As a homeowner, it’s important to be aware of ways to reduce the risk of fire to your home. Fires are usually unpredictable, getting started by blocked chimneys, fireworks, lightning strikes, fireworks - even foul play. If you live somewhere that’s prone to wildfires, or if your area has been hit by a prolonged drought, it’s time to think about taking a proactive approach to reducing your roof’s risk of fire.
START WITH THE BASICS - A STRONG, FIREPROOF ROOF
An intact roof offers the best protection against fire. If there are gaps in the structure of your roof’s coverage caused by missing shingles or tiles, or if your roof is nearing the end of its guaranteed lifespan, the chances of your home being damaged by water or fire increase dramatically.
When choosing roofing materials, consider its fire rating, and make sure that it’s appropriate for your climate and location. Check with your local zoning office for more information on which type of roofing materials work best in your area.
Materials with the highest fire rating, A, include slate as well as tiles made from an asphalt and fiberglass composite, clay, concrete, recycled rubber automobile tires, and metal. Asphalt shingles in combination with a fire-resistant underlayment have excellent fire-retardant abilities at a reduced cost. All of the materials listed above won’t ignite easily, even if a heavy bit of burning wood sits on them for a few hours.
Pressure-treated shake or shingles are among the materials with a B fire rating B. They provide moderate protection against fire and will not ignite if a small bit of burning wood sits on them for about an hour.
Materials such as untreated wooden shingles, particleboard, and plywood have a C fire rating. These catch fire after roughly twenty minutes, even when exposed to a small flame. Since they ignite easily and provide the least protection, try to avoid C-rated materials, especially if you live in an area prone to house-fires.
Starve The Flames.
STARVE THE FLAMES
Fires won’t burn without fuel to keep them going. It’s important, therefore, to keep your landscaping neat and tidy. Cut back overhanging trees so that burning limbs won’t fall onto your home. Make sure the roof and its surrounding areas are free of debris such as leaves, sticks, moss, and trash. To avoid a potential disaster, store firewood as far away from your house as possible.
STOP THE SPREAD
Your roof's fire rating isn't important if burning materials can get at it from below. Keep out wind-borne embers by covering soffit vents and eaves with fine metal meshing. Make sure that ventilation stacks and upper-level windows are in good working order, not cracked or otherwise broken. Install firestops within your roof's internal structure to keep wind-borne embers from spreading fire to your home's wooden framework.
To find out more about how to keep your roof and everything below it safe from fire, contact our experts from Professional Roofing Contractors. We've had decades of experience installing strong, fireproof roofs for customers!