The History Of Roofing Materials

A look into clay tile history

It is said that the first historically known clay roofing tiles have been used in Neolithic China as early as 10.000 B.C.!

5000 years ago, clay roofing tiles have been used in Babylon.

From there they made their way via Egypt and Greece to Rome. Rome was called the city of tiled roofs. The Romans introduced Middle Europe to their excellent characteristics and long lasting durability. Even today, buildings that have been “tiled” by the Romans exist.
In the 8th century, the Hiersar Monastery in Calw and later the monastery in Lorch, Southern Germany.

Clay roof tiles characteristic as “fire proof roofing” were recognized 1212 AD by King John of England as he issued building by-laws for London to eliminate combustible roof coverings. The devastating fires from 1679 in Boston prompted the establishment of building and fire codes in New York and Boston.

By the 18th century, tiled roofs had become the standard in Europe, wherever there was an abundant local supply of suitable raw materials. Back then, the “craft” of tile making was hard labor and required excellent knowledge of the materials and processes involved. Tile burning was done in piles, in which clay tiles and burning material, like coal or wood, was layered into stacks and covered by earth.

The first attempts in industrial production of clay roofing tiles were started in the 19th century. Improvements to the transportation infra structure and the availability of steam engines helped.

Advances in material knowledge and the introduction of the so called “ring kiln” by Hoffman in 1858 allow the further advance of the quality. With this kiln, continues burning was achieved. It allowed the gradually rising of the temperature and was fired by coal, thrown in from above.

New forms of clay roofing tiles were introduced and the development took a leap forward to the design and characteristics we know today. Interlocking, strong and durable clay roofing tiles with consistent quality are available to be used as long lasting roofing material. As the popularity of clay roofing tiles grew, transport and production were expanded.

Due to the increase in demand the method of delivery was changed. The use of clay roofing tile used to be limited to areas were horse drawn wagons could deliver them. This limited their distribution. This all changed with the introduction of motor vehicles.

Further easing of the work load was achieved with the introduction of early loading and crating systems.

In the early 1960s the mining of the raw clay was switched over to machinery. This was in part to the rise in demand for clay roofing tiles.

Europe has a long lasting clay roof tile history, that is highly visible if one looks at the roofs of major European cities. Now in the 21st century, the quality and durability of building materials is becoming increasingly important for the value minded home owner that can appreciate the superiority of clay roofing products.

The first Composite Shingle

The first composite roofing was used in New England in the 1840s. These roofs were usually made of a felted or woven fabric that was covered with a tar-like substance like pine tar and sand. Later improvements included saturating the fabric with asphalt and a mixture of materials like talc, sand, or powdered gravel or limestone. The first true composition roofing was credited to the S.M and C.M Warren Company.

This roofing was made of coal tar, which was a byproduct of the gas lighting industry, and rolled felt that was saturated with the tar and fine gravel. Roll roofing emerged in the last part of the nineteenth century and became commonplace at the beginning of the twentieth century. Roll roofing was soon replaced by asphalt shingles.

The idea of shaping asphalt roofing into individual shingles is credited to Henry M. Reynolds of Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1903. A roofing contractor and manufacturer, he started cutting stone-surfaced roofing into 8 by 16 inch shingles by hand, with a knife. Adding crushed granules of slate—a 1914 idea from F.C Overby of the Flintkote Company—helped weight such shingles down to the roof. From here a new industry seems to have sprung.

A big help was a push by the National Board of Fire Underwriters to eliminate wood shingle roofs, starting around 1911. World War I was a boost too because asphalt shingles made use of non-strategic materials. It was not until about 1915, however, that manufacturers perfected the machinery for roller-die cutting thick roofing into irregular shapes on a continuous production line, thereby opening a cornucopia of asphalt shingle products to the market.

Asphalt shingles were initially cut into 8 by 12 ½ inch pieces that were meant to imitate the wood shingles. Originally, the surfacing materials were natural materials like black or green slate. Several varieties of patterns were produced and attachment systems were introduced. Shingle sizes eventually became more varied.

The greatest innovation in the asphalt shingle industry was the introduction of the multitab strip shingle. Bird and Son introduced the Neposet twin, which was a 12 ½ by 20 inch shingle with a slot tab that divided the piece to look like two shingles. Larger pieces made the price of installation decrease while the tab pieces imitated wood shingles.

