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ROOF TILES – SHELTER FROM THE STORM
Mankind has always had a basic instinct for food, warmth and shelter, and over the centuries has constantly sought comfort in the home. The first roof tiles were used as early as 4,000 years BC in ancient Greece, and these simple items have given us shelter from the rain and snow ever since.
Stronger, cheaper and more fire-resistant than previously used thatched roof materials, the humble tile has gone from strength to strength, and is now available in many forms and materials.
Concrete tiles have become increasingly popular in recent years, mainly for two reasons. The material is substantially cheaper and easier to work with than the old-fashioned slate, and, unlike clay, it doesn’t require the proximity of a local clay quarry. Some manufacturers also offer hard wearing plastic tiles.
Tiles come in various colours, shapes and sizes, interlocking to form a snug and watertight fit. Contrary to popular belief, roof tiles aren’t all just flat and rectangular. Roman tiles have a concave curve, while pantiles are S-shaped to allow for a raised, more attractive profile. Imbrex tiles, developed thousands of years ago, create channels to take rainwater away.
In 2009, a roof tile was developed that can turn white during hot weather. This may have an important environmental benefit, as the brighter roof could absorb heat during the day, lessening the energy consumption of the house at night. roof tiles, it would appear, continue to evolve and develop in this ultra-modern age.