ORIGIN OF “ROOF”
before 900; Middle English (noun); Old English hrōf; cognate with Dutch roef cover, cabin, Old Norse hrōf
Since the dawn of early humans there has been a need for protection from the elements.
Throughout history roofs have been made from available resources. The earliest roofs constructed by man were probably a type of thatched roof made of straw, leaves, branches, or reeds; they were usually set at a slope, or pitch, so that rainfall could drain off them.
Early people were limited to whatever materials could be found naturally. In tropical areas, palm fronds were a practical choice, still used today. The American Indians made their tipis out of animal skins and mud with straw roofs were used across ancient Africa.
The first glazed clay roof tile was used in China over 5,000 years ago. The ancient Greeks used flat earthenware roof tiles between 4,000 and 5,000 years ago and the Romans brought variations of the Greek clay tiles to England as early as 100 BC.
It was not until the 19th century that industrial production of clay roofing tiles began, before then they were handmade. Concrete roof tiles were introduced in the early 1900’s and pigments added to resemble clay roofing tiles.
There is a huge selection of roofing materials in use today. In conservation terms the preferred covering in the North West of England is natural slate or tile as this is often dictated by local planning laws.
Metal Roofs: Zinc, Aluminium, Copper and Lead
Metal roofing has been used throughout history as it is extremely durable and flexible. Until recently, metal roofs were extremely expensive and because of this, they were reserved only for the very rich or used in important buildings such as, government buildings, places of worship and museums.
Modern Roofing has come a long way
Today’s roofing products are engineered for choice and selection and for durability and versatility. Many affordable choices are available to homeowners and builders today. Whatever roofing solution you choose for your home, you can be sure there’s a long history of human ingenuity, hard work and craftsmanship behind it.