Prepared Roofing Manufacturers Association was later formed as a means to promote asphalt products as well as improve material quality. Also, asphalt shingles had a higher flame-resistance rating than wood shingles and were promoted by the manufacturers because of this fact. Pattern and size variety reached its highest point in the 1920s.

Shingles could be diamonds, appear thatched, or even have scalloped edges. The use of different felt sizes and granule coatings helped to create a shadowed effect. The variations of tabs and interlocking shingles made it easy to install pieces in a straight line and protect against the pieces being lifted by strong winds.

By the early 1930s, experimentation in sizes and shaped seemed to dwindle due to the upcoming Great Depression. Manufacturers had to cut their production and the building industry saw a dramatic decrease. Soon, a standard in shingle size was developed as being 12 by 36 inches, which was a multitab shingle and is still the industry standard today.

Though there was a dramatic decrease in size and shape variety, the amount of available colors seemed to grow exponentially. Colors were originally slate colored, which evolved to a variety of colors and blends. Decorative effects were available made from a wide variety of colors. Special rollers made it possible to put a texture on the top surface.

The Ruberoid Company was the first manufacturer to offer asphalt shingles with a rolled wood-grain texture. At the end of the 1950s, 12-by-36 inch, multitab, blue shingles were the most popular roofing material.

In the 1970s, a glass fiber-reinforced felt was introduced. This material had increased tensile strength and was thinner and more light-weight. Several layers of these felts were laminated together to give a dramatic shading effect.

Manufacturing Process

Felt, which is the primary ingredient in asphalt roofing, was made originally of wool rags, cotton, or paper. Wood fibers later became the main ingredient. Felt is produced in a roll and then saturated with asphalt flux. Asphalt flux is a distilled crude oil. The saturated felt is then passed through a pan where the coating is applied.

The coatings may have included mineral fillers like slate flour or powdered oyster shell. These materials helped to stabilize the mixture. The sheet was then passed under a shower of mineral or ceramic granules. Water was sprayed to cool the material, which was then rolled with a pattern to imprint either texture or patterns. The material was the cut with a rotary knife and possibly dusted with talc to keep the pieces from sticking to each other. Color could be created by adding fillers and granules in the desired colors.

Colors varied depending on the fashion or regional preference as well as the available technology. Ceramic-fired granules were introduced around 1930 and produced colors of natural stones. Asbestos was added to some shingles to increase fire resistance.

Uses and Installation

Asphalt shingles were used in replacement of wood shingles due to affordability. The asphalt and fiberglass shingles dominated the residential roofing market since their introduction. Shingles should be installed in an overlapping method to help move water downward. Shingles have several small pieces and joints but depend on the overlapping installation to keep water from penetrating these spots.

The amount of shingle exposed varied on every row. It was suggested that two layers of felt be used on low-sloped roofs. Shingles could also be fastened in a variety of ways. Originally, most shingles were nailed to the roof with the use of a tern-plate disk. The disks were made of a thick felt or cork. Large-headed galvanized roofing nails soon dominated the market as a method of fastening shingles. Spot cement could be applied after the shingles had been fastened, usually using a putty knife or caulking gun.

At the turn of the 20th century, when man-made building materials really began to take hold, manufacturers combined production innovations and marketing flair to produce a new kind of roofing generally called composition shingles: fibers of some sort saturated or mixed with a binder. Taking off in the building boom of the 1920s, these asphalt shingles were highly popular, not only for their ease of installation, and resistance to fire, but also for their astounding variety of novel shapes and colors—creativity that might cinch the sale of a house in a highly competitive market. Since many of these shingles styles are in limited production today (if made at all), understanding the basic asphalt shingles available in our grandparents’ era is the place to begin for anyone who faces a composition shingle restoration project.

Humble Origins
Before we look at the birth of the asphalt shingle, let’s step back to the 19th century to get a handle, if you will, on the pre-history of the composition roof. In the 1840s there was a ripe market for new roofing materials to build the growing towns of the Midwest and West Coast. Corrugated iron was the most promising innovation, however a few experimenters were taking another route by saturating layers of felt, paper, or flax with fish oil or pine tar, then covering this concoction with sand or ground shells.

