How to Reduce the Risk of Roof Fires
Updated: Sep 29, 2021
Fires are unfortunate incidents that we can take steps to prevent, but not completely eliminate the risks. No one can predict when or how they'll happen, so the best thing for you to do as a homeowner is to ensure that your roofing materials are fire-resistant. By choosing the right materials and ensuring regular maintenance of your roof, you can significantly reduce the risk of roof fires.
Your roof offers a critical layer of protection for your home. When it becomes compromised like during a fire, your damaged roof can further add to the dangers and contribute to the potential damage to your home. Today, we share some tips on how you can reduce the risk of a roof fire and prevent extensive fire damage.
Invest in a Fire-Resistant Material
Roofing materials are rated based on their ability to resist fire. Roofers typically refer to these fire ratings so that they can determine the safety level of the roofing materials they recommend or use for their clients' projects.
In general, your roof's flammability determines the severity of damage that the roof can withstand. Class A roofs are the most fire-resistant on the market while Class C roofs can provide only minimal fire protection. You should avoid unrated roofing systems because these do not have any fire resistance at all.
If you live in an area that is prone to wildfire, you should consider a fire-resistant underlayment as well. Roofing contractors can usually suggest the best options for your needs, so you should take your time to discuss your roofing requirements during consultations.
Below are the most ideal types of roofing in terms of fire resistance:
Metal roofing is known for being fireproof. Classified under the Class A fire safety rating, this type of roof does not ignite on fire.
Concrete or clay roof tiles are naturally fire-resistant. They can provide Class A fire protection if they are installed correctly.
Slate tiles are naturally fire-resistant as well. Their biggest advantage in terms of fire resistance is their thickness because it prevents the material from chipping so easily and fire from penetrating through it.
Fiberglass-based asphalt shingles provide additional protection against fire. The regular asphalt shingles already have good resistance against fire. But with a fiberglass underlayment, the structure becomes even more fire-resistant.
Keep in mind, though, that roofing materials may still be flammable even though they are fire-resistant. You should have your contractor discuss such information thoroughly so that you'll have realistic and reasonable expectations with regards to the fire-resistance of your roofing.
Fix Your Roof ASAP
Gaps and cracks are common issues in roof systems, and they can potentially compromise your roof even if it is made of fireproof material. For example, if you have missing shingles, this enables fire to reach the inner structures of your roofing. This exposes the roof structure to serious fire damage, so make sure to have any gaps fixed as soon as possible.
Clean Your Roof Regularly
Clear your roof of any debris, and make sure to do this regularly so as to prevent any buildup. The debris on your roof can possibly catch fire. And, when certain items are burning on your roof for a long time, the roofing material could also ignite. As mentioned earlier, fire-resistant roofing materials are still flammable, so they may still ignite especially if they are exposed to high temperatures for an extended period.
Clean Your Chimney Regularly
Pay special attention to your chimney, and have it cleaned on a regular basis. Remember that partially combusted materials get stuck in your chimney every time you light a chimney fire. These partially combusted materials eventually form part of the debris and soot, which could possibly ignite and spend sparks to your roof. To avoid or minimize such risk, you should do your best to keep your chimney clean.
Always Clear the Area Around Your Home
The area around your home may be littered with leaves and other windblown debris or surrounded by grass, wood and plastic. Such materials can act as fuel and contribute to a fire. And, when they do, sparks or fire might get blown onto your roofing and create a dangerous situation. So, even though these things are not found on your roof, you should see to it that trees surrounding your home are trimmed and no firewood is stacked close to your home. Also, as much as possible, limit the attached structures that could possibly spread fire to your home.
Inspect Your Ceiling Insulation
Some homeowners consider ceiling insulation as a fire hazard. However, insulation only becomes a potential hazard if it was not installed properly or if an electrical cable was installed poorly or haphazardly alongside an existing insulation. Furthermore, it is important to have insulation around the vent pipes for your generators in order to protect the roofing material against the heat coming from these pipes. Without sufficient insulation, your roofing material could deteriorate quickly due to the heat. During high winds, the risk could also be compounded because fire could start in this area and damage your roofing. Ultimately, make sure to work with reliable contractors who can guarantee correct installation of your insulation. Keep in mind that ceiling insulation should not be placed near a heat source.
Check Your Electrical Wiring at Home
Electrical wiring issues are a common reason for attic and roof fires. If you suspect faulty wiring or if your home is already old, you should have your electrical wiring checked by a professional. Also, if you have flickering bulbs or light fixtures that suddenly do not turn on, you should consult an expert because such problems could indicate burned wires in your attic.
A1 Quality Roofing, Inc. has been in business since 1991, providing superior workmanship and excellent customer service. We follow the highest standards in the industry and only use top-quality materials to ensure the best result for every project. We are fully licensed, insured and bonded. Our expertise covers roof replacement, repair, maintenance and more. Call us at (951) 877-4406, or fill out our contact form to request a free estimate.