Recent news activity has shown that California wildfires are becoming a real threat. After such a long dry season, the state has seen more fires than normal and is expected to see more. Whether you own a residential or commercial property, it is important to make sure your building is safe from fires. It is recommended that you look into fire-resistant materials for your roofing, specifically Class A if you live in very dry climates.
What Do You Need to Know About Fire-Resistant Roofing Materials?
Materials are tested for resistance and receive a rating based on how they respond and react to fire testing. A professional roofing company will work with you to find the right materials for your building and the area that you live in. It is also important to understand the ratings so you can discuss the options with your roofer.
- Class A ratings are given to materials that withstand extreme exposure to fire. This is the highest rating you can get, so it should always be the material you go to if you live in a fire-prone area. Examples of Class A materials are clay or concrete, metal roofing, shingles, and fiberglass asphalt composition.
- Class B materials can withstand a lot but much less than Class A materials. This rating has been approved to withstand moderate exposure but has been banned in some places because it is also combustible. When tested, Class B materials allow fire to spread further than Class A materials. This is because Class B materials are combustible and are treated with chemicals to make them fire-retardant, but they are not going to be resistant as the materials rated with Class A.
- Class C materials are reserved for areas that have minimal fire exposure because they can only survive light fire damage. Wood shakes or shingle, plywood, and particleboard are examples of Class C materials you may use. Whether you are replacing a roof or choosing to upgrade to fire-resistant materials, you need to speak with a professional about the different ratings. When you go with a Class A and Class B material, the value of your building may also increase. The best Class A materials to choose from include metal, slate, concrete or clay.
- Metal Tiles: These do not ignite when on fire and are made from a material that contains a fire-resistant barrier with Class A protection. These tiles can be made from copper, zinc, steel, and alloys and are ideal for dry climates and areas with frequent fire exposure. They are also non-corrosive and can be designed to look like cedar shake or any other desirable material while staying fire-resistant.
- Slate: This material is indestructible but also expensive. Special, skilled contractors are needed to install slate tiles because of their heavy weight. The additional weight means that supporting structures need to be evaluated first to check the load bearing. Beams and braces are almost always needed to help support the weight of the tiles on the roof.
- Concrete and Clay: Concrete is typically used for commercial buildings whereas clay is reserved for residential homes. Both are heavy, durable and fire-resistant and you can easily change the style to match your own architectural preferences.