Samuel and Cyrus Warren of Cincinnati were two of these pioneers who revolutionized this process in 1847. They found that coal tar—a waste product of the gas lighting industry—made an ideal adhesive for what we now call built-up roofs. Not to be overlooked was the fact that the gas companies would actually pay to have the stuff taken away. The brothers soon had a thriving business manufacturing and installing their roofing in Chicago, St. Louis, and Philadelphia. Other leaders in the industry were Samuel Barrett of Chicago and Michael Ehret of Philadelphia. In 1868, Ehret patented the slag (or cinder) roofing system, which used this material as a top coating.

Coal tar was a big boon to composition roofing, but as the gas companies found it had other uses in the nascent chemical industry, they started charging for it. Naturally occurring asphalt, the obvious alternative, had been tried for waterproofing roofs in the early 19th century, and by the 1880s large quantities were being imported from the Pitch Lake in Trinidad. However, it took the first oil well in Pennsylvania in 1859, and the subsequent growth of the petroleum industry, to make asphalt plentiful enough.

By 1889, composition roofing was a well-established contracting business. After 1900, one could buy essentially the same roofing coated with granulated stone from suppliers as common as Sears, Roebuck and Co.—the ubiquitous roll roofing that protects barns, garages, and industrial buildings.

Shingles Reborn
The idea of shaping asphalt roofing into individual shingles is credited to Henry M. Reynolds of Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1903. A roofing contractor and manufacturer, he started cutting stone-surfaced roofing into 8" x 16" shingles—by hand, with a knife. Adding crushed granules of slate—a 1914 idea from F.C Overby of the Flintkote Company—helped weight such shingles down to the roof. From here a new industry seems to have sprung. A big help was a push by the National Board of Fire Underwriters to eliminate wood shingle roofs, starting around 1911. World War I was a boost too because asphalt shingles made use of non-strategic materials. It was not until about 1915, however, that manufacturers perfected the machinery for roller-die cutting thick roofing into irregular shapes on a continuous production line, thereby opening a cornucopia of asphalt shingle products to the market.

By the late 1920s, the bulk of asphalt shingles on the market were not strip types, as they are now, but individual shingles (a regional specialty at best for most of today’s manufacturers). Individual shingles were not only the most logical product to make when processing large rolls into smaller forms, they were economical and easy to install. Many types of individual asphalt shingles found a ready market for over-roofing existing roofs, such as wood shingles.

Giant Shingles—
Individual rectangular shingles as large as 12" by 16" were often distinguished from standard or unit shingles, though each manufacturer had their own distinctions and terminology—Jumbo or Massive, for example. Produced in a variety of shapes—some designed to speed installation—and colors, such as brown, Spanish red, maroon, green, grey, black, and purple, they could be selected for a monochrome roof or combined for a “blended” effect. Giant shingles were installed in either the American method (where shingles overlap conventionally at their bottoms), or the Dutch lap method (where shingles lap to one side). At least one manufacturer offered them in mixed lengths that created the random exposures evocative of shake or thatch roofs.

French Method Shingles—
Asphalt shingles cut in a diamond or hex pattern, reminiscent of the chateau roofs of the Loire Valley, were often called French Method shingles and very popular. These shingles came in two common sizes—12" x 12" and 16" x 16" —often incorporating tabs or clips at the bottom corner to guard against wind lift. Colors tended to be stone tones of red, blue-black, green, and grey. A few companies tried coloring slate and gravel by 1919, but success was limited and the natural stone proved most durable. Because they only overlapped at shingle perimeters, asphalt French Method shingles provided just a single-coverage roof—that is, only one layer of roof material. This single thickness of asphalt was not always acceptable for new construction, but worked fine for over-roofing. Not content to clone a continental pattern, many manufacturers came up with their own spin on the French Method pattern by clipping the corners into a hex, or deforming the diamond slightly.

Interlocking Shingles
—Practical as they were, the large, exposed edges of individual shingles made of a flexible asphalt-and-felt base made them prone to wind-lift and subsequent breakage in storms or areas of the country with windy climates. Finding inspiration in a potential problem, manufacturers surmounted the wind-lift issue by conniving patterns to completely interlock the shingles.

