Domestic architecture has had an immense variety of forms throughout the history of civilization. Homes likely started as constructions of bricked mud, sometimes reinforced by plant stalks. Roofs also can be made out of thatched plant stalks to seal a home from weather. Thatched roofing consists of dried plant stalks that form straw. Wheat straw and rye straw can be used. Thatching itself is a process that involves stacking crisscrossed layers of straw to form a tight seal.
Weatherproofing is the most important aspect of roofing. It is essential that the materials used can effectively keep out rainwater and wind. Usually, when a roof needs repair or replacement, it is because water is leaking through the roof and through the ceiling.
There are a wide variety of materials with which one can make a roof. While thatched roofing has been used for a long time, and is still used today, advancements in technology have allowed for other materials to become popular. The most popular materials with which to make a roof include slate, metal, ceramic tile, concrete, and asphalt. Membrane roofs can be made of plastic, bitumen, or other materials. It features large sheets of material, as opposed to smaller shingles or tiles.
Shingles are not actually a material themselves, but like thatching, they are a method of arranging materials in a way that seals out moisture. They are flat objects, usually tiles, arranged so they overlap and form a tight seal. Shingles can be made out of many different materials. Sometimes they are made out of wood.
Slate is a useful material because it can be made into thin layers that can be easily shaped into lightweight tiles. Stone and concrete can also be used. They are less expensive, but also heavier. Ceramic tiles have been used for centuries and are another material that works well for roofs.
Metal shingles are a lightweight option. Metal roofs can also be accomplished with corrugated metal or a variety of other shapes. The benefits of a metal roof are that the materials are less expensive and lightweight. Also, metal can be shaped into an enormous variety of shapes, and it is a relatively easy process to make metal very thin.
Constructing a roof is a complex practice that involves many different materials. The materials you will want for your own roof will depend largely on the area in which you live. Your needs should be assessed by considering the climate and daily weather of your region. Hurricanes are a concern, so roofs in affected areas should be secured to prevent damage. Knowing what materials work best in your conditions will help you and your roofer make the right decisions about which roof style will work best for you.