Building a home in a tropical region like Kerala, the first and foremost parameter to consider would be the heat control. The temperature of a room ceiling differs from the outside temperature as well as the room temperature which in turn affects how cold or hot the interiors of your house will be. When you consider the heat outside, probably the first solution that comes to your mind would be air-conditioning. However, you could save a lot of energy by optimizing the interiors rather than trying to solve the heat issue with energy.
A good roof shouldn’t store or absorb the heat, but rather release the direct heat of the sun’s rays. For a better example, you could consider two material samples such as steel and clay. If you leave out a clay tile along with a steel roofing piece in the sun, you will be able to clearly notice the difference in the heat between the two materials. You can also observe the cooling rate between the materials as well. Similarly, the effect carries over to roofing materials cooling down after a day in the sun. The ideal roofing material should not hold the heat and transfer it to the structure, instead, it should reflect the light and heat upwards and away from the building. In this blog, we will explore a few options of roofing materials that you can consider for your home in Kerala.
Terra cotta & Clay
Using clay tiles as a roofing material is common in the traditional architecture of Kerala. Clay tiles are effective in cooling down the house as well as making the interior temperature lower than the exterior one. However, it is important to ensure you choose a light clay roofing as it does not retain heat like the darker variant. Modern clay tiles have even been equipped with coatings to resist algae and damaged by exposure to water. Terra cotta tiles are placed in a manner that they form interlocking arches across a roof. The space between each tile store air and this also aids in runoff water. This action prevents heat capture as well and keeps the house cool inside.
Concrete tiles are a great option for flat-roofed buildings & it is way more budget-friendly as compared to slate and clay. Concrete tiles are heavy and take a long time to gain heat. Hence it is a great material for a warm-weather roofing surface. For budget constricted structures, poured concrete slab roofing is also a low-cost option. To add to this cooling effect, you can also use specialized cool colours to increase the efficiency of the roofing material.
White Flat tile
Flat cement tiles are a roofing material that reflects almost 77 percentile of the light that falls on it. When it comes to cooling capacity, this is a great reason for opting for its use if you live in a tropical region such as Kerala. This material is also available in cool colours and is made of ceramic, elastomeric material and sometimes in combinations of fibre and cement. Another reason to pick white flat tile would be its longevity as it is proven to be durable and lasts long durations. However, maintenance might be an issue with this tile as it can lose its lustre over time. The upside of this is that the issue can be eradicated by a power wash.
Rubber membrane roofing
While it is not exactly a layer of rubber, the rubber membrane roof is formed of a single-ply rubber-like raw material which has intensive cooling technology instilled within. Made of a substance known as EPDM, this roofing material is strong, weather-resistant and thermoplastic. This material comes in rolls or sheets and hence can be used to cover large areas quickly.
A material found extensively in Kerala, metal roofing if used right can help cool down your home. If you own a home with a flat concrete surface, the summers can get pretty hot for you. However, if you have a terrace above, and if you install a double layer metal roof with a vacuum between them, the heat passed down to the roof will be significantly low. Metal roofing is available in panels, shingles, and are made of metals such as stainless steel, zinc, copper and aluminium. A highlight of this material is that it is long-lasting and recyclable. They can be cleaned easily and can definitely be used to make a functioning rainwater harvesting system.
While there are several other materials available for your options to choose your roofing, we believe these are the top five that you need to consider before you decide.