With tabs and ears that slid into slots created in the previous course, interlocking shingles were mechanically similar to a self-sealing cereal box top. The industry evolved two general designs: long, uncut tabs (sometimes called T-lock, after the appearance of the shingle) and short, slitted ears. Besides creating an integral roof with decorative course lines much like a basket or quilt, interlocking shingles had the advantage of double coverage.

Though evidence of interlocking shingles is murky in the early 1920s, by 1929 these products are common in building product ads. They remain practical and popular to this day in high-wind prone regions of the country. Surprisingly, they also seem to have been well adapted to covering the rolled eaves used to evoke thatched roofs on many cottage-style houses of the 1930s and ‘40s.

Moving beyond true individual shingles, there once was also a whole class of strip shingles that came close to individual shingles in effect. Like decorative ceramic floor tile or paving bricks, their irregular, but mundane-looking, tabs belied clever patterns produced once the shingles overlapped on the roof.

Most popular were hex shapes, especially in two-tab strips. Appropriate for both new construction and reroofing, these strips were common in two sizes: Standard and Giant—the latter with a 13 1/2" tab.

Modified octagons in four strips were also marketed. Besides the interesting roof pattern, octagons could create a fiesta look by laying alternate strips in different colors. Octagonal strips were also appealing due to their small butts, which worked well around dormers and other angled areas.

The novelty strip concept could even be stretched to include Arabesque patterns, such as the Nelson Master Slab and Continental Artstrip, particularly popular after 1930. Ceramic granules, perfected in the 1930s, increased the color possibilities. By piling multiple colors of mineral on a single strip, manufacturers could produce a “tapestry” effect, more variegated than any natural roofing material could ever be.

As the 1940s dawned, there were even “broad shadow” strip shingles on the market, manufactured with early versions of the rhombus-shaped dragons’ tooth tab so ubiquitous today for textured architectural asphalt roofing products. Some shingles were even developed with specific house styles in mind. Whatever their purpose, their contribution to the architecture and historic character of a building is no less significant than the siding design or paint color. Though many of these products fell out of favor through the 1950s and 1960s, their delightful variety is starting to bring eye-appeal back again to asphalt roof shingles of the 21st century.


The roofing felt industry had started in Finland in the 1870s, and production capacity grew rapidly as the new century approached. Roofing felt competed with sheet metal and shingles as a roofing material. Fire safety regulations added to the popularity of roofing felt at the turn of the century.

In the years following Finland’s independence, Asfallti Osakeyhtiö Lemminkäinen developed strongly and the timing was right for the company to commence its own roofing felt production.

A new roofing felt factory was built on Fredriksbergs Street (since renamed Aleksis Kiven Street) in Helsinki, and production started up in the spring of 1920. Most of the roofing materials manufactured by Lemminkäinen ended up on the building sites of the company’s shareholders.

Tar Boy was born

The marketing of the new roofing material was handled with care, and the aim right from the start was to create a positive brand image for Lemminkäinen’s roofing felt products. As a result, Lemminkäinen’s Tar Boy brand was born in 1920.

In the original Tar Boy emblem the asphalt carrier braces his stance with two buckets of steaming asphalt dangling from a yoke on his shoulders. The two rolls of roofing felt beneath his feet are a reminder of the company’s new product. Over time, the Tar Boy established itself as the emblem of the entire company.


The roofing industry has undergone many dramatic changes over the last forty years. One of the earliest new products that caused the “industry revolution” was EPDM. This product endures today as a leading element in the market segment designated “flexible membrane roofing.” Here is the history of the development of this product type and some of the factors that have contributed to its long-term success.

EPDM is an elastomeric polymer synthesized from ethylene, propylene and a small amount of diene monomer. It was first introduced as a roofing material in the early 1960s. In its typical form for roofing applications, EPDM sheeting is a cured, or vulcanized, material and is thus classified as a “thermoset.” Simply defined, this means that the polymer’s molecular structure is “set” as a result of heating during the manufacturing process. The chains of the polymer are joined together, or “cross linked.” By the time the finished membrane is packaged for shipping, it is fully cured. Uncured EPDM membranes are sometimes used for flashings; but this material will eventually cure as it naturally ages under the exposure to UV light and heat. EPDM membranes for use with mobile homes are produced in black and white, are non-reinforced and in a thickness of 45 mils.

