With the threat of wildfires being more real these days, it is important to make your building fire-resistant. One of the most important aspects to fire-proofing your home or building is the roof. Dry climates are the perfect breeding grounds for fires, and you can never predict when a wet season will come through. It is better to be prepared, so looking into fire-resistant materials for your roof is the safest bet.
What You Need to Know About Fire Ratings
Even though your roofer will take responsibility for choosing the right material for your roof, it is a good idea to know fire ratings. The fire rating determines how your roof would perform in a fire. The three ratings you can get after a series of tests are below.
Class A materials can withstand severe exposure to fire and have the highest rating. These materials are recommended for areas of the country that experience frequent wildfires. The best Class A materials include clay, concrete, metal roofing, shingles, and fiberglass asphalt composition.
Class B materials define any material that can withstand moderate exposure to fire. Some areas, however, ban the use of Class B materials because they are usually combustible. This means that during testing how fast a fire spreads in ten minutes. Class B spreads 2 feet farther than Class A materials. Knowing the difference between the fire ratings can be the best way to retain value for your building or home.
Class C materials can only survive light fire exposure and include particleboard, wood shakes and shingles, and plywood. You should always speak with a professional roofer before deciding upon a material for your roof. Even if you aware of the differences between the materials, their experience and training can guide you to the safest option depending on your climate, location, and budget.
The Best Fire-Resistant Materials
The roofing industry determines fire-resistance based on a number of tests. Tested materials that pass are given a fire rating and certain industrial buildings and even residential properties require specific ratings during construction. If you are thinking of fire-proofing your roof, work with a roofing contractor who will help you find the best materials to fit your need and budget. The most effective materials to choose from include:
- Metal Tiles: These tiles do not ignite when setting on fire and have a fire-resistant barrier with a Class A level of protection. They are typically made with copper, zinc, steel, and alloy which are the best materials for dry climates prone to wildfires. These tiles are also non-corrosive and if you need a certain look, then they can be designed to look like cedar shakes or other materials while still remaining fire-resistant.
- Slate: This is an indestructible option but it is also expensive because a specific roofer is required to install it. Because of its weight, a qualified contractor that can evaluate the load bearing of your structure is required before slate can be installed. Braces or beams must first be installed to support the additional weight and to ensure your fire-resistant roof is secure.
- Concrete/Clay: Concrete tiles are typically used for commercial properties but can be used on any building. Clay is typically used for residential properties because it is lighter but just as durable and fireproof. Both clay and concrete can be styled to fit any theme or architecture that you prefer.
Whichever roofing material you decide upon, a professional roofer will help you get what works and will install it for you. If fire-proofing is your goal, reach out to us today and we can advise on the roofing material you need to get.