If there’s one thing mankind has always possessed, it’s the urge to seek shelter. And that basic need to keep dry, warm and safe means we’ve been creating roofs since before the dawn of history. Despite that, roofing technology is still far from the finished article and, in the last hundred years, that technology has moved forward in leaps and bounds. Below are just some of the changes we’ve seen in that period.
Unlike earlier stone and wooden shingles, Composite shingles are made from a mix of different materials. Early versions were created by covering felted fabric in tar but the very early 20th Century saw the development of the first asphalt shingles. This grand innovation was concocted by combining bitumen with shards of quartz, brick, slate and/or similar minerals. Not only were such shingles cheaper to make than their predecessors but they also afforded buildings greater protection from both ultraviolet light and heat loss. As asphalt shingles grew in popularity, the multi-tab strip shingle was introduced. Because these sheets were larger than their predecessors, installation became both cheaper and easier. New models with tab variations also granted shingles more wind resistance, while other models could be made to resemble thatch.
In the 1990s, the Dow Chemical Company gave us TPO roofing. This method used ethylene propylene rubber membranes in a single seamless structure to reflect heat away from a building while also protecting it from ozone and algae. Unlike asphalt shingles, TPO can be recycled or even used as an extremely clean fuel.
Unlike large panel generators, solar shingles gather energy while visually resembling normal shingles. Because any excess energy generated can be fed back into the grid, it’s possible to even make money from them. Solar roofing costs more than traditional materials and needs more maintenance but expect that to change as the technology advances.
Getting Back To Nature
A Living Roof is created by placing soil and vegetation in a waterproof covering. Such roofs release oxygen into the environment and help to keep the building cool via water run-off. Because of their greater maintenance costs, their adoption has been slower but, as the methodology becomes more refined, their popularity seems certain to grow.
And all this advancement has led us to the present day. But we should never forget that, amidst all this innovation, there’s always room for more established technologies as well. That’s why, when it comes to Heritage, Flat and Slate Roofing, you can’t do better than contacting Cumbria Roofing.