These membranes have achieved code ratings and approvals for installation in a number of different application configurations including mechanically fastened and fully adhered systems.

There are several reasons for the success these products have enjoyed over the years. These can be classified as material benefits, design benefits, installation benefits and manufacturer/supplier support and stability.

Weathering Benefits

One of the most important features a roofing material must possess is the ability to retain its physical characteristics throughout its service life. RoofWrap EPDM is highly flexible and pliable, making it able to accommodate structural movement and high and low temperature thermal stresses. It is resistant to some chemicals found on roofs, such as acids, alkalis, certain oils and oxygenated solvents. It is not, however, resistant to aromatic, halogenated or aliphatic solvents or other materials such as prolonged exposure to cooking grease of animal fats.

Design Benefits

As stated, EPDM membranes for mobile home roofs may be installed with two types of system applications. The most common installation is mechanically attached utilizing screws and attachment strips. EPDM membranes may also be fully adhered to rigid insulation board or an appropriate structural deck with water or solvent-based adhesives. Both systems eliminates the weight of other recover systems.

Many owners and contractors prefer mechanically fastened system because they are lightweight and easy to install. These systems are very attractive, smooth and clean in their final appearance.

Application Benefits

Early in the flexible membrane market explosion, owners and contractors recognized EPDM roofing as a cleaner, cooler and generally easier product to handle than the built-up roofs (hot tar or asphalt) to which they were accustomed. With very little capital investment, they were able to obtain all the tools and equipment needed to properly install an EPDM roof. These systems also offer low maintenance, easy repair options and low annualized cost. As with all roofing systems, careful attention to preparation and detail during installation is stressed. With the introduction of ‘peel and stick’ detail accessory products for EPDM systems, the application became even easier, cleaner and more simple. Many contractors have taken pride in establishing crews that specialized in the installation of EPDM membranes, thus positioning themselves to respond to owners’ growing demand for flexible membrane systems. The versatility in application methods has been very important to roof designers as they are able to create a design using EPDM for any roof shape, slope, height, and climatic exposures. Acceptance of EPDM as a suitable roofing material has been one of this market segment’s primary reasons for success.

Manufacturer Support and Stability

As competition in the industry intensified, one of the most often considered factors in product selection was the stability of the company supplying the product. Many of the early suppliers of EPDM roofing systems made a strong commitment to the industry by establishing extensive research and development efforts within their organizations, as well as a focus on customer support. This support took the form of contractor training, architectural specification guidance, and field support, as well as roof maintenance training for building owners. The number of companies still participating in the market evidences the stability of these suppliers. Those companies that failed to provide the necessary support were unable to sustain themselves. While those that remain today have upheld integral standards of quality control, customer focus, research and development, and design support. RoofWrap’s EPDM source has been trusted in roofing since 1908.

Rounding out the picture is the fact that EPDM has always been a competitively positioned product that has historically compared favorably against other roofing systems in terms of installation cost, availability of long-term warranties and attractive life cycle cost. These features provide good reasons for the architects, installers, building and homeowners to continue to select EPDM roofing systems.

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TPO Roofing was invented by the chemical company DOW in the early 1990′s. TPO Roofing means ?Thermalplastic Olefin? roofing. TPO membranes are made from ethylene propylene rubber, and are a combination of rubber and hot air welded seams. They have excellent resistance to ozone, are algae-resistant, environmentally friendly and safe to install. The material is sometimes advertised as a monolithic (seamless) roof.

TPO is highly tear resistant, resists impacts, and resists punctures with good flexibility to allow for building movement. TPO’s are available in white, light gray, and black with thicknesses of either 45 mils (.045″) or 60 mils (.060″). The width of the membrane depends on the manufacturer but they usually come in widths of six to six-and-a-half feet and are one-hundred feet in length.

