The Adobe home was a typical structure of the Hopi, Pueblo and Zuni tribes inhabiting the American Southwest to include New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. These dwellings are still an ideal structure for dry desert climates and some of these original buildings which are still alive and well today, date back hundreds of years, thus allowing a glimpse into their rich history and cultural roots.
Adobe houses were designed for the elements and climate as they have very thick walls that allow for cooler temperatures in the summer and warmer occupancy in the winter. Adobe literally means a building material combination of earth and straw which forms a heavy clay that is sun-dried into brick molds and attached to one another. The mortar used by the ancient Pueblos and other Southwestern cultures consisted of mud and water.
Roof design evolved around 1850 in the American Southwest. While original adobe roofs were mainly constructed of the same elements used in the walls and interior, it was discovered that this was simply not enough to keep water out and to last with minimal upkeep.
Naturally, with our modern desire for convenience and sustainability, the roofs on these prevalent New Mexican dwellings needed some improving. Therefore, many adobe homes today have an added layer of tar and gravel to prevent water from entering the home. They are also limited by city ordinances to not go over a single story in height.
TPO and Modified Bitumen are two other effective materials which have evolved to preserve this timeless flat-roofing style. Some original adobes have even transformed into pitched roofing which of course opens up a whole new world of variations in roofing materials, please see our Services page for further details on all of the various roofing materials and styles offered on a modern and/or well-preserved adobe home in Albuquerque, NM.