Colors: 70-750.85
Natural Slate TilesDark Colors: 10-20 Light Colors: 30-350.90
Synthetic Slate TilesDark Colors: 10-20 Light Colors: 30-350.90
EPDMDark Colors: 6-8 Light Colors: 780.87
TPODark Colors: 25-30 Light Colors: 80-820.80
Modified BitumenDark Colors: 6-10 Light Colors: 70-800.90
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)Dark Colors: 30-35 Light Colors: 85-900.90
SPF (Spray Polyurethane Foam)Dark Colors: 30-35 Light Colors: 75-850.85
Source: Heat Island Group

The table above shows that some materials have low SRI value but high TE value. 

People might think it is conflicting, but it’s not. 

A material with a low SRI value absorbs much solar radiation rather than reflecting it. 

Conversely, a high TE value suggests that even though the material absorbs more solar energy, it emits the absorbed heat efficiently. 

Consequently, this helps the material cool down more quickly. 

As the data suggests, this issue only lies with dark-colored roofs, not with lig

Roof Color and Heat Absorption

As previously mentioned, both the type of material and its color play crucial roles in a roofing system’s heat management.

For residential and commercial property in Texas, opting for light-colored roofs is the best choice.

These roofs reflect more sunlight, stay more relaxed, and are more energy-efficient. 

We always recommend light-reflective membranes like EPDM for flat roofing systems. 

EPDM’s impressive ability to reflect sunlight and absorb less heat makes it ideal for businesses in the Texas heat.

Similarly, we suggest homeowners choose Metal roofing over Asphalt for residential projects.

Metal roofs and EPDM reflect sunlight and absorb less heat. They are highly customizable to any color and roofing structure, offering aesthetic flexibility and superior durability.

Regardless, the material should be durable enough to withstand the annual weather events that Texas experiences.

Choosing a dark-colored roof in Texas makes little sense due to the excessive heat absorption. 

In Texas, light-colored roofs are recommended for their energy efficiency and ability to reflect sunlight. These materials provide durability and better heat management for the property.

Impact of High Roof Temperatures

Effect on Roofing Materials

High temperatures can significantly damage roofing materials if they are not durable enough. 

As stated earlier, prolonged exposure to intense heat weakens the structural integrity of the roofing system.

For example, corrugated metal roofs can suffer from thermal expansion and contraction. 

It loosened its fasteners over time, leading to potential damage and leaks if not promptly repaired.

Similarly, shingles and tiles can crack, dry out, curl, and lose their granules over time, making the material less durable as it ages.

Energy Efficiency Issues

High roof temperatures also impact energy efficiency. Dark roofs absorb more heat, increasing the cooling load on the property. 

It leads to higher energy bills and greater energy consumption—additionally, more heat inside the property results from higher heat absorption.

In contrast, materials with higher Solar Reflective Index (SRI) values stay more relaxed, reducing the need for air conditioning and improving overall energy efficiency.

According to Metal Roofing Alliance, a metal roofing system helps a property save about 40% in energy and utility bills! Achieving such a result is only possible with light-colored roofs. 

However, excessive heat can accumulate moisture, causing condensation under roofing materials. 

It can result in water damage, mold, and algae growth, particularly in materials like wood shingles and shakes.

Tips to Manage Roof Heat

Use Cool Roofing Materials

Consider switching to cool roofing materials if your roof hasn’t been updated in decades. 

These materials are designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than traditional materials. 

Based on our data and experience, excellent roofing materials can reduce roof temperatures by up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Refer to our roofing materials list with their Solar Reflective Index (SRI) and Thermal Emittance scores. 

The higher the score in both aspects, the better the material keeps your property cooler. 

Insulation and Ventilation Strategies

Proper insulation and ventilation systems can relax your roof during peak summer days. 

It reduces the overall roof temperature, leading to a more relaxed interior. 

Consequently, your HVAC system will experience less strain, significantly lowering energy bills.

Green Roofing System

A relatively recent innovation in the roofing industry is the green roofing system. 

These roofs are covered with vegetation and plants, providing natural insulation and cooling through evapotranspiration. 

They reduce the overall heat impact on the property and improve indoor air quality.

Green roofs are an excellent choice for eco-friendly, sustainable options.

High roof temperatures damage roofing materials, causing issues like cracks and leaks, and reduce energy efficiency by increasing cooling costs. Cool materials, proper insulation, and green roofs mitigate these problems effectively for any roofing system.

Conclusion: Use Cool Roofing Systems in Texas

In conclusion, Texas roofs can reach scorching temperatures, posing energy efficiency and comfort challenges. 

Based on our experience, employing excellent reflective materials and proper insulation can significantly mitigate heat absorption, enhancing livability and sustainability.

If you have roofing queries, visit submit your form at our homepage. Or, call us at this 844-893-7326 to book an inspection for your property. 

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