TPO Roofing is a fully-adhered roofing. That means the roofing membrane is already attached to the substrate material with adhesive, thus it forms a strong chemical bond. TPO is highly heat reflective, fire resistant, and energy efficient. It also resists UV rays and dirt. TPO is also used in the automotive industry where it is known for impact resistance. This crosses over into the roofing industry where hail damage to roofs is a common concern.

Another advantage of TPO, for the Roofing Contractor and Manufacturers at least, is that there is a shift from some lower priced materials like EPDM to the higher priced TPO materials. Commercial roofing sales reached $3.3 billion overall in 2007 with single-ply products comprising the largest segment. TPO has been taking more of that large share.

As the green movement grows, TPO is becoming more and more popular, particularly because it is recyclable. Not only can it be recycled for roofing materials, but it can be burned as a fuel. TPO burns extremely clean with no toxic emissions when no flame retardants are present. It therefore has a high potential as a high energy fuel for waste-to-energy programs.

TPO roofs are considered ?cool roofs.? A cool roof can be defined in many ways by people or by different municipal codes. But basically, a cool roof reflects and emits the sun?s heat back skyward without allowing it to pass into the building or home. The more sun it reflects and emits, the cooler the roof. The Cool Roof Rating Council, CRRC, maintains an on line database of cool roof products. Some TPO roofs score high on the scale, some do not, so be advised.


This invention relates to single ply reinforced roofing membranes made of metallocence-catalyzed thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) sheets which cover industrial and commercial flat roofs, and, more particularly to such membranes which exhibit advantageously superior heat peel strengths and ultra low temperature flexibility.


Polymeric roof sheeting is used as single ply roofing membrane for covering industrial and commercial flat roofs. Such membranes are generally applied to the roof surface in vulcanized or cured state. Because of outstanding weathering resistance and flexibility, cured EPDM based roof sheeting has been rapidly gaining acceptance. However, a disadvantage of cured rubber roofing is that it requires the use of adhesive for joining and sealing the edges of membranes due to the lack of adhesion of rubber to itself.

Over the years, Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) has been widely used as heat seamable roof sheeting material. It eliminates the use of adhesive to provide an acceptable seam. However, conventional polypropylene based TPO roofing sheets are rather stiff, i.e. not flexible, which is disadvantageous for installation of such membranes in extreme cold weather.

Polyethylene having lower glass transition temperature than polypropylene provides enhanced flexibility, particularly in low temperature would be desirable roofing material to meet cold temperature installation requirement.

One critical requirement to be taken into account when selecting a heat seamable TPO resin is its long-term heat seam peel strength. A conventional Ziegler-Natta catalyzed polyolefin have a bimodal or broad molecular weight distribution. The low molecular weight oligomers extract out of polymer over time. The high extractables of Z-N catalyzed polyolefins are undesirable for heat seamable roofing materials because they bloom to the surface of the sheet and deteriorates the heat seam strength.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved single ply heat seamable TPO roofing sheets having advantageous low temperature flexibility and heat seam peel strengths.

Another object herein is to provide such roofing sheets in which its membranes have a 90° peel strength of ≧60 lbs/linear inch (ASTM D-413), and a cold brittleness point of ≦−50° C. (ASTM D-2137), over an extended period of use, and under a wide range of temperature conditions.

Cap (top) and base (bottom) sheets (layers) of a standard single ply reinforcement polyolefin roofing membrane was made of 100 parts of polyolefin resins (Z-N catalyzed LLDPE) and conventional ingredients, such as 0-80 parts of fire retardant, 0-55 parts of crystallinity enhancing polymers, 0-50 parts by weight of ethylene-propylene rubber (EPR), zinc oxide, UV and thermal stabilizers, carbon black, titanium dioxide and calcium carbonate, as is well known in the art.

The ingredients were mixed in a extruder at 200° C. and sheeted to a thickness of about 20-50 mils. A reinforcement scrim then was inserted between the top and bottom sheets, and the three layers were pressed into a 40-90 mil reinforced single ply membrane.

