Renaissance in Natural Roofing Materials – Part 1

Over the last six months we have been stripping off many clay pantile roofs and replacing with concrete tiles.

This led me to wonder why, natural products are being disregarded for man made tiles.

Concrete tiles are subject to health and safety guidelines as when cut, they create Sila dust.

So the concrete tiles are not ‘green’.

A bit of History about Roofing and Roofing Materials.

 The use of clay roof tiles in the U.K dates back to the Romans.

The Romans used under and over tiles which is similar to Spanish and French roof  tiling methods

Cylindrical tiles lay flat on mortar, and are then covered using a further cylindrical tile.

This is where the term ‘Double Roman’ as used in modern concrete tiles was derived.

Plain flat clay tiles came into general use around the 12th or 13th Century.

Overlapping tiles such as the clay pantiles, came to Britain from the Netherlands around the 16th Century.

Clay tile production in the U.K was fairly small, so between the World wars when demand for new homes was high, clay pantiles flooded into the U.K from Europe.

Thousands of homes were covered using these European clay tiles, and we are now just starting to carry out re-roofing using modern concrete refurbishment tiles.

Just after the second world war concrete tiles really took hold, clay was hard to find, so Britain invested heavy in automated production lines to make cheaper concrete tiles.                


Clay tiled roofs are made from natural roofing materials that go back to roman times

To Be Continued…………………….

Caroline Scheel


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