The roof is the largest surface of a house that is exposed to the elements, including fire sparks. In order to protect your property and family it is wise to choose the right fire resistant roofing material for your home. If you are concerned about fire safety you may want to consider replacing your existing roof with a material that is more fire resistant.
When wildfires and brush fires spread to homes or businesses, it is often because burning branches, leaves, and other debris are buoyed by the heated air. They are then carried by the wind and land on rooftops where they start fires.
Slate roofing is known for its fire resistant properties. Slate is a stone so it is naturally fire resistant. It is very expensive but well worth the cost if you can fit it into your budget. There are different grades of slate, do some research into what quality of slate will suit you.
It comes in many different colors and shades. Any house décor can be complimented with a slate roof. One drawback is that it is quite heavy and you need to make sure that your roof can support the weight.
Synthetic slate is lighter and less expensive than stone slate. It can be made from ceramic or wood fiber. It is less fragile than stone slate. It is also considered to be fire resistant.
Metal roofing is durable and energy efficient. It reflects heat which lowers cooling costs. It is fire resistant. It is sold as stand-seam or corrugated panels. It also is made to look like other types of roofing like wood shakes, tiles and shingles.
This roofing material requires very little maintenance. It can be made from over fifty percent recycled metals. Metal roofing can be installed over existing wood and will provide about forty years of use.
Tile roofing is popular on Southwestern or Spanish styled houses. It is usually made from concrete. This makes it very heavy, so you will need to make sure that your house structure can support its weight.
Tile comes in many shapes. It resists rot and weather damage. Concrete tile roofing is very fire resistant.
Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing material used in the United States. Asphalt shingles are made with a fiberglass or organic base. It is covered with asphalt on one side and coated on the other side with granules of small gravel. They do offer some fire protection however they contain oil products which can catch fire when exposed to high heat.
Wood shakes and shingles are usually not even fire resistance rated. They are very susceptible to fire. There are spray-on fire retardants available but they need to be applied every few years and according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
There are also shakes and shingles that have been pressure treated with a fire retardant. These last longer than untreated wood. They are more durable than wood that has not been pressure treated. They also meet fire safety standards. This type of roofing material can last about thirty years.
Vinyl roofing membranes are extremely fire resistant. PVC is different from all other plastics in that it is naturally fire resistant. The vinyl membranes are additional fire retardants. It is self-extinguishing when the heat source is removed.
Types of fires are classified by a rating system. Materials are then classified by the type of fire they can withstand. When choosing your roofing material, have the contractor or salesman explain to you these differences in fire resistance.
There are factors to be considered when choosing the best roofing material for your home, Depending on where you live, what type of climate you live in, how close in proximity you are to any forests or industrial areas. A contractor should be able to evaluate all of these factors and determine how much at risk you are for a fire and recommend the appropriate material.
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