If it's time for a roof replacement and you live in wild fire country, chances are you are looking for a fire-safe option. In many cases you may have no choice, since building codes may require that the roof meets certain safety restrictions. The main concern isn't the chance of the flames reaching your home in the event of a nearby wild fire, but the chance of a hot ember landing on the roof and sparking a secondary fire. The following guide will introduce you to some of the fire-resistant roofing materials that are available.
Option #1: Metal Roofing
This is likely the most well known option. Standing seam metal roofing panels are standard fare on many mountain homes because they are durable, last a lifetime, and can't catch on fire in the event of a spark. If you aren't fond of the panel look, there are also metal shingles available. These may look like standard shingles but each one is made from metal.
Option #2: Fiberglass and Asphalt Shingles
If you are on a budget, fiberglass reinforced asphalt shingles might be your best option. The fiberglass makes the shingles more fire-resistant, but they aren't fire-proof like metal panels and shingles are. These shingles must be combined with a fire-resistant underlayment, as well, to ensure that they offer the most protection.
Option #3: Clay Tiles
Clay tile is most often associated with the terracotta colored Spanish tile design, but this isn't the best design in fire country. The openings on the front of a Spanish tile can let an ember onto the underlying roof structure. Instead, opt for flat tiles in the color of your choice. These are fireproof and attractive, although they are pricier than most other options.
Option #4: Rubber Tile
This option is both fire-resistant and eco-friendly. The tiles are made from recycled rubber, but from the ground they look just like high-end roof shingles. They are extremely fire-resistant, so they are suitable for most wild fire prone areas. The tiles come in a variety of colors so you can choose one that matches your home's exterior design.
Option #5: Stone
Slate is an excellent fire-safe option, but it isn't too common due to it's weight. A home with a slate roof will need to be reinforced to handle the excess weight. This can lead to the need for a lot of reinforcement if your house is also in snow country, since it will then need to support both the slate and snow weight. If you do opt for slate, you will have a classic-looking and durable option that will last a lifetime or longer.