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The History of Roofing


The history of roofing has come an extremely long way. Man has utilized various natural resources, technological methods & ways of applications throughout

history to create the environmentally safe, effective roofing of today. From wood, mud and straw, to tiling, shingles and beyond, the one thing most of us

take for granted has been a necessity a properly function roof for survival since the dawn of time. The evolution and history of the roof, and how it has

formed into what it is today, will be evaluated within this article.
 
The history of roofing is an interesting topic, as a lot can be learned through a civilization simply through its roofing. As one can imagine, a roof can

only be as good as the materials readily available, so every civilization had varying methods, tools, and materials for creating their respective roofs. The

finished product and the materials used to produce roof are an accurate portrayal of how technologically advanced and creative a certain civilization may

have been.
 
Although most of the growth within the roofing industry has been within the last 200 years, the complete history of roofing starts much earlier than that.

The Greeks and Romans were the first to experiment with differing roofing styles. The Romans introduced slating and tiling to Great Britain as early as 100

BC. Thatch roofs were introduced and implemented around the year 735 AD and it wouldn’t be for another 300 years until wooden shingles were first implemented

as well.
 
It wasn’t until the 12th century that the history of roofing was changed forever under King John, when he issued a law in London that citizens had to replace

their thatch and reed roof-coverings and replace them with clay tiles. This law was passed as a measure against spreading fires and marked the beginning

point for mass-produced, industrial roofing methods. Dreadnought clay tiles began production in 1805 and industrial roofing at that time had little

insulation but a good slope for rainwater and other debris. One hundred year after that, concrete tile roofing was first utilized.
 
While the history of roofing began to evolve, American roofing styles and all of those abroad were still dependent upon the regional availability of

materials. In the southern parts of the United States, wood and metal were more widely used. In the Southwest, tile was a lot more prevalent. The Midwest

utilized mostly wood roof coverings.
 
Even to this day, roofing styles are still based around those of local materials, but a wider variety and more expansive materials are now present in many

markets throughout the world. Today, materials such as slate, and felt are amongst the most common roofing materials. It is hard to predict the future of the

roofing industry and what technology can shape for the future, but for certain, the history of roofing has evolved and will continue to evolve forever.

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