A fire-resistant roof could save your home, your possessions and even your life. Do you know what fire rating your roof has? Are you and your family going to be safe in the event of a sudden emergency?
Fire Ratings of Roofing Systems
Fire ratings of roofing systems are split up into three classes: Class A, Class B and Class C. Those in Class A are considered to have the highest level of fire resistance, with protection levels receding in the subsequent categories.
All fire ratings are tested and verified according to fires that start outside the building, not inside. Also, any roof that is installed incorrectly and does not meet the manufacturer’s standards will have a compromised fire rating.
Typically, a Class A, fire-resistant roof is made of fiberglass-coated asphalt shingles, stone, clay or concrete tile, or metal.
How Do Fires Start?
If your home is in a region known for wildfires, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety recommends installing a Class A-rated, fire-resistant roof. Wildfires can spread quickly, especially in high winds.
Stray burning sparks and debris can land on your roof and ignite, putting your entire home at risk.
Consider the Quality of Materials
In general, wood shakes are least resistant to fire. Wood shingles are either rated Class C material or not rated at all. They are not recommended for homes within a wildfire danger zone.
Not only is a wood roof risky, but you will pay a much higher insurance premium, due to the potential for fire and catastrophic damage.
Even if you have a fire-resistant roof installed, it’s worth making sure your fire rating lives up to the risk present in your area and checking to make sure the contractor followed the correct procedure during installation.
For example, missing asphalt shingles would give a spreading fire access to your roof’s underlayment. Also make sure no leaves or debris that could ignite get stuck in between concrete, clay or slate tiles. Check to see that your metal roof shows no signs of corrosion, which is a potential fire-rating weakness.
Take Preventive Action
You can take other steps to make sure you’re getting the ultimate protection from your fire-resistant roof.
Clean out your gutters and downspouts on a regular basis to prevent debris buildup that has the potential to burn and spread. Also, make sure any overhanging tree branches are trimmed so they do not pose a threat during wildfire season.
Keep your smoke alarms working, replacing the batteries as needed. Form a fire escape plan and educate your family on the details.
Call Knockout Roofing to find out more what a fire-resistant roof can do for you, or how to make your current roof safer for the remainder of its life span.