A Brief History of the Roofing Industry

Ever since the beginning of mankind, there has been a need for roofing. With the exception of camping, nobody likes to sleep while exposed to the elements, and even the earliest human beings shared this basic need for adequate shelter.

Cavemen covered their structures with the earliest, most basic sod roofs made of earth and plants. Since these primitive forms of roofs were not vermin or waterproof, cavemen would eventually venture out and build freestanding homes, with the earliest roofing materials being mammoth skins dating back to 40,000 B.C. Clay tiles would not be used in roofing until roughly 3,000 B.C. in China, with similar earthenware tiles emerging in Greece and Babylon shortly after. After being adopted by the Romans and brought to England around 100 B.C., clay tiles would become the primary roofing material in Western Europe for the next 800 years.

Research shows that the first thatched roofs made from trees, leaves, and other forest debris were developed and used around 735 A.D. Wood shingles were introduced roughly 300 years later, eventually spreading and seeing advancements throughout Europe and Asia. By the 12th century, wood shingles had become the primary form of roof and would remain so through the 18th century.

Clay roofing tiles would not be industrially produced until the 19th century, with concrete tiles being developed 100 years later. Roofers would eventually begin to add pigment to concrete tiles in the 1900s to create the resemblance of clay tiles.

The Modern Roofing Industry

The most substantial changes in roofing have come during the last 200 years, with modern roofs having very little in common with the reed and clay roofs of old. Eco-friendly materials and energy conservation have since become the focus of the roofing industry, with homeowners and businesses having access to a variety of aesthetically pleasing choices at affordable costs. While styles and materials have changed over time, one thing remains constant: the desire and need for roofers to build safe and comfortable shelters.

Need a new roof? Contact our trusted Phoenix and Tucson roofing professionals at Lyons Roofing today. We have been setting the standard in roofing excellence since 1993!