Embers Are Coming: If You Live In The U.S., Your Roof And Landscaping Better Be Fire-Resistant

In drought-prone areas like California in the Southwest and Washington in the Pacific Northwest, hot temperatures and resulting wildfires are expected to increase. This will put more Western U.S. homes and businesses at risk of catching fire. 

The Southeast is not immune, as parts of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park recently burned under the combination of drought, arson and high winds. Nearby residents and cabin-owners in Gatlinburg lost their homes and vacation cottages. Many iconic and historic tourist attractions and hotels in the Tennessee mountain community burned to the ground.

Even states in the Northeast expect to face dry, burning conditions in woodlands more often. Whether you're replacing a roof or having a new home built, consider the ways you can minimize your home or business risk of being set ablaze. Here are some issues to address:

Tinder-rich landscaping

The biggest risk to your home is the amount of fuel surrounding it. If there are piles of dried wood, dead weeds and shriveled leaves all over your lawn, you're offering up lots of treats for a fire to gobble up on its way to your walls and roof.

In fire prone areas, you must limit vegetation kept close to the home, You must also be vigilant about clearing debris from around your foundation and from your gutters, where prolonged flames can set your entire structure alight. Keep tree limbs well away from your roof, so any burning limbs will fall to the ground and not on your structure.

If you need tips on fire-smart landscaping, this guide is very helpful. Using stone and other fire-resistant materials in landscaping helps cut your risk of a lawn or garden fire setting your building on fire.

Roof flammability concerns

Some roofing materials are more likely than others to catch fire if an ember is blown on them or flames are licking at them from nearby trees. Cedar shakes, thatch and some older types of shingles are more fire-prone than modern shingle, metal, steel and clay roofs. 

Today you can have a fire-retardant agent sprayed on a vulnerable roof to increase the time it will take for the roof to ignite. You can change your roofing material to a more fire-retardant product after consulting with your roofing contractor to find roofing with the best curb appeal and safety solutions for your setting.

Many HOAs and towns are relaxing their rules on the types of roofing materials allowed. They understand the importance of keeping their neighborhoods from burning under the high-risk conditions. It's still best to check first with your local authorities and HOA bylaws to ensure your new roofing material is permitted.

Talk with roofing contractors, such as those at Ziparo Brothers Construction, for information about options of fire-retardant products.


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