The Evolution of Roofs Through the Ages

Having your own house is one of the most fulfilling things a person could ever experience.

You finally get a place of your own that you could go back to at the end of a long day at work, without having to worry about annoying landlords or noisy neighbors in the apartment next door.

Yet, despite its many perks, being a homeowner can also be quite challenging.

The responsibility of keeping the place in a good shape lies on your shoulders, and that means fixing any malfunctions and doing regular maintenance.

One of the more complicated angles for home maintenance is your roof.

How do you know if your current one will survive and stand the test of time?

Before we can answer that question, let’s have a brief look into the evolution of roofs through the ages.

Clay tiles

Slate roofs are considered to be among the most popular and oldest roofing systems in the world.

It is believed that it was the Romans that introduced this roof type to Britain around 100 BC.

They didn’t gain any momentum at first, though, not until a few decades later where they were rediscovered and people started using them again.

But it was in the early 1200s that King John ordered all flammable materials like thatch to be replaced with clay tiles, and this marked the true beginning of proper roofing in Europe –– they were known in Asia, particularly China, much earlier than that.

This would mean fewer fires occurring, as they were quite frequent back then, which is the reason slating began gaining popularity at that time.

Wooden tiles

Wooden tiles began to also rise in popularity, especially in Northern Europe.

Wooden roofing was favored for its aesthetic value by many designers, which is why you can find it in plenty of old churches –– some of which are still present to this very day.

The problem with wood, though, was the fact that it was flammable, even more so than thatch, which is why the latter was still used around some parts.

Concrete and asphalt roofing

Southern Europeans, on the other hand, preferred using baked clay, not just any clay.

This has created the unique look you’d find in much of the Spanish and Mediterranean architecture, also known as Terracotta.

When the 1900s arrived, those red clay tiles were replaced in some locations by concrete tiles that were painted red.

This marked a sort of experimentation wave around the world where people kept trying different materials for roofing.

It was in the USA, around the 1920s, that the asphalt shingles were developed.

To this day, asphalt shingles are a staple of the traditional American home look.

Metal roofing

While metal roofing was around for quite some time, it wasn’t very popular in the past because it cost too much, so only the wealthy could afford it.

This highly durable roofing began evolving over time, and manufacturers started using zinc to replace the more expensive copper –– both are also still used to this very day.

Metal roofing paved the way to modern systems that evolved over the years, like ceramic and several others.

Today, there are dozens of different types that you can choose from for your house or garden shed.

How to know if your roof will stand the test of time?

Proper maintenance

Every homeowner is worried about their roofing at one point or the other, especially in turbulent weather conditions that might damage your current roof.

If you live in a city like Phoenix, Arizona, then you can expect some very hot summers, and you need to be prepared for that by ensuring that your roofing Phoenix AZ based is regularly maintained.

You have to find competent and qualified local contractors that can keep your roof in an excellent shape year round because this is the only way that you can ensure it will survive the test of time and last you for years.

You shouldn’t wait until you are facing a problem with your roofing like leaky shingles.

It is best to perform maintenance across regular intervals, even if you are not facing any problems with anything.

This will help you detect any damage early on, which means you will be able to handle it before it gets worse.

Prevention is better than cure

This applies significantly to your roofing since it can help you avoid deterioration over time by just taking some simple preventive measures.

Start with the attic, and make sure the insulation between your attic and roof is the best it can be –– this will also help you save on your energy bill as you will be able to better control the heating temperature in your home.

It is not just the insulation that you need to check in your attic. You also have to work on the ventilation.

It might sound a bit weird, but proper ventilation ensures that there won’t be any water buildup in your roof.

Moisture can do a lot of damage to your entire house, not just roofing, and it leads to pest and mold infestations. So, make sure the vents are regularly cleaned and free of debris and dust.

Look for outside factors

Unfortunately, if you want your roof to last you for years, there are outside factors to consider, too. Start by checking if there are any hanging tree limbs over your roof.

Nobody likes to cut trees, but that dangling branch can fall from an altitude on a rainy night and punch through your shingles, causing all sorts of trouble.

So, take preventive measures by trimming any tree branches around your house so that none of them could break and damage your roof. Roofing can be expensive, whether that is repairs or installations.

You need to make sure you are dealing with qualified contractors who know what you are doing because the last thing you want is to get someone fixing your roof every other month.

You should also always consult experts when you’re first purchasing roofing, as their insight will prove quite valuable in what the best roofing for your house –– and location –– is.