Monday, November 5, 2012

How to Choose the Best Hampton Roofing Contractor

Hampton Roads encompasses four centuries of American architectural history, much of which is still being unearthed today. For those who like to stay on top of things, the story can be told in roofing shingles. Evidence suggests that the first dwellings constructed by Jamestown settlers were crude buildings with sod or thatch for roofing, but soon these gave way to permanent structures protected by more durable roofing materials. Common 17th century roofing shingles were made by hand from abundant cedar or oak. A person of means could import premium slate shingles from Wales. Wood shingles contributed to the problem of rampant structure fires in the earliest decades of the 17th century. Slate was too rare to serve the growing market. Within a few decades, the need for a more practical and accessible material gave rise to colonial production of a variety of clay tiles for roofing. Just a few decades after that, an influx of skilled Welsh slate workers brought stone back to the forefront of the roofing trade. Wood shingles were mostly relegated to outbuildings and the humblest of homes. Thomas Jefferson is commonly credited for the rise of metal roofing, including shingles, in Virginia after the Revolution. It appears his primary interest was in tin, but copper also became popular. Sheet metal could be cut and stamped into decorative forms, making embellishment more affordable. It was the dawn of mass production. Wood, clay, slate, and metal shingles dominated the roofing shingle market throughout the 19th century, but another material was under development around the country. Composite roll roofing, composed of a fibrous material saturated with an oily substance and then topped with granular minerals, went through several developmental stages. By the turn of the century, a uniform product made of felt saturated with asphalt and topped with crushed slate was the standard. In roll form, the potential for visual appeal of asphalt roofing was extremely limited. It was also difficult to ship and subject to damage before application. In 1903 Henry M. Reynolds started cutting roll roofing into shingles, forever transforming the roofing industry. Finally, it was possible to manufacture shingles in an endless variety of sizes and patterns to meet the needs of residential, religious, and commercial buildings. The shingle industry of the past century has focused on improving the simple asphalt shingle. Interlocking shingles provided wind resistance. There was a faux shingle--a thin strip similar to three-tab shingles but in a continuous roll. More recently, replacing felt with fiberglass mesh has enabled the development of durable dimensional composition shingles that recall the shapes and textures of natural materials prized in by-gone eras. Today the roofing industry is focused on engineering environmentally responsible products. Superior insulating qualities, greater durability, cleaner manufacturing, and the use of recycled and renewable materials will be the legacy of contemporary roofing. From the First Landing to last building completion, the story of American progress is embodied in the rooftops of Hampton Roads. Exterior Experts of Virginia understands and welcomes the responsibility of preserving our heritage through a commitment to ongoing quality repair and restoration of our oldest and newest homes, churches, and commercial structures. Roofers Virginia Beach Virginia Beach Roofers

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