house fire roof If you live in an area prone to wildfires, or even if you just want to safeguard your home or business as much as possible against a structural fire, most experts will agree that one of the most important precautions you can take is to install a fire-resistant roof on your building.

For many years, wood shingles were an extremely popular choice for residential roofs. However, wood is one of the least fire-resistant of all roofing materials and is definitely not recommended if you’re concerned about protecting your home or business from fire.

Asphalt shingles are another popular choice for residential roofs in particular. Although asphalt shingles certainly offer more protection than a wooden roof, they’re not nearly as fire-resistant as other materials. Still, they remain a popular choice because of their relatively lost cost.

The Best Choices to Protect Against Fire

Slate Tile Roofing

Slate provides significantly more protection against fire than either wood or asphalt shingles, and it’s been a popular roofing material for literally hundreds of years. Many slate roofs are guaranteed to last a lifetime. Although slate is both durable and fire-resistant, it does have some downsides. This type of roofing material can be quite expensive, especially if you live in an area where the slate has to be transported a great distance. Another disadvantage is its weight. In fact, slate is so heavy that you need to be sure the structure of your building is strong enough to withstand the weight of a slate roof.

Clay Tile Roofing

Clay is another good fire-resistant material. Clay tiles have been used for hundreds of years and were particularly popular in Spain and Portugal, which makes it no surprise that clay roofs have become the favorite roofing choice in many Southwestern states with a history of strong Spanish influence. Although clay tiles are undoubtedly a beautiful choice, they also have some disadvantages. Similar to slate tiles, clay tiles are quite heavy and you’ll need to make sure that your home or business is structurally sound enough to hold up under the weight of the tiles. Both clay and slate are so heavy that they can actually cave in if the building beneath the roof is on fire. Although clay tiles are very durable and can last for decades, they’re not a particularly good choice for areas prone to earthquake activity.

Metal Roofing

Without a doubt, metal is a great fire-resistant roofing material. Although you’ll have to pay more for metal than some other materials, metal roofs are incredibly durable and can last 50 years or even longer. They come in a variety of material choices – zinc, copper, steel, stainless steel and aluminum, to name a few – and are even available in designs that look like other materials, such as wood shingles, for example. Metal is especially good in hot climates because of its ability to reflect the heat from the sun, which will save significantly in energy costs. You may also be eligible for lower insurance premiums and tax breaks if you choose a metal roof for your home or business.

Whichever material you choose, make sure it holds a Class A rating, which indicates that the material is extremely fire-resistant. It’s also a good idea to discuss your options with a reliable, professional roofing contractor to determine which roofing material is best for your home or business.

house fire spray | Flickr – Photo Sharing! : taken from – Rob Swystun