Roofing has come a long way from the rock overhangs and tree limbs of our ancestors. Today you can find asphalt or ceramic tiles all over the country and in places like Bridgeton, NJ. Surprisingly, despite the ubiquity of modern roofing techniques, a mere hundred and fifty years ago nearly none of them existed. Here's three things you didn't know about how your roof came to be so good.
1: Roofing As We Know it Didn't Exist Until 100 BCE.
Some of the earliest roofing techniques were just branches placed over a rickety frame. Our hunter-gather ancestors didn't need long term-living arrangements. Of course, before that people still found ways get some shelter from storms, but they relied on natural caves or rock overhangs to give them what little protection mother nature was willing to provide.
Thankfully people didn't stop with just natural formations. As we discovered the secrets to farming that came with it a need to stay in place for long periods of time. Just because a place had good soil and plenty of water didn't mean that it had natural shelters to keep us warm and dry. This is where the use of animal hides started.
Not only did hide roofs resist rain and snow better than mere branches, but they also kept the heat in during the cold winter months. Depending on the area oiled leather was a further improvement to the basic animal pelt that improved resistance to rain even more.
It wasn't until 100 B.C.E. that tiling like we see today could be a durable and long lasting replacement, especially in warm areas like Italy where there the need to keep dry was far more important than keeping the snow at bay.
2. Despite Their Appearance, Thatched Roofs Are a More Modern Technique Than Tiles.
Tiles are all well and good in a warm and wet climate like Italy, but what about when you live in an area where snow is a bigger problem than rain? That's where plants come back into their prime. Thatched roofs, while requiring significantly more maintenance than tile roofs, are far better at keeping in the heat from a hearth and spreading out the load from the buildup of a snowy or icy roof.
That's why they started to come into vogue around 100 to 200 C.E. as the Roman Empire was starting the very early part of its decline. Until the industrial revolution the whole world used a mixture of either wooden or tile shingles, or thatching.
3. The Scientific Revolution Made High-Quality Roofing Available to More Than Just Monarchs
With the advent of mechanized production and advanced chemistry during the 1800s and 1900s, there were huge improvements to the varieties of roofing techs. The composite shingle was the first major improvement to come out of these advancements. It mixed a fiber superstructure over which a tar material was poured. Not only were they tough and water resistant, but they were far more impact resistant than tile when exposed to debris or hail.
Asphalt shingles were the next major step. They further improved the toughness of the roof by using road surface materials and were even cheaper to produce. Their toughness reduced the need for roofing repair. Other improvements such as nail guns made installing them several times faster and reduced labor costs substantially.
Today people are looking to find other ways to make their roof save them money. Solar Cells are being installed all over the country and can provide most of a home's electricity requirements during the day if the climate and angles of the roof are good. Solar water heaters are a cheap and easy way to reduce electricity or gas expenses while still enjoying warm soothing showers.
All told, humanity has advanced immensely from our poor scared ancestors who huddled under rock faces or trees to stay a few degrees warmer in the winter. Today our the roof of the home can not only keep you warm, but add value and save you money if built right. To get a modern roof installed in your home, call All & All Construction LLC.