Roofing panels today are available in all shapes, sizes, colours, and materials. Although asphalt shingles have become staples in most locales, elegant and classy ceramic tiles are also starting to rise in popularity. Durable, decorative, and lightweight metal roofs are also commonly used and they are still the number one choice today. But, how did all these choices for roofing panels came to existence in the first place?
Roofing has an interestingly long history that paved the way for the varied selection of styles and material choices of roofing panels. Take a quick look at this history:
Roofing Materials during Early Civilizations
It was easy to imagine our ancestors to sleep outdoors under the starlit sky or inside caves to stay protected from the elements. But, pieces of evidence were discovered proving that they already used roofs made from various substances such as wood, rocks, clay, and animal parts. Their options were generally limited to things naturally found in the environment. For instance, in tropical places, palm fronds were lightweight and practical choices that are still used to this day. Straw and mud roofs were often used in most parts of ancient Africa. Wood was an option, too. This was used with another material such as woven fibres or mud placed to fill in gaps.
Thatched and Tile Roofs
It was reported that due to the advanced architectural techniques in China, clay tiles were used in the country since 3,000 BC. It was during ancient Roman and Greek civilizations when tiles rose to popularity in Europe.
Locally available wooden or slate tiles were preferred in Northern Europe. Thatch became popular in Britain in 735 AD and was also used in other equatorial countries.
Baked clay was used for roofs in Southern Europe that resulted in the signature terracotta look of Mediterranean and Spanish architecture. During the early 1900s, red-painted concrete tiles were used as cheaper alternatives. Tiles then spread other countries as the colours and style expanded, with homeowners discovering their weather-resistant qualities and durability.
It was during the 1920s when Americans developed asphalt shingles. Asphalt is a mixture of a base of fibreglass or cellulose with granules and sealed with polymer-modified bitumen and resins. Inexpensive and easy to install and manufacture, asphalt shingles soon became a staple in most American homes.
Metal Roofing Panels
There is a good reason why metal roofing panels have long been used. They are extremely durable, not to mention that these can also be bent to suit the required shape. However, metal roofing panels used to be very expensive. Only wealthy people and important structures were able to afford them.
Modern Roofing – An Interesting Journey of Changes and Transformation
The modern materials used for roofing panels inherit the past’s interesting legacy as they combine the best elements of what worked for hundreds of years together with the latest trends and technology of modern times. Although the type of insulated roofing panels used today remain to be influenced by numerous factors such as cultural preferences, availability of local materials, and local climate, buyers now have more options to choose from.