Roofing has been around since the beginning of time in one form or another. Whether it’s a cave roof providing you shelter, a tarp over your head or something like a home, roofing is here to stay. Roofing has its earliest roots traced back to Siberia in 40,000 BC. That’s a long time ago. In 100 BC, Romans introduced a variety of slate and tile-based roofs, usually over open-air homes and amphitheaters. Let’s look at how roofing evolved.

A Brief History of Roofing

From there, in 735 AD, the next big jump in roofing came in the form of thatch roofs. Thatch roofs were made with everything from trees to leaves to other forest debris. These roofs couldn’t withstand much wind or rain in early forms but over time, thatch roofs were developed that worked much better. In fact, in some areas of Northern Europe, they’re still used for everyday roofing in rural areas.

300 years late wood shingles were developed and began to be used on homes. This became the go to method for roofing starting in England and being adapted throughout Europe and Asia. Eventually, wood roofing came to the Americas and became the standard there, too.

Over time, roofing materials developed and evolved over time. Wood shingles and roofing methods became the standard. With that, new ways to roof were developed, too. This offered more protection, security and stability for a home’s roof. While wood roofing remained the standard into the 18th century, eventually, roofers realized how dangerous wood shingles could be when fire was involved.

Lightning strikes, accidental fires and more could easily light not just one home on fire but spread quickly to others. Over the next two centuries, asphalt became more popular not just in building but eventually roofs. Asphalt shingles were developed, evolved and mass produced into the 19th century which became the standard for roofing. In fact, many insurance companies threaten to drop policies if you aren’t using asphalt shingles.

As you can see, this brief history of roofing highlights how roofing is ever evolving.