3 Ways To Make A New Roof More Fire Resistant By Choosing The Right Materials
When it's time to replace your roof or you're working on a new home, you have a unique opportunity to protect your home from catastrophic fire damage by taking extra care during the construction phase. The fire resistance of a roof is based directly on its construction materials, and slowing the spread of fire once it reaches the roof can save your life and prevent more severe structural damage. Focus on these three ways to make sure your roof is as fire resistant as possible.
Start with the plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) usually used as the first layer of the roof. Also known as decking, there are plenty of solid cement boards and metal-backed materials available, but they're both expensive and add a lot of the weight to the roof. Consider treated plywood or OSB for a lightweight decking layer that still resists fire better than untreated wood. These fire-resistant decking products are treated with a thin layer of cement to prevent flames from reaching the wood's surface as quickly.
On top of the decking goes an underlayment, which is traditionally a layer of asphalt coated paper. Aside from the advanced membranes made for blocking moisture and ice damage, there are also underlayments designed to slow down the spread of fire. If you want your highly rated roofing material to maintain its rating after installation, in most cases you'll need to pair with an underlayment offering the same amount of fire resistance. For example, a Class A rated asphalt shingle won't offer the same protection if you install it over a Class B rated underlayment. Check the requirements of your roofing material before choosing an underlayment to make sure they match.
Finally, your top layer of roofing must also resist fire to complete the package. Resistant decking and underlayments may stop an internal fire from spreading, but only a layer of Class A roofing shingles or sheets can prevent an errant ember from starting a fire that spreads inward. The highest rated roofing materials include
- Composition asphalt shingles, which are carefully designed to reach the Class A rating
- Clay or concrete tiles, which are very heavy but naturally fire resistant
- Metal roofing, which also requires extra support due to its weight
- Natural stone, which is the heaviest option of all and hard to maintain.
For most homeowners, metal or asphalt roofing offers the best combination of price, fire resistance, structural demands, and longevity. Visit http://thesafetyteaminc.com for more information.