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The History of Roofs

Man has been around for a long time now and over the years we have endured a great deal of development. It’s strange to think that in such a technology driven world we didn’t even have a public supply of electricity 136 years ago! In fact, the very first telephone call between Alexander Graham Bell and his assistant took place 5 years before we even had public electricity in 1876! Man’s tendency to build and create began a long time ago and here at Valent Roofing, we’re going to go over the history of roofs…

  • Cavemen are said to have covered their structures with earth and plants and whilst they were not particularly waterproof, they provided very effective insulation against the elements.


  • In around 735 AD, thatched roofs, which is a roof built with materials such as straw, were created. Around 300 years later, wood shingles were introduced.


  • It has been discovered that the first known use of clay tiles occurred around 5,000 years ago in China and in 100 BC, the Romans brought variations of it to England.


  • Due to the easy spread of fire, King John of England issued a law in the 12th century which stated that all London inhabitants had to replace thatch roofing with clay tiles.


  • With industrialisation taking hold, clay roofing was industrially produced at the beginning of the 19th 100 years passed and concrete roof tiles were used for the first time too. In the early 1900’s, a pigment was added to the concrete to help it appear more aesthetically pleasing and in the 1970’s Germany began to develop green roof systems.


  • Over the years, we have come a long way in terms of roof developments and advances in glass, polymer and smog absorption means that the door is wide open for future progress. It is expected that environmentally friendly roofs will be the next big trend.

Here at Valent Roofing, our speciality relates to anything and everything to do with industrial roofing. If you’ve got a question regarding a roof, get in contact with a member of the team today – we’d be happy to help!


Valent Roofing, 500 King’s Rd, Stretford, Manchester, M32 8JT
Telephone: 0161 864 3311
Fax: 0161 864 3322

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