Could Your Roof Save Your Home in a Fire? – May 2015

The term “defensible space” will be top of conversation again in 2015. With drought levels not seen in a century, we are again tasked with doing everything possible to prevent fire catastrophes.

Unless you’ve just recently moved west, none can forget the devastation of the Angora, Scripps and Oakland Hills fires. The result of brutally dry conditions and fast moving “fire storms” these areas and hundreds and hundreds of homes were decimated. To understand this power, picture a 3,000 square foot house burned to its foundation in less than eight minutes. It has been described by its victims as a “fire-tornado.” Forest fires can lay waste to everything in its path, leaving behind nothing but ashes, wreckage and memories. What can be done to brace against such disasters? When consulting the experts, nearly every fire authority on earth agrees that the best defenses against the spread of wildfire are a fire resistant roof and the quality of the defensible space around the house.

The following photos show visual examples of homes spared due mostly in part to their roofing choice. The haunting images lay a sound case for metal roofing in high fire danger areas.Click to Enlarge - Only 1 family home remains standing after fire wipes out entire neighborhood due to having a metal roof!

“The higher the fire intensifies near the home, the greater the need for nonflammable construction materials and a resistant building design.” Simply stated by the NFPA, “The roof is the most important element of the home.” FEMA recommends replacing asphalt or wood shingles with a fire resistant roofing material like metal roofing. The simply stated fact is that asphalt burns. Great resources for residential and community fire safety can be found at or

Metal roofing experts can assist with non-combustible roofing choices – specifically metal roofing styles. As more people know about it, they see the benefits of quality products, the “green” attributes and the more sophisticated options available. Metal roofing is available in profiles that span the look of tile to shake to slate to vertical standing seam and many others. Stone coated steel roofing that saved this home, shown in the photos above, is a Class A fire rated, 120 mph wind rated, Class 4 hail rated product in various profiles with 50 yr appearance warranties and a lifetime, transferable material warranty.

According to Audrey Smith, metal roof specialist and owner of True Green Roofing Solutions in Reno, NV, “… longevity is one of the main reasons that consumers choose metal roofing. People are holding onto their homes and they want value … you get that with a metal roof.” Bill Hippard, executive director of the Metal Roof Alliance says “It’s the low life cycle cost (that enhances the choice to go metal). Few homeowners realize until after the fact that metal roofing can actually cost as little or less than asphalt roofing.” This is because asphalt roofing needs to be replaced two to four times as often as metal roofing. Moreover, you cannot forget the cost of yearly maintenance and repair for asphalt roofing. Over time this can add up to a significant amount of money coupled with the stress and time of looking for roofing contractors to do the work. Need more reasons to look into metal roofing? …

In states where homes are constantly exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation and the effects of heavy winters with freeze-thaw conditions, a metal roof can save you hundreds of dollars by cooling your home and adding additional insulating value preventing ice dams.

If you are in need of roofing help or are building your dream home, the looming question becomes: Do you want to discuss making your house more energy efficient, never re-roofing again, increasing your home value AND protecting your home from wildfires???? If your answer is YES to any of these questions, call or email a metal roof specialist to start the discussion and learn about your options.