While the history of roofing obviously began in early human history, yet it wasn’t until the 20th century that modern roofing techniques began to take shape, due largely to a greatly a greater understanding of chemistry, combined with more efficient and effective methods of manufacturing that led – for example- to the production of the very first composite shingles. The following article details the evolution of modern roofing techniques:

Composite shingles

As their name suggests, composite shingles are made from a mixture of different materials, in contrast to the pure wood and stone shingles that had previously been used prior to 1903; the year in which Henry M. Reynolds of Michigan, USA invented the very first asphalt shingles, made from a form of petroleum called bitumen, in combination with shards of different materials which included brick, slate and quartz.

These had the advantage of being considerably less expensive than their predecessors, as well as providing a greater level of protection from ultraviolet (UV) light, and providing more heat insulation for homes; very useful at a time when central heating was not widely available.

Further development of the principles employed by Reynolds ensued with the multi-tab strip shingle, which was larger than had previously possible, as well as making installation an easier process. Variations of the multi-tab strip shingle were later designed to resist strong winds, which was a godsend to those living in areas prone to stormy weather.

Solar Panels

Another ground-breaking innovation was introduced in the 1990s
by the DOW Chemical Company introduced Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) solar panels to the roofing market. TPO panels employed ethylene rubber membranes in a single seamless structure to keep excess heat out of the home, while also protecting the house from algae and ozone rays.

Unlike composite shingles, TPO can be recycled for use in other products, as well as serving as a clean-burning fuel in its own right. While the technology comes at a price, technology is certainly advancing quickly, making TPO increasingly more affordable as time goes by.

Living roofs

These are constructed from vegetation placed in soil on waterproof covering. This releases oxygen into the environment and helps to keep the building through water run-off. These are expensive and maintenance is time-consuming, which is why there are very few living roofs, although as technology advances this may well change.

At DPR, we love roofing and we love talking about it. Our specialists are on hand with advice about a new roof or concerns about your old one. So, call Wakefield Roofers now on 01924 640019.