Want A More Wildfire-Proof Roof? Start With These Tips

Posted on: 6 December 2018

Recent wildfires throughout many of the western states of the US have led many homeowners to question whether their home could survive the rushing flames of a wildfire. As these fires grow in intensity, heated air currents lift embers and burning debris and move them through the air. If they are deposited onto the roofs of homes and other structures, they can ignite and continue the spread of the wildfire. If you are in or near an area where wildfires are a concern, taking steps to help save your home from total loss may well depend upon how well your home's roof can withstand direct contact with embers and heat without igniting. 

Choose a Class A rated roof

Roofing materials that meet the specifications for a Class A designation are considered the most fireproof of commonly available roofing materials. These materials come in two versions. 

Class A roofing that is considered to be stand-alone roofing includes composition three-tab shingles made of asphalt and glass fibers, as well as clay, slate, and concrete roofing tiles. Stand-alone roofing is a term that denotes the rating of only the roofing materials and excludes any of the supporting structure or other materials used in building the roof. 

Assembly-rated Class A roofing materials include the additional materials used with or near the structure of the roof that may help make it more resistant to fire, such as the underlying rolled roofing or gypsum-fiberglass panels.

Commonly available roofing materials that meet this designation include metal roofing (aluminum), some types of recycled rubber or plasticized composites, and some types of wood shakes that have been specially treated to make them fire retardant. 

Keep the surface free of combustibles

Even roofing materials with a Class A rating can catch fire in circumstances where combustible fuel is present in large quantities. Leaf matter, pine cones, twigs, and branches that accumulate on a home's roof can catch fire from blowing embers and sparks during a wildfire and burn with enough intensity to cause other nearby materials to ignite. 

In addition to periodically cleaning the surface of the roof to remove any combustible materials that might have accumulated, homeowners should consider removing trees that are located close to the home. During a fire, trees that are close to the home can endanger the home should they fall onto or come into contact with the roof or exterior of the home. 

For more tips on keeping your home safe from wildfire in high-risk areas, speak with a local roofing contractor like Grissom Contracting as soon as possible.