The Then And Now Of Roofs

The roof, it has so much history, yet so much potential that isn’t being used. In its most basic form, a roof is a covering on a structure that provides protection from the outside elements. Whether it’s the extravagant glass roof of the Grand Palais in Paris, or a structure of mud and hay keeping tribes people dry in a jungle, the roof still serves the same purpose. However, moving into the future the roof has potential to provide so much more than protection from the elements.

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Mud Roof
Mud roofs are common in countries where building materials are scarce. And in these situations a mud roof can work extremely well. Traditionally these roofs are made from water and clay, and a fibrous material to help strengthen the clay. Horsehair or even manure has been used in the past to give the roof strength.

Thatched Roof
No accurate date is known when thatching was first developed. It is a method of using dried vegetation, often straw, to provide a roof on a building. It is still a common method of roofing in developing countries where the materials available make it a cheap roofing option. In the UK and developed counties, it is the opposite. A thatched roof is an extravagance used by people in luxury houses to make them look better, or for people that have bought /inherited a house with a thatched roof. Thatched roofs are also used all over the world from Holland to Japan.

Modern Roofs
A modern roof is solid, safe and keeps you dry and warm. The earliest roof tiles that have been found date to Ancient Greece around 700 BC and yet today the same method of roof tiling is still being used. Roof tiles are often made from clay and sit in rows on a wooden structure onto which they are nailed. These types of tiles overlap each other so the rain water gets into the roof.
Many styles of roof tiles have been created over time from the Roman ridged style, to the flat tiles that you see on most houses in the UK. Considering we have been using clay roof tiles for over 2,700 years, they haven’t really progressed much with time. Why fix something that’s not broken?

Future Roofs
As previously mentioned, a roof has so much more potential than just deflecting rain. In the modern day, it’s not uncommon to find solar panels attached to a roof. With technology moving forward at a rapid pace it surely won’t be long before all roof tiles will capture energy this way. The potential to build houses with roof tiles that can harness the Sun’s energy is not far away. The materials can be connected to harness the sun and provide lower, cleaner energy costs from a renewable source. One day, these roof tiles will be standard practice when building the roof of the future.

Jamie is a writer and blogger for Brac London Roofing

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