Slate as a roofing material dates back to the 13th century when it was used as roofing on castle towers in Europe. Before that time, thatch was the primary type of roof for many structures in Europe. As the need for a more fire and weather resistant roof became apparent, slate became an increasingly popular means of covering the roofs of castles and churches. It would have probably been used on more homes and farm buildings during medieval times but the only people who could afford to use slate as a roof material were the nobility and the clergy.
As the utility of this flat, mostly waterproof rock became known, slate mines opened in Wales, Spain, and other areas in Europe to meet the demand. Over time, the cost of slate eventually decreased and it gradually became the roofing material of choice in much of Europe. The presence of beautiful slate roofs on hundreds of historical buildings in Europe attest to this. Slate also became an important roofing material in North America shortly after the continent was colonized by the English and French. It was used on many colonial structures and often recommended in building ordinances for its fire resistant qualities. Slate continued to be an important roofing material until the 1920's with the advent of cheaper, more easily produced asphalt shingles. Nevertheless, slate continues to be used in historic areas although high quality imitation tiles are becoming increasingly popular in many parts of the country.
Learn more about the advantages of imitation tile by emailing or calling DaVinci Roofscapes today at 1-800-328-4624.