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Evolution of the Roof

The roof safeguards your home from the weather and projects its structural integrity. Did you know the roof concept has existed since the Neolithic period? Of course it is nowhere comparable to today’s sophisticated materials such as stone coated metal shingles. The oldest roofs known were made about 42,000 years ago. Isn’t this impressive? Wait until you discover the other lesser-known facts about roofs. In this article, we share more about the history of house roofs, starting from the Neolithic period and continuing through the 21st century.

Roofs in the Neolithic period

In the prehistoric era, humans hunted and gathered to survive. They settled in caves to stay protected from the weather and other dangers. However, they needed other solutions for their long trips. That’s how the first structures were built. Humans created shelters using natural materials such as wood, leaves, and animal hides. The oldest roofs were made of mammoth skin in Siberia 42,000 years ago. The tiny structures were made of mammoth tusks and branches, covered with mud and mammoth skin.

Ancient civilizations

The first roof tiles were recorded in China around 3,000 BC. Babylon and Ancient Greece also noted using tiles at that time.

Ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia and Egypt improved their roofing systems. They used wooden beams, mud bricks, and clay tiles to create durable and resistant roofs.

In the Middle East, South America, India, and North Africa, roofs were made of clay bricks and straw.

Medieval Europe

The roofing materials and shape were prone to change during the Medieval period. However, there was an architectural revolution in Europe. Gothic architecture had a stable structure, allowing more intricate roofing designs.

Ceramic and clay roof tiles were a symbol of wealth, so they were commonly used in castles and religious buildings. Ordinary people still built their roofs with straw. Can you imagine living under a thatched roof? With today’s innovative metal roofs that protect our homes from heavy rain, this would be impossible. Also, it is important to note that the straw is a highly flammable material, so this was an additional concern for the residents.

The plague epidemic in Europe reduced the population by 30%. At this point, the roof shingles became more accessible for everyone.

The Renaissance

During the Renaissance, there was an interest in everything that is beautiful. Greek and Roman roofing styles were popular, getting implemented in classic architecture. Here we can see the first records of metal roofs. The architects used copper as roofing material which enhanced aesthetics and durability.

Industrial revolution

The industrial revolution is known for the advancements in engineering and manufacturing. This has brought innovations in the construction process. New materials such as steel, cast iron, and asphalt were used to make roofs. The traditional shingle roofs and the other materials were affordable and accessible.

Modern roofs

Industrialization has helped develop the roofing materials we know today. In the 20th century , innovative construction materials and technology updated the concept. Fiberglass and reinforced concrete were the key materials to improve the structures. With their waterproof abilities, insulation and excellent durability, homeowners could finally be rest assured they live comfortably.

As the environmental concerns growed, there was a need for eco-friendly innovations. Solar panels and green roofs were some of the first signs of environment conscious buildings.

Roofs today

The evolution of roofs continued in the 21st century. The smart technologies, 3D printing, and digital fabrication bring innovations in the roofing sector.The industry follows the customer’s refined taste and needs to develop products.

Did you know that the largest roof in the US totals to 14 acres? It protects the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, and can be opened so the visitors can enjoy the sky view.

Nowadays it seems like everyone has gone crazy about green roofs. Having an oasis in the middle of the city is amazing, but did you know that it was Babylonians and Romans that came up with this idea first ?

Have you heard that metal roofs are more prone to lightning strikes? It is time to break down this myth once and for all. The truth is that any material can attract lighting, so your shingle roof might not be safer. It is good to know that metal is fire-resistant, providing more protection than shingles.

Trends

Stone coated metal shingles are a true masterpiece and a representation of the advanced production practices. They gather the immaculate strength of metal and the charming aesthetic of stone to create an architectural element that suits various styles.

Thanks to their many benefits, metal roofs are a standard option for modern residential and commercial buildings. If you thought they were unattractive, it is time to break that myth. The roofing industry has focused on good looks to make your exterior pop.

Are you worried about the sun damage? Metal roofs are UV-resistant, so you no longer have to worry about those rays making the material brittle.

As customers’ demands change, companies keep up with the latest trends. The need for durable, beautiful, sustainable, and affordable roofing pushes the industry for more innovations.

The future of the roofing

The future of roofs is quite promising, so the current concept of shingle roofs might be a history one day. New techies will reshape the roofing to our advantage. The integration of the AI platform in roof structures helps identify problems so you can do maintenance on time.

Automation will help roofers in inspection and maintenance tasks. Roof inspection, installation and repairs will be in the hands of sophisticated robots to promote safety in the workplace.

As customers recognize the downsides of shingle roofs such as frequent maintenance and repairs, the industry responds to that. Self cleaning and self healing roofs might sound like science fiction, but these concepts are already considered and developed. The advanced thermoplastic materials can melt under the sun and fix any dents or scuffs. Advanced coatings will repel water and dirt, keeping the roof pristine and debris free.