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A Fourth of July Perspective on Colonial Roofs

colonial-roof

A Fourth of July Perspective on Colonial Roofs

Happy Fourth of July! This is a day to celebrate those brave souls who stood up against a tyrannical government and won our freedom. It’s interesting to note that although centuries of time and progress separate us, we share many similarities with our founding fathers. The freedoms then were different, but we all share the basic needs of food and shelter. Just like us, the founding fathers had to keep their houses, barns, living quarters well maintained, and a roof over their family’s heads…literally! That roof had to be well maintained and free of holes and cracks to keep the weather, animals, and other intruders out.

Our founding fathers didn’t have a lot of choices when it came to roofing materials. Wood shingles were the norm, as part of the American colonial architecture. The most common kind of home found in 1776 called the Georgian, which grew out of the Italian Renaissance. This style can still be found in seaboard cities such as Annapolis and Williamsburg, where historic buildings have been preserved.

We’re not quite sure how those wooden shingles held up to the bitter winters and scorching summers of New England. Today’s wooden shingles are a different breed, made in factories so they are uniform in size and specially treated to make them weather resistant and easy to install. No doubt the roofs in 1776 were a dull, weather-beaten gray or brown color while we now enjoy the luxury of selecting from a variety of  shingle colors  to reroof our house. We also have a variety of roofing materials besides wood shingles to choose from, including composite and asphalt materials.

In 1776, when your roof was damaged from the latest storm and drops of rain were plopping into the fine china tea cups you had just set out in the parlor, was there someone in town who could repair your roof quickly for you? Or did you just grab your children and friends and get up on the roof? You can just imagine how difficult it was to install and repair the roofs back in 1776, without power tools, sturdy metal ladders and shingles at the ready, not to mention making the repair itself without safety gear and weather forecasts! Thank goodness we have quality roofing professionals to care for our roofs, keep our exterior weatherproof and our interiors perpetually clean and dry. We live in a time where it is much easier to keep a roof in good condition—and that’s good news for our homes!

Certainly, the first American citizens cared just as much about the style of their roofs as we do today and we still admire the architecture of their time. Today’s architects are often inspired by these nostalgic roof designs, and many people choose to replicate them with modern materials and installation methods. No doubt the American Revolutionaries would be jealous of the architectural autonomy we have with our roofs, as well as the durability and weatherproof nature of the materials we use.

Our country has come a long way in so many ways, and it’s interesting to note that roofing is among them. Of course, we wouldn’t have the homes, the economy and the businesses of our time if it weren’t for our founding fathers whose work helped build a stronger America so we could build stronger roofs! At Pro-Home Services, we salute America and the freedom to be a roofing contactor in this wonderful, free country. If ever we can be of service for your roofing needs, please don’t hesitate to contact Pro-Home Services  at 630.790.0800.

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