Wildfire Defense for Homeowners: Fire-Resistant Materials Help Protect Homes
Below is an article from Darcie Meihoff, with Metal Roofing Alliance. The original article can be found here.
PORTLAND, Ore.—July is peak wildfire season, the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) is urging homeowners to consider ways to better protect their homes.
That’s especially true in the Western U.S. and Canada. Recent hot temperatures and winds only exasperate the problem, making the danger of fires starting in nearby communities, and threatening homes, a very serious issue. Roofs are especially vulnerable to flying embers from nearby wildfires, which can travel up to a mile away.
7 Tips To Prevent Roof Fires from Metal Roofing Alliance on Vimeo.
Recommended Steps for Homeowners
To help protect homes, FEMA recommends that in fire-prone areas, if a roof is covered with wood or asphalt shingles, homeowners consider replacing it with a fire-resistant material, such as metal. Metal roofing has a Class A fire rating, the highest available. An unrated roof is the most vulnerable to fire and includes materials such as non-fire-retardant treated wood shakes or shingles.
“Metal sheets and shingles can be fashioned to resemble cedar shake and other roofing material, but without the fire hazard that comes with those materials,” said Renee Ramey, executive director of the Metal Roofing Alliance. “That makes metal an exceptional choice for not only safety, durability and performance, but style as well.”
Wildfire season in North America starts earlier, lasts longer and affects more areas than ever before. This makes it a priority for homeowners to consider better ways to protect their homes against the increasing threat. Over the past 12 years, every state in the western U.S. has experienced an increase of large wildfires per year, compared to the annual average from 1980 to 2000.
Staying Educated about Defensible Space
Other tips to protect homes during the wildfire season from sources such as the National Roofing Contractors Association include:
- Create a defensible barrier. Trim tree branches away from the roof. Keep gutters clean as dried leaves and vegetation can create the ideal ignition conditions for a wayward spark.
- Pay attention to your roof’s components. Use only vent covers that will not readily burn or melt.
- Maintain your roof all year long. Have a professional roofer inspect your roof. Clear off flammable debris, and repair any missing or damaged components to prevent embers from nestling into vulnerable or exposed areas.
- When re-roofing, consider long-term performance and protection. Choose durable, nonflammable materials, such as metal roofs, and ensure your roof has a Class A rating for fire-resistant performance, especially near any wildfire-prone area.
- Focus on your surroundings when using fireworks. Only use legal fireworks in a safe area, completely away from dry fields, forests and buildings. Keep water, a garden hose and garden tools nearby to safely extinguish fireworks. Obey all local ordinances regulating the sale and use of fireworks.
Talk to a Professional
At Ridgeline Metal, we are aware of the wildfire season because it affects us all, every year. If you have questions, give us a call or stop by our showroom to learn more about metal roofing and siding.