Unique Roofing Materials

Did You Know About Unique Roofing Around the World?

We are all familiar with traditional types of roofing, but you may be surprised to find what has been used all around the world. Here are just a few:

  • Seaweed

In Denmark, traditional roofing was made of Eelgrass. This kind of unique roofing originated on the island of Læsø in Denmark. Læsø was a huge resource of salt and several hundred salt kilns were built, which required constant fuel. Eventually, the hungry kilns depleted lumber sources, causing deforestation. Having no wood to build homes, the islanders began building their homes out of driftwood and eelgrass. Because the materials were subject to large amounts of salt water, they were immune to decay and could last for many decades. This is a common practice in Denmark currently, but there are still a few homes left with seaweed roofs, a reminder of the resourcefulness of past islanders.

  • Plastic Water Bottles

Plastic water bottles are often repurposed in many different ways. Many people have decided to try roofing with them. A concept was created called HOME₂0 roof system. This system would send pallets of water bottles to those affected by natural disasters. Once the water is distributed, the water bottles would be returned and used to make roofing for disaster housing. They would also use the pallets and any other materials involved to aid in the building process. While plastic water bottle roofing isn’t widely used, there are many efforts being put into making it possible in the not-so-distant future.

  • Porcelain

In Tianjin, China, there is a house whose roof is made of antique porcelain pieces. The house is covered in more than 400 million pieces of ancient Chinese porcelain chips and more than 13,000 ancient Chinese vases, bowls, and plates. It is also decorated with 300 white-marble carvings and 20 tons of natural crystals. The ceramic pieces come from many different eras. The Porcelain House, as they call it, has been turned into a museum. The roof is lined vertically with all different kinds of porcelain vases and in between is filled in with thousands of porcelain chips. While roofing houses with porcelain isn’t very practical, The Porcelain house attracts visitors from all over the world.

  • Tin Cans

People have used many different types of cans, such as soda cans and large food cans. They do this by removing the tops and bottoms of the cans, cutting them in half and then flattening out the sheet that is left. The cans can then be shaped into different styles, depending on the look you would like. The benefits of using this method are that they are lightweight, decently sturdy and it is cheap. Using cans you would usually just throw away may now be reused instead. This also makes it better for the environment. 

  • Recycled Tire Rubber

New roofing technologies have been able to take the rubber from old tires and create rubber slate. The rubber does not chip or break like asphalt shingles. The rubber roofing is not only less prone to cracking and leaking, it is also flame-resistant. The rubber can also last up to 50 years with regular maintenance and is usually more affordable than traditional roofing options.

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