Asphalt is the most commonly used roofing material for both residential and commercial roofs. It’s a versatile material that can be made into shingles or used as a component for roof membranes. Many homeowners already know much about how they can benefit from installing an asphalt roof, but not a lot know about the material’s history.
In this post, Homecraft®, Inc. discusses the brief history of asphalt as a roofing material.
In the early 1800s, roofers would lay a piece of fabric on the roof and coat it with a sticky substance, usually pine tar. This created a roofing material that you can consider as a predecessor to modern-day membranes. The main purpose of this tar-coated fabric was to serve as a waterproofing cover for the roof.
By 1847, two roofers in Newark, Samuel M. Warren and Cyrus M. Warren, started replacing the costly pine tar with coal tar. The shift was due to coal being more readily available, as it was a waste product from the then-booming gas light industry. These two asphalt pioneers also found out that asphalt from Trinidad Lake can be combined with oil byproducts to create an easy-to-mix roofing pitch.
The Modern Day Asphalt
The rise in the petroleum industry was a boon for asphalt roof manufacturing. The Warrens no longer had to rely on coal tar and instead switched to purse asphalt. By the end of 1850, it became common practice to use rag felts that were saturated in petroleum asphalt and then surfaced with slate chips. This was the predecessor to modern day asphalt shingle roofs. Advances in technology and techniques would refine the shape and look of these roofs into the familiar roofing system today.
A Hardy Roof
Asphalt shingles today, especially from leading contractors like Homecraft, Inc., are widely considered one of the best all-season materials due to a combination of high durability and weather resistance. With regular maintenance and preventive roof repair, it’s not uncommon for an asphalt shingle roof to last 30 years or more.
Asphalt roofs also come in more colors compared to cedar roofs, making them a more versatile roof material in terms of aesthetics. This makes them the ideal choice for both traditional and contemporary homes.
At Homecraft®, Inc., we are proud to offer high-quality asphalt shingles from GAF. We are one of the top roofers in Middletown, Bear and Newark. We believe in rendering quality work for our customers while adhering to our values of honesty, reliability and integrity. Call us today at (877) 494-0377 to learn more about our services. We offer complete roofing services in Newark, Middletown and Bear, DE.