How are roofing materials different today than they were 30 years ago?

You may think that a roof is a roof, and how they were constructed 30 years ago couldn’t possibly be much different than what is taking place now. But with advancements in roofing technologies over the past 30 years, new Connecticut roofing materials can look just like the more traditional ones but perform much better and have less construction cost.

Below are some of the advancements in roofing materials we have seen over the last 30 years.


Asphalt shingles have been around for over 100 years. Paper, wood pulp, and cotton cloth once reinforced asphalt shingles. Today, however, they are reinforced with fiberglass fabric. The fiberglass material makes them more durable and adds to their lifespan.

Traditional slate, terra cotta, or clay shingles are now available in synthetic versions. These versions are lighter, more energy-efficient, and allow for more colors than traditional ones.

Traditional wood shingle or shake roofs are beautifully rustic but represent an extreme fire hazard. As a result, many communities in the United States have banned their use. However, synthetic versions of wood and shake shingles offer the same beautiful appearance while minimizing the fire hazard of traditional shingles and shakes.


Over the past 30 years, we have seen improvements in roof underlayment, too. If you’re not familiar with underlayment, it is that layer of protection between the metal or the shingles and the roof’s deck. The traditional thin layer of roofing felt has been replaced with a new synthetic material that is much less resistant to ripping or tearing away in high wind conditions.

In addition, the thickness of traditional underlayment has increased. Thirty years ago, Connecticut roofers used a 15-pound felt. Today, nearly all roofs are covered with a 30-pound synthetic felt. An adhesive has also been added that makes the felt much easier to install and helps the felt remain in place in high wind conditions.


Nails, tacks, and other fasteners represent the only penetrations into the roofing surface! Technology has improved quite a bit in the last 30 years. We have seen the transformation from copper to aluminum to steel to stainless steel and, finally, to galvanized steel.

Galvanized steel keeps the nail or tack from corroding and losing its integrity. We have also seen the addition of ribbed shafts that help keep the nail or tack in place within the wood decking.

If a nail corrodes or slips out, it leaves a hole for moisture to enter through. That’s why the advances in nail, tack, and other fastener technology have been vitally important.

Call MJT Roofing today!
There are so many things to be aware of as a homeowner when it comes to your roof. Over the next several months, we’ll continue to publish helpful content to our blog page so that MJT Roofing can be a go-to resource for you!
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