Since the dawn of man, there have been roofs. Albeit, they were primitive and likely made of sod, but roofs nonetheless. One constant has remained throughout the centuries: the roofing type of the moment depended on available resources. From earth and plants to straw and clay, roofing was necessary for both shelter and protection from rain and other weather. Early shelters made of sod, for instance, were insulative yet didn’t keep out the pests or water seepage very well.

Clay roofs first made their debut in China more than 5,000 years ago, while there is evidence that Rome saw the first clay tiles back in 100 BC. Thatched roofs became popular in 700 AD, with wood shingles coming not too long after that. There was one problem, though, with thatched roofs: they caught fire easily. That’s why King John in 12th century London prohibited thatched roofs and demanded clay tiles instead. 

Not until the 19th century did mass production of clay roofing materials begin in earnest. Concrete tiles came about 100 years later, with a bit of coloring added in to complement the homes that they topped. The late 1800s also saw the widespread use of asphalt shingles, which are still the most popular choice today due to their cost efficiency, ease of installation and ready availability. Today, about 70 percent of U.S. roofs feature asphalt shingles, according to the History of Roofing. The last two centuries have seen the most dramatic changes in roofing materials and practices, but what homeowners use in different regions can vary depending on what’s most abundant and affordable.

Green roofing has really emerged in the last two decades as a sustainable approach to the industry, with high tech advances in glass, polymer and smog-absorbing tiles becoming popular. White roofing and solar panels are gaining in popularity as more and more homeowners attempt to harness the power of nature to decrease their home heating and cooling costs. This swing towards increased energy savings will bear witness to more eco-friendly roofing options in the years to come.

Need roof repair or replacement on your home? Call Stapleton Roofing today 602-737-2360 or visit!