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Do You Know These 5 Roofing Facts?

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You may be surprised to learn that roofs did not always look like they do now. In fact, roofing materials have changed a lot over the years as new technologies become available. From thatch, clay, wood, metal, and finally asphalt, roofs can look very different and have different strengths and weaknesses.

Today, there are even roofs in Florida that are made with shingles made from recycled asphalt. In April of 2022, a company in Tampa installed their first home with recycled shingles.These are the first patented shingles that were successfully recycled using material from waste shingles.

We thought these 5 facts about roofing were interesting and wanted to share them with you!

Most Common Roofing Material

Wood is one of the most common materials used for roofing. In the past, people had less choices than they do now on types of materials. Wood was popular because it was easy to repair wood shingles, the material was available, and it lasted about 30 years. As with any other type of roofing material, people used what was most available to them at the time. These days, people still choose wood shingles because they have a natural look.

First Type of Metal Roofing

The first type of metal roofing was copper. You may see historic buildings with green roofs and that is because they are made of copper. Copper is resistant to corrosion over a very long time and that is why they protect old buildings so well. Metal roofs were popular in the 19th Century, and still are today, because they are light in weight, durable, easy to maintain, and energy efficient.

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Best Roofing Material For Hot Weather

One of the oldest roofing materials was clay. Clay tiles were used mostly in China as long ago as 3,000 B.C.! We still use clay tiles today, especially in Florida, because they are good at transferring heat and protecting against moisture. Also, clay tiles can be very attractive in style and color. They also are one of the most long-lasting materials.

Oldest Roofing Material

The oldest roofing material was a thatched roof. It was made of reed, which was gathered from nature and each blade was woven together by hand. The thatched roof was naturally waterproof because the tough grass created a tightly braided barrier from the elements. People were likely utilizing thatched roofs between 5,000 and 1,800 B.C.. Unfortunately, thatched roofs were prone to catch fire and in the 12th Century were switched out for clay tiles for safety.

The First Material of Modern Roofing

Asphalt shingles were invented in 1903 by a roofer named Henry Reynolds in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Until then, clay, metal, and wood were used most often. Reynolds made each shingle by hand by cutting rolled out asphalt, surfaced with small stones. It wasn’t until 12 years later that a machine was invented to cut the shingles to their desired size. This would be considered the first material for the modern roof and is the type most commonly used today because of its low cost, longevity, and they’re easy to repair.
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