A roof is the covering of a building or shelter. It provides protection from animals and weather: rain, heat, wind and sunlight. The elements of a roof (what is is made out of and the shape of it) is dependant on the purpose of the building it covers. A porch or verandah may be roofed with material that protects from sunlight but not rain or snow. The roof of a garden house or greenhouse is made from glass or plastic panels and admits sunlight but protects from rain, snow and wind.
Early Roofs and Styles
Sod roofs have been around as long as man has needed shelter. Sod roofs do offer some protection from the elements, but are leaky and do not keep out bugs and other pests. The first glazed clay roof tiles were used in China over 10,000 years ago. Greece and Babylon used flat roof tiles between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago. The Greeks and Romans were the first to experiment with different roofing materials and styles, bringing variations of slating and tiling to England around 100 BC. Thatch roofs were introduced and became a popular roofing material around 745 AD, and 300 years after that, wooden shingles were first made and used.
The history of roofing changed forever in 1212 AD, when King John of England banned all thatched roofs (which were most of the roofs in the city), and any other flammable roofing materials. They all had to be replaced with clay tiles. This was the beginning of mass production of clay tiles.
Modern Roofs and Styles
The last 200 years of history has brought radical changes to roofing. Industrial production of clay roofing tiles began in the early 1800s and in the early 1900s, concrete roof tiles were first used. When concrete was introduced, it was customary to add a pigment to the cement so that the tiles would look like clay roof tiles. Asphalt also became available in the late 1800s and this type of roofing became popular quickly because it was easy to mass produce at a very low cost when compared to concrete and tile.
Generally, builders still use the most available materials for the region they are building in. Cost, customs, and availability are important factors for choosing a roof. Wood and metal are used most often in the southern part of North America and slate is a common roof in the northeast. Wood is popular in the midwest and tile is often used in the southwest.
In the state of Florida, slate and clay are very popular and customary choices for roofs. The best roofing contractor in central and north Florida for installation or repair of these roofs is Premier Roofing, located in Orlando. We specialize in slate, tile, and metal roofs. For a roof that will last long enough to become a part of history, let Premier Roofing build it.