Guttering,Drip Edge and Roll Ridge Vent;

Benjamin Obdyke Incorporated is a building materials manufacturer based in the Philadelphia suburb of Horsham, Pennsylvania. The company was started by its namesake, Benjamin P. Obdyke in 1868. Benjamin P. Obdyke is credited with creating and manufacturing the first corrugated downspout while the company itself claims patents on three products that have been integral in the advancement of building practices over the past 20 years:

Roll Vent the first rolled ridge vent, Cedar Breather the first wood roofing underlayment, and Home Slicker the first rolled product to provide drainage and air flow in rainscreen wall assemblies. While the company’s origins are closely tied to the metal gutters and downspouts business, Benjamin Obdyke sold off that part of their business in the late nineties and now exclusively sells roof and wall products that help improve the building envelope, most of which feature the company’s patented matrix technology.

Benjamin Obdyke Incorporated was started in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1868 by Benjamin P. Obdyke after he returned from serving the Union Army in the American Civil War.[1] Obdyke invented and patented the round corrugated downspout,[2] beginning a long tradition of manufacturing innovative quality building products.

The company and product line grew over the years to include a variety of rain carrying equipment, roof edging and trims. The manufacturing process included roll formers and various stamping dies. The products were manufactured from Galvanized steel, copper and later aluminum (both pre painted and mill finish).

By 1997 the company was operating 26 roll formers in a 200,000 sq. ft. manufacturing and distribution facility located in Warminster, Pennsylvania. In 1988 BOI acquired the patent for a rolled ridge vent, which began a new era of innovative products such as Roll Vent, Rapid Ridge, Cedar Breather, and eventually Home Slicker.

In the late nineties the company was approached by another old line gutter manufacturer, Berger Brothers located in Feasterville, Pennsylvania with interest to acquire the metal manufacturing portion of the business. Based on the growth of the newer innovative products, the company decided to sell the metal business to Berger and did so in December 1997.

Today, the company actively markets its ridge ventilation and moisture management products under the Benjamin Obdyke brand to professional contractors all over North America through their diverse network of wholesale distributors.

Nice info thanks for posting.

Skylights & Roof Windows - A Short History of Roof Lanterns;

A roof lantern in its traditional form is essentially a glass and timber roof light, very much like a miniature conservatory roof, which is incorporated, usually into an area of flat roof, in order to introduce light into the area below.

It is also possible to incorporate a roof lantern into the ridge of a roof, and there are other areas where a roof lantern can work well if the design and installation are carried out correctly.

Roof lanterns were first used in the Georgian era at a time when the first orangeries and conservatories were being built. The roof lantern allowed light into the stairwell of a property and into other areas of the home, an important consideration when without electric or gaslight, candle power was the only lighting available and interiors could be dim and dark even on sunny days.

At the time glass was still made by hand and was thus expensive, so initially architects had to reserve the use of roof lanterns when designing fine town and country houses for wealthy clients.

In the second half of the Victorian era, glass started to be machine made and became more affordable. At the same time society became more affluent and the interest in glass structures influenced by the Crystal Palace built for the Great Exhibition of 1851, led to a greater demand for glass to be used in the building of homes,

Both the Victorian’s and Edwardian’s used roof lanterns wherever they were needed for both practical and aesthetic reasons - domestically to introduce light over landings and stairwells, in billiard rooms, reception rooms and kitchens. Roof lanterns were also incorporated into the design and architecture of hotels and in places of education and public buildings such as town halls and public libraries.

It is sadly true that many of these fine and imposing structures were prone to leak, due to the limitation of contemporary construction and sealing materials. What’s more, single glazing meant that they allowed heat to escape, so the areas beneath them could be uncomfortable or expensive to heat during the winter. Unfortunately, this meant that the owners often reduced the size of the roof lantern, and with it the available light, or boarded them over completely so that the area beneath had to be illuminated with electric light.

Ventilation was also sometimes required in these early roof lanterns and this could only be provided by manual opening via a crank rod to turn the window mechanism open or closed. Very inconvenient if it suddenly began to rain.

Modern Roof Lanterns & Skylights

Fortunately today we have the benefit of modern dry double glazing techniques, advanced sealing compounds and automatic electric mechanisms for opening and closing roof lantern windows.

These improvements, together with the use of sealed double glazed panels ensure that modern roof lanterns can maintain a traditional appearance while offering, structural Integrity and durability together with good insulation properties.

What’s more, the use of durable hardwood timber and high quality microporous paints and stains ensures that a modern roof lantern will last for many years with minimum maintenance.

