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The Impact of Climate Change on Roofing Choices

Date: November 30, 2023

Climate change has been a hot topic for a while now, and it’s no secret that it’s affecting our planet in many ways. One of the areas that is being impacted by climate change is roofing choices.

As temperatures continue to rise, it’s becoming increasingly important to choose the right roofing materials to help keep our homes cool.In this blog post, we’ll explore the impact of climate change on roofing choices and how you can make the right decision when it comes to choosing the right roofing material for your home. 

The Current State of Climate Change 

Climate change stands as an undeniable reality, with a multitude of scientific evidence showcasing its global impact. Rising temperatures, shifting weather patterns, and an increase in extreme events underscore the urgency of addressing this phenomenon. 

Human activities, particularly the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, contribute significantly to the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for trapping heat in the Earth's atmosphere. The consequences are far-reaching, affecting ecosystems, weather systems, and, notably, our daily lives.

The Impact on Home Comfort 

As climate change accelerates, the repercussions on home comfort become increasingly palpable. The upward trajectory of temperatures directly influences the livability of our homes. 

The consequences extend beyond mere discomfort; inadequate responses can lead to higher energy consumption and increased utility costs. Here's how climate change impacts home comfort:

  • Temperature Extremes: More frequent and intense heatwaves can make indoor spaces unbearable without proper cooling measures.
  • Energy Consumption: Escalating temperatures drive up the demand for cooling systems, straining energy resources and contributing to a vicious cycle of increased emissions.
  • Health Implications: Extreme heat poses health risks, especially for vulnerable populations, making the need for climate-responsive homes crucial.

Importance of Choosing the Right Roofing Material 

The choice of roofing material holds paramount importance in navigating the challenges posed by climate change. A well-selected roof not only protects the home but can also contribute to sustainability efforts. Here's why choosing the right roofing material is crucial:

  • Energy Efficiency: Certain roofing materials possess reflective properties that deflect sunlight, reducing the absorption of heat into the home. This, in turn, lowers the reliance on air conditioning systems, promoting energy efficiency.
  • Insulation Matters: Adequate insulation prevents heat transfer, maintaining optimal indoor temperatures. The right roofing material enhances insulation properties, reducing the need for constant climate control adjustments.
  • Long-Term Cost Savings: Investing in a climate-responsive roofing material might involve initial costs, but the long-term savings through reduced energy consumption and maintenance expenses make it a financially sound decision.
  • Environmental Impact: Sustainable roofing materials contribute to environmental conservation by promoting energy efficiency and reducing the carbon footprint of homes.

Traditional Roofing Materials vs. Climate-Responsive Alternatives

Traditional roofing materials like asphalt shingles and tiles have long been popular for their affordability and durability. However, they come with drawbacks, such as asphalt shingles' tendency to absorb and retain heat and tiles contributing to heat absorption. 

In response to the need for more energy-efficient and climate-responsive alternatives, innovative roofing solutions have emerged. Cool roofs, featuring reflective surfaces, are designed to bounce sunlight away, reducing heat absorption and mitigating the urban heat island effect. Another alternative involves enhancing the efficiency of traditional materials like slate and clay tiles by applying reflective coatings. 

This blend of tradition and modern efficiency demonstrates a commitment to environmentally conscious building practices, offering solutions that prioritize both aesthetics and energy performance in roofing systems.Below are some of the differences in both:

Energy Efficiency and Insulation

  • Traditional Materials: Often lack sufficient reflective properties, leading to increased energy consumption.
  • Climate-Responsive Alternatives: Prioritize energy efficiency, reducing the need for constant cooling.

Environmental Impact

  • Traditional Materials: Production and disposal contribute to environmental degradation.
  • Climate-Responsive Alternatives: Tend to be more sustainable and eco-friendly.

Durability and Maintenance

  • Traditional Materials: Can require more frequent maintenance and repairs.
  • Climate-Responsive Alternatives: Often boast longer lifespans and reduced maintenance needs.

Cool Roofs

Cool roofs emerge as a sustainable solution in the quest for climate-responsive roofing. These roofs are designed with reflective materials to combat the urban heat island effect and enhance overall energy efficiency.Below are some of the reflective properties of cool roofs:

  • High Solar Reflectance (SR): Cool roofs reflect a significant portion of sunlight away from the surface.
  • Thermal Emittance (TE): The ability to radiate absorbed heat back into the atmosphere.

Benefits of Cool Roofs

  • Reduced Heat Absorption: Limits heat transfer into the building, maintaining cooler indoor temperatures.
  • Energy Savings: Lower air conditioning demands result in reduced energy consumption.
  • Mitigation of Urban Heat Island Effect: A collective effort in urban areas to lower overall temperatures.

Material Options

  • Reflective Coatings: Applied to existing roofs, offering a cost-effective upgrade.
  • Single-Ply Membranes: Lightweight and highly reflective, suitable for flat roofs.
  • Cool Roof Tiles and Shingles: Blending aesthetics with sustainability.

Considerations for Installation

  • Professional Assessment: Consultation with roofing experts for the most effective cool roof implementation.
  • Local Climate Factors: Adapting cool roof choices based on regional climate patterns.

Regional Considerations in Roofing Choices

When it comes to roofing choices, a one-size-fits-all approach is not feasible. Regional climate variations demand tailored solutions to ensure optimal performance and sustainability.

  • Climate Zones: Understanding the specific climate zone of a region is crucial for selecting the right roofing material.
  • Temperature Extremes: In areas with extreme temperatures, materials with high solar reflectance or insulation properties may be more beneficial.
  • Precipitation Levels: Regions with high precipitation may require materials with excellent water resistance and durability.
  • Wind Resistance: Coastal regions or areas prone to storms necessitate roofing materials with high wind resistance.
  • Local Regulations: Compliance with local building codes and regulations is paramount for roofing choices.

Tips for Homeowners 

Empowering homeowners to make informed decisions about their roofing is essential in the era of climate change. Here are practical tips to guide homeowners in choosing the right roofing material.

  • Professional Consultation: Seek advice from roofing professionals to assess the specific needs of your home and region.
  • Consider Budget and Long-Term Costs: While initial costs are crucial, evaluate the long-term savings in energy efficiency and maintenance.
  • Aesthetics: Balance functional aspects with the visual appeal of roofing materials to enhance overall home design.
  • Energy Efficiency: Prioritize materials with high solar reflectance and insulation properties to promote energy efficiency.
  • Stay Informed on Sustainable Trends: Regularly update yourself on advancements in sustainable roofing materials and technologies.


As our planet faces unprecedented challenges, adapting our homes to be more climate-responsive becomes a responsibility.  From the importance of choosing the right roofing material to considering regional climate variations, the decisions we make today have far-reaching implications for the future.

Embracing climate-responsive roofing materials not only ensures our homes remain comfortable but also contributes to the larger goal of sustainability. Homeowners play a pivotal role in this journey by making informed decisions, considering the unique needs of their regions, and staying abreast of evolving trends in eco-friendly roofing. 

As we navigate the complexities of climate change, the roof over our heads becomes a symbol of our commitment to a more resilient and sustainable future.

About Mikku & Sons
Mikku and Sons red repair track with its logo painted on its side- roofing company track wraps
Our roofing company was founded in 2001 by Michael Riutta, who is still part of the ownership and management team. Between Michael, his two sons and co-owners, Devin and Joshua, and our crew members, we have many years of experience to handle any type of roof repair or roof installation solutions you may need.