Humans have only three basic needs: food, clothing, and shelter. From the dawn of civilization, humans have needed to keep the elements at bay. Caves were popular as they were natural to the environment and stayed warm and dry. They also protected from animals as well which were hungry and eyed the food humans cooked.
When caves weren’t available, humans used tree branches and leaves and sod to hold their shelters together. Hides from animals were popular as well as whatever material was around. Clay was a readily-available material used in China, Greece, and Babylon 5000 years ago. Thatch (dry vegetation such as hay, rushes, heather, and palm leaves) was a popular material in the Middle Ages for those who could not afford clay tile roofs. Wood followed suit around 1000 AD. However, both were susceptible to fires, which would destroy the mostly rudimentary shelters of the common person, which led to King John issuing a decree that all people in London must replace their thatch and wood roofs with tile in the eleventh century.
Concrete, a building material that had been invented by the ancient Romans, wasn’t used as a roofing material until the early 1900s, mostly due to the fact humans hadn’t yet figured out a way to support a concrete roof. The asphalt shingle first made its appearance as a roofing material in the 20th century. It quickly gained popularity and is still the top roofing material for houses.
What all these shelter designs had in common was one thing: a roof.
PRN Roofing, the leading roofing contractor in Tuscaloosa, offers residential roofing, commercial roof installation, and multi-family roofing services. We will install, repair, or replace your roof, no matter the roofing material chosen. We’ll help with insurance claims, and we offer free estimates, so you can budget appropriately. We’ll also professionally inspect your roof to give you a good idea of any damage. Contact us today!
ROOFING MATERIALS OF TODAY
In the last 200 years roofs have made leaps and bounds in terms of functionality, affordability, and aesthetic value. Homeowners today are much more sophisticated and forward with what they want in a roofing material. Eco-friendly materials as well as energy efficiency have become the focal point of roofing research and development. Inexpensive, long-lasting, and low-maintenance roofs are the top values homeowners and businesses are looking for when choosing a roofing material. Advances in materials, smog absorbing tiles, and solar panels built into the roof itself aim to save money while still being functional and aesthetically pleasing.
The Scandanavian peoples were onto something when sod was the roofing material of choice in the 17th century. Sod roofing is back, which is a hyper-green roofing material. Sod roofing used to be a layer of wood covered on top with birch bark to prevent water from leaking in and a layer of grass or sod as an outer layer.
Modern sod roofing is essentially the same. However, special layers have been added for water dispersal and drainage, wind-protection added, and a way to encourage the sod or grass to grow. Green roofing is very aesthetically pleasing, provides excellent insulation, and is a long-lasting roofing material.
Besides the initial upfront cost to metal roofing, metal roofing really has no downsides. Metal roofs can mimic other roofs in look. They are durable, fire resistant, and upkeep is virtually non-existent. Metal roofs are energy efficient, preventing the sun’s rays from penetrating the metal roof and heating the attic, which causes your air conditioning to kick into overdrive in the summer months.
Steel roofs are environmentally friendly, with most built from recycled materials and are recyclable themselves when replaced. Metal roofs are lightweight, allowing them to be installed over your old roof, which saves on space in the landfill and results in more insulation. And steel roofs are extremely long-lasting, with many steel roofing companies offering lifetime warranties on these roofs.
Slate roofs were the norm in Europe in the 1870s up until WW1, as the steam engine allowed the manufacturing of slate tiles to become cheaper and as transportation systems became much more efficient.
Slate is waterproof and is the most affordable roofing material to make in terms of cost. It’s beautiful to behold, with no two tiles alike, and insanely durable, able to last up to hundreds of years with hardly any maintenance. It’s fire resistant and almost invulnerable to insects and rot. The downside to slate is it is expensive upfront since it is a metamorphic rock that has to be culled from the earth and shaped, and it is heavy, making extra support from the building necessary. Slate is also delicate, so simple tasks such as cleaning your own gutters may require a professional instead.
Roofing materials account for more than 5 percent of the total waste sent to landfills across the nation every year — the majority of this being asphalt roof shingles, which need replacing every 20 to 30 years. Slate is exceedingly environmentally friendly since the roof will last well over 100 years.
Far and away the most popular roofing material due to its affordability and versatility, asphalt shingles, followed closely by composite shingles come in many styles and colors. Composite roofs are clean-looking, with some being made from fiberglass or asphalt as well as recycled materials. Invented by Americans in 1901, asphalt roof shingles are durable and reflect the sun’s heat, leading to overall savings in energy costs.
Like steel roofing, composition roofing can be placed over existing roofing. This roofing material is easy to install, maintain, and walk upon. It’s extremely resistant to moisture, mold growth, and algae. Asphalt roof shingles can be replaced individually if damaged, leading to a low-cost maintenance solution. Its main drawbacks are tearing off in high winds and damage from high heat. Composite roofs, however, are rated highly for fire resistance.
THE PRN ROOFING DIFFERENCE
PRN Roofing in Tuscaloosa is a top-rated roofing contractor. We do it all, from roof installation, roof repairs, and roof estimates for insurance purposes to roof replacements. We can advise you on which roofing material will be best for your home and have our professional roofing installers out to your home promptly. We install asphalt roofs as well as all others, and we specialize in roof shingle repair and roof restoration. We pride ourselves on installing some of the best roofing systems for commercial clients, as well as for new construction and multi-family housing units. Steep-pitched, low-pitch, or flat roofs of all types are no problem.
In addition to any and all roofing projects under the sun, PRN Roofing in Tuscaloosa also offers gutter cleaning services for both residential and commercial properties. While you’re getting a new roof installed, you might as well complement it with a new exterior home paint job. PRN Roofing also paints homes and businesses to make your office, commercial space, or home bright and lively again. Last but not least, we also offer siding services to match your home and roofing perfectly.
As your local roofing company in Tuscaloosa, PRN Roofing has got all of your roofing and exterior housing services covered. Contact us today for a free estimate!