Stone-Coated Steel: The Best Roofing Material for Desert Homes

Desert Home Metal Roof

Elements That Affect Desert Homes

Desert home roofs face some of the most challenging extremes of temperature, wind, sand, low humidity, and sunlight exposure. While roofs in other climates must withstand seasonal extremes, in the desert these extremes can be a daily phenomenon. Daily desert temperatures may vary from an average 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the day with a radical drop to 25 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Extremely low moisture levels reduce the ability of the desert atmosphere to retain heat once the sun goes down.

For high-value homeowners in the desert, the roof is the first line of defense against the harsh elements of the desert biome, and heating and cooling costs are among the most significant expenses. That makes choosing the most energy-efficient roofing system a high priority. Roofing material strength and durability are also required to withstand the assaults of abrasive sand and high winds in regions where blowing sand is a part of desert life. As Desert Sun columnist Will Toren puts it;

"A low incidence of rain, hot sunny days, and steady breezes might be perfect for lounging by the pool, but they're also ideal conditions for sand and dust. Kick up the wind a notch or two and, as you've seen, it can get rather scary around here."

Harsh sand, dust, and wind conditions that can easily strip paint from cars and corrode windshields are sure to take a toll on conventional roofing materials such as asphalt shingles, clay tiles, and wood shakes. DECRA Metal Roofing products can replicate all of these conventional roofing steyls while adding critical shear strength and durability to meet the challenging elements. The result is an elegant, stylish metal roof warrantied for a lifetime without compromising the beauty of prominent, sophisticated roof designs. For homeowners in the desert regions of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Southern California roofing material strength and durability have never been more critical for protecting the investment they've made while enhancing curb appeal and home value.

The Haboob: An Increasing Desert Weather Risk in the US

Since 2012 "haboobs", the African term for intense wind storms featuring massive movements of sand, have been increasing in frequency. Insurers have cited them as new risks for the growing developed areas in desert regions. The notorious haboob can come out of a clear blue sky with diameters reaching 60 miles wide and winds up to 70 mph, picking up sediment and debris in a strong downspout and hurling it at high velocity. Since haboobs spring most frequently from intense thunderstorms, heavy damaging mud storms can also occur. If the thunderstorm is "dry", walls of dust and scattered storm debris up to 3 miles high can accompany the high winds and the shortcomings of traditional roofing materials become all too apparent.

Limitations of Traditional Roofing Materials For Desert Conditions

Clay tiles and terra cotta (translated as "baked earth") materials have long dominated the roofing sector for desert homes in the U.S. These conventional materials provide the aesthetic element to complement popular Spanish colonial and American Western architectural themes but fall far short when strength and durability are considered. Clay and terracotta tiles fracture easily and require ongoing maintenance to ensure waterproof integrity and protection of the underlying roof deck. Just walking on a clay tile roof can cause fracturing which makes maintenance a tricky operation. When it does rain, clay tiles can absorb up to 15% of their weight in moisture adding weight stress to the supporting roof structure. Clay tile is not rated or warrantied against wind uplift or impact from hail or storm debris.

DECRA Villa Tile and DECRA Tile can replicate the beauty and vivid detail of both barrel and scalloped style architectural themes. The strength of multi-layered steel and DECRA's proprietary acrylic bonded stone-coating results in a fully walkable roof with the highest UL2218 Class 4 impact rating able to withstand any storm hazards the desert can dish out.

Asphalt shingles deteriorate so quickly in the desert climate that they can only be considered as a short term, temporary roofing solutions. Continuous sunlight and dry heat can cause delamination, blistering, warping, and loosening around fasteners which make asphalt shingles highly vulnerable to wind uplift. Fish mouthing can occur with inadequate ventilation in the home, and asphalt shingles radiate heat down into the house long after the sun has set. Asphalt shingle roofs are extremely heavy averaging 7,500 to 12,000 pounds, so roof-overs are limited to just 2 layers before a complete and costly tear-off is required. The high cost of frequent replacement for asphalt shingle roofs becomes very significant for homeowners who will need to finance a new asphalt shingle roof every 10-20 years in challenging desert conditions.

DECRA Shingle XD roofing systems can replicate the robust look and vivid dimensions of heavy cut architectural and asphalt shingles without adding on excess weight and structural stress. The average DECRA stone-coated steel roof weighs in at just 3,700 to 4,500 pounds. The ultra-lightweight of all DECRA roofing profiles can often eliminate the need and expense for a complete tear-off for roofing upgrades and remodeling, and lifetime durability means that DECRA is the one and done roofing solution for high-value desert homeowners.

Warranty Limitations With Conventional Roofing Materials

Many conventional roofing manufacturers lure unsuspecting homeowners with what appear to be outstanding warranties, but even the most extravagant warranties only cover their products for 20-30 years. Many of these warranties are more about marketing and shouldn't be used as a benchmark by discerning homeowners for comparing roofing product quality. Even a 25-40 year warranty can be easily voided if rigorous installation requirements haven't been met to the satisfaction of the manufacturer, and none are transferable if the home is sold. DECRA roofing systems can easily endure for the lifetime of the home and are all backed by the industry's most comprehensive lifetime warranty which is even transferable to the home's next owner for the first 20 years after the initial DECRA installation.

Unsurpassed Energy Efficiency With DECRA Metal Roofs

Energy efficiency is of the highest priority for desert homes where heating and cooling costs may be among the highest monthly expenses. DECRA products can be installed direct-to-deck or on a batten system, a 2x2 underlying grid, for maximum energy efficiency. While, intuitively, metal roofing may not seem to be ideal for energy efficiency quite the opposite is true. All metal roofs reflect more solar energy than conventional roofing materials offering significant savings in heating and cooling costs according to the Metal Roof Alliance. Standing seam metal roofs require an extra reflective coating to achieve this efficiency, and desert homeowners can look forward to ongoing yearly maintenance and a definite compromise in style and beauty with bland uncoated metal roofs.

DECRA roofing products feature a variety of exquisite stone-coatings in colors and textures, which enhances the aesthetic appeal of intricate roof designs, but the tough acrylic bonded granular coating with infrared blocking pigments also reflects up to 90% of solar radiation. Installed on battens, energy efficiency is increased even more by the air space underneath the durable multi-layered DECRA steel. Heated air rises up and away from the house, escaping through the ridge vents. At night, when desert temperatures plunge, the air space provides an extra insulating layer between the underlying deck and the DECRA stone-coated steel roof.

The DECRA Advantage For Elegant Desert Homes

DECRA's stone-coated steel product line is the undisputed gold standard of roofing for homes in all regions, but none more so than for homes in the challenging conditions of the desert. DECRA roofs can withstand winds up to 120 mph and are able to meet the strictest building codes in hurricane-prone regions such as Miami-Dade, Florida. DECRA is unsurpassed in every roofing performance comparison category and carries the roofing industry's most comprehensive transferable limited lifetime warranty. DECRA roofing products provide a wide range of design versatility to enhance the curb appeal, value, and energy efficiency of homes with traditional desert themes such as Spanish Colonial, Mediterranean Villa, and Rustic American. When you're ready for the one and done lifetime roofing solution for your stately desert home you're ready for DECRA.