To help prevent fire damage to your roof, you should first assess your roofing material to determine your risk. If necessary, consider replacing your roof using fire resistant roofing material.
How Fire Resistant is Your Current Roof?
- The fire rating of a roof covering is either Class A, Class B, Class C, or unrated. An unrated roof covering is the most vulnerable—the most common example of an unrated roof covering is one made using non-fire-retardant-treated wood shakes or shingles.
- Class A is the most fire resistant and should be the choice of anyone living in wildfire-prone areas.
- Common Class A roof coverings include asphalt fiberglass composition shingles and concrete or clay tiles. Some materials have a “by assembly” Class A fire rating, meaning that additional materials must be used between the roof covering and the roof sheathing in order to attain the fire rating. Examples of roof coverings with a “by assembly” fire rating include aluminum, some fire-retardant wood shake products, and recycled plastic and rubber products.
- If you have a wood shake roof and do not have, or cannot find, documentation from the manufacturer that specifies the fire retardant, assume it is untreated.
- If you are not sure, or want to confirm your roof type, schedule a roof inspection by a roofing professional.
- If your home is located in a wildfire-prone area and your roof is unrated or if your roof is old and needs to be replaced, IBHS recommends that you install a Class A fire-rated roof.
If Needed, Replace Your Roof Covering
If your roof has reached the end of its service life, it should be replaced. IBHS recommends hiring a professional roofing contractor to replace or repair your roof covering. If you have an untreated wood shake roof, the only solution for reducing your wildfire risk is to replace it with a rated roof covering. Regardless of your fire hazard, given that many Class A roof coverings are available, IBHS recommends installing a Class A covering if you are living in a wildfire-prone area.