Home Safety and Maintenance

How Roofs Have Progressed Since Cavemen

Back in the days of cavemen, roofs were made of soil and plants. These sods of earth made very good insulation but did not protect them from insects, vermin, or rain. One of the jobs that cavemen were constantly having to do was repair their roofs, but for them, it was just part of everyday life.

Roofing Materials

Not much progress was made with different roofing materials until about 5,000 years ago when the Chinese started using glazed clay roof tiles. Then between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago, Greece and Babylon started to make earthenware tile for roofs. The Romans took these to various other countries they invaded, including England, but this was not until about 100BC.

Thatched Roofs

Many people associate thatched roofs with the UK, where they were first used in about 735AD. In reality, they were used in many other countries as well, including Hawaii, Bali, and Fiji, where they made it from sugar cane leaf. It remained a popular roofing material in America during the 18th and 19th centuries, as the materials were cheap and easy to find.

Some American pioneers tried insulating their roof with sods of earth underneath the thatch but found they collapsed in heavy rain.

Terra-cotta Tiles

In Mediterranean countries, terra-cotta tiles were used, which accounts for the way roofs in Spain and other southern European countries look so red. When concrete tiles were introduced, they painted them red to have the same effect. They used these instead because they were a much cheaper alternative.

Metal Roofs

Although not in great amounts, metal has been used as a roofing material for a very long time. However, because of the cost involved it has tended to be used on buildings of importance, such as temples and palaces. It is also very durable. The castle Kronborg, for instance, had a copper roof built in 1587, which did not need significant repair until 2009.

Roofing Materials Of Today

The roofing materials used today have been influenced by the ones used in the past. There are also other things to consider, such as climate, cultural preferences and the local availability of the materials. However, in places such as the USA, homeowners have a huge choice and before deciding which would be the best option, you should seek advice from the experts such as Northface Construction. There are so many materials to choose from that it is always best to find out which will do the best job for your type of roof. There is more to it than a roof that looks pleasing to the eye.

Roofing Materials Of The Future

The roofing materials that are likely to be used more and more in the future are the ones that are eco-friendly. Polycarbonate is becoming more common in places like art galleries and museums. Technology is playing its part with scientists at MIT develop smart roofing materials that take a new thermal-management approach to eco-design.  They are even in the process of developing one that changes color from black to white, and vice versa, depending on the amount of sunlight. This will allow the roof to collect or deflect the sun’s rays, making a home much more energy efficient.

Roofing materials will continue to develop along with everything else that technology is affecting, and as they change, so will the look of the properties where these roofs are needed.

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