What To Do When You Want Wood Shingles But Not The Associated Fire Risk

Wood shingles look great on a home, making it more appealing to visitors and future buyers. Unfortunately, a wood roof presents a number of challenges and risks, one of which is an increased susceptibility to fire. If your heart is set on installing wood shingles but want to ensure your home remains safe from fire damage, here are two ways you can handle this concern:

Get a Fire Retardant Coating

One of the easiest ways to deal with this problem is to have the shingles coated with a fire retardant or purchase shingles that have already been treated with this substance. Fire retardants mitigate the risk of your home catching on fire by slowing or stopping the spread of fire or reducing its intensity. This coating can provide you with enough time to escape your home or prevent your house from catching on fire in the first place.

When shopping for fire resistant/retardant wood shingles, look for ones that are rated Class A, which provides the highest fire resistance. If you're unable to get them, Class B and Class C can also provide a measure of protection as long as the roofer installs other components that further reduce the risk of your home catching fire.

However, be sure to check with your local building codes and homeowner's association bylaws, both of which may dictate which class of wood shingles you are required to put on your roof. If you live in an area that's prone to fires, your local building codes may require your roof to have a Class A rating, for instance.

Opt for a Different Material

An alternative to getting fire retardant shingles is to get ones in another material that mimics the look and feel of wood shingles. For instance, you can find metal shakes and shingles that simulate the look of wood. In addition to being highly resistant to fire, metal shingles come in a wider range of colors, which provides you with some design flexibility. Additionally, metal tends to last longer and require less maintenance.

Not all alternative materials provide the same level of fire resistance, though, so it's important you conduct some research to determine which ones are safe to use. For instance, asphalt shingles provide only up to two hours of fire protection whereas slate is nearly indestructible. You can learn a lot about the fire resistance of different materials by searching online or talking with a roofing contractor.

To learn more about this issue or discuss renovating your roof, contact local roof remodeling services.


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