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Winston Salem Roofing: Article About Roofing Fire Ratings

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When people think of the function of a roof, they often think about it protecting the home from outdoor elements such as rain, sleet, wind and snow. However, some roofs can protect homeowners from situations other than weather, such as a fire. Roofing materials are graded on their level of fire protection, and there are three levels, all of which Winston Salem roofing experts can install.

Roofing materials are put through a series of laboratory tests in which they are measured on how well they resist fire. The most commonly used standard in testing fire resistance is UL 790. This standard only tests roofs against their ability to protect homes from outside fire sources, including embers that might be blown onto a house during a wildfire or if a lightning strike hits the roof of a house.

UL 790 does not just assign fire ratings based on the physical properties of a roofing material. It takes into account the recommendations from the manufacturer on how the roofing material should be installed. Once the product is tested, it's given a grade that ranges from Class A to Class C.

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All roofing materials, regardless of rank, are expected to remain in place and not generate burning shingles that fly off the roof. This is important because burning shingles that become detached can set nearby structures ablaze. They are also dangerous for people who are trying to escape from a burning house.

Roofing materials ranked Class A include tile, slate and metal. They offer the highest degree a homeowner can get in terms of fire protection. However, homeowners should keep in mind that UL 790 standards do not guarantee that all Class A materials will hold up in the event of a fire. Class B-ranked materials offer moderate fire protection, such as wood shingles that are chemically treated to resist fire. Class C refers to roofing materials that offer little to no protection from fires, such as untreated wood and asphalt shingles.

While there is no way a homeowner can be completely protected from fires, investing in a roofing material with a Class A rating gives the person the best chance. Most insurance companies offer discounts to homeowners who install Class A roofing materials. This type of material should also be considered because it usually provides residents more time to escape in the event that a fire does happen. Homeowners should keep in mind that this rating system does not take into account fires that start inside homes.

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