SHARP HOME

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Making your roof fire-damage proof


When it comes to protecting your property from the profound damage it can sustain in the event of a fire, certainly prevention is key (as is having adequate insurance coverage of course!) The importance of doing all that you can to eliminate fire hazards from your home, and to have protection measures in place cannot be overstated. This is why we have devoted much of our discussion to fire prevention strategies. That said, not all fires are the result of carelessness, or missed hazards in the home; wildfires have very little to do with your lifestyle. With the exception of ensuring that your yard does not become so overgrown that it may catch fire, there is little you do that can cause a wildfire. Disasters that happen beyond our control don't need to leave us helplessly waiting for the worst, though. There are ways to protect the integrity of your home's structure in the event of a wildfire.

By far, the most important element of your home's structure to protect is the roof. If the roof collapses, the rest of the house will sustain insurmountable damage. Thus, investing a bit of extra attention into protecting your roof from wildfire damage will go a long way in terms of minimizing the adverse effects your home sustains as a result of the fire.

Protecting your roof from damage caused by fire involves choosing the right type of roofing to begin with. While most shingles that people purchase nowadays are more or less fire resistant, this isn't true for all of the options available, so choose wisely. Metal roofing is a particularly durable and reliable material, whereas traditional wood shingles are not. A more economical fire-proof option for roofing is to go with asphalt shingles. This is by far what the majority use. Once you have chosen a suitable material for your roof, ensure that any gaps between the tiles and roof deck are sealed, so that fire cannot penetrate it.

Material choice isn't only relevant for the roof itself, but for surrounding structures as well. While having a fire-resistant roof will reduce the likelihood of it combusting, ensuring that adjacent materials are also fire-resistant will reduce this risk even further. What does this mean? If your siding is currently combustible, you should consider replacing it with a material that is not, such as metal, slate, or clay.

Once you have the right materials in place, know that even the best quality things need taking care of in order to perform optimally. Assess your roof and siding for damage periodically so that you can attend to it right away, and fix any breaches in the shelter they offer from external fire. Additionally, make a habit of removing debris from the roof, gutters, and from your property in general to keep fires at bay. Following these steps should reduce your vulnerability to structural damage to your home in the event of a wildfire.

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