Christopher Cooper’s background encompassed training in architecture and traditional boat building, both of these skills being put to good use in developing his roof windows and glass skylights business.

Starting in 1985 roof lanterns and roof windows became a regular item in the order book and whilst these initial projects were ‘one offs’ it quickly became apparent that there was an increasing need for a standard design which would enable more efficient production. This reduced manufacturing costs, and the savings were reflected in the price to consumer and trade customers. Today he is one of the largest suppliers of roof lanterns in the UK.

Driving on old roofing shingles may sound like a bumpy ride, but Acting Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider assured motorists that they won’t even feel the difference.

While legislators are confident that the new law will mean a smoother ride for motorists and the environment, the performance of these new construction projects will be continually monitored by the state.

Galvanized Nails;

We all are familiar with nails, which are pin-shaped, sharp objects made of metal or alloy and are commonly used as a fastener in woodwork, construction, engineering, etc. The history of nails can be dated back to 3500 BC, when bronze nails were used by the ancient Egyptians.

Even the Bible has references to nails, the most important one being the crucifixion of the Christ. From that time, till date, various types of nails were made and used by humans. At present, galvanized nails are the most commonly used one.

Nowadays, nails are easily available in thousands of varieties, but, earlier, nails were scarcely available and were valued so much. Before the invention of nail making machines, people used to make wrought iron handmade nails.

In fact, nails were so scarce, that every house had a nail making unit, where the family members used to make nails for their use as well as for sale. Nails were among one of the important commodities during that time and were used for barter too. It was so much valued that people used to burn down their houses, as they move from one place to another, so as to retrieve the nails for reuse.

It was during the 1600s, the first nail making machine was invented. This machine did not bring any significant changes in nail making industry, as nails were made one at a time.

During the early 1800s, a partially automated nail making machine was invented in the United States, that made the process simple. With time, fully automated nail making machines were invented and this facilitated the commercial production of nails in huge numbers and different varieties. Now, nails are made of iron, high-carbon and low-carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, etc. One of the popular types of nails is galvanized nails.Take a look at the various aspects of galvanized nails.

What are Galvanized Nails ?

As the nails made of iron or steel are prone to corrosion, there was a need for some coating to prevent rust. There are various grades of steel and some of them can fall pray to corrosion when exposed to the elements. The method of galvanization was invented by an Italian called Luigi Galvani.

This method involves coating the surface of iron or steel with zinc. Earlier, the nails were dipped in molten zinc or were applied with galvanic paint. There are three types of galvanization - electro galvanization, mechanical galvanization and hot-dip galvanization. Nowadays, hot-dip galvanization is mostly used, so as to ensure protection to iron and steel surfaces from corrosion. In short, galvanized nails are nothing other than those steel or iron nails, that are coated with zinc, so as to prevent corrosion.

In hot-dip galvanization, the steel is passed through molten zinc, which is at a temperature of 460° C (860°F). This coating, when exposed, forms a layer of zinc oxide and zinc carbonate, that prevents the steel or iron from getting exposed to atmospheric elements that cause corrosion. This applies to galvanized nails too and they are more durable than their counterparts. Read more on use of galvanized steel.

Galvanized nails can also be galvanized through electroplating, but, such nails are not found to be that effective (in fighting corrosion) as those, which are subjected to hot-dip galvanization. In case of electroplating galvanization, only a thin layer of zinc is coated on the nails, that may corrode, in case of continuous exposure to corrosive elements.

Hot-dip galvanization is always preferred, because, it creates a thicker layer of zinc, that is much effective in preventing corrosion for a longer time. While, electroplated galvanized nails are often found to be smooth and shiny, hot-dipped galvanized nails are rough in appearance. Electroplated ones are commonly used for indoor purposes, white hot-dipped ones are preferred for outdoor use.

However, electroplated galvanized nails are not used in redwood, cedar, or treated lumber, because the chemicals in the wood may cause corrosion of the nails. Galvanized nail sizes are described by their dimensions in millimeters. In the U.S., the sizes are described in ‘pennies’ too.

In short, galvanized nails are preferred to other ones, due to its durability, as they have a zinc coating to fight corrosion.

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