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Atlanta Roofing: Article About Fire Resistant Roofs

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Unless a house or commercial building is located in an area that is prone to wildfire, its chances of burning to the ground are slim. Fire resistance in roofing materials may not seem to be a matter of urgency, but small electrical fires and minor blazes resulting from careless behavior are common and can progress into catastrophic infernos. Class A roof coverings help to ensure that unintentional flares remain inconsequential. Lower ratings, which include Class B, Class C and no classification, may be cause for concern and can be improved through either roof replacement or a change in underlying materials. If a particular tile or shingle type has a standalone rating of Class B, for example, the roof's fire resistance level can be raised to Class A by assembly with the installation of an extremely fire retardant felt underlayment. For more information about roofing material ratings, contact an Atlanta roofing specialist.

Unrated material is the least fireproof and consists mostly of wood shingles and shakes that have not been treated for fire resistance. While asphalt shingles offer some protection, they don't usually qualify for a high standalone rating.

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The strongest roofing materials against fire are slate, concrete and clay tiles, fiberglass shingles and metal. In order to support the weight of slate, concrete or clay, a building must be sturdy. Extra beams and braces can be utilized for stability, but heavy roofing products can pose a threat when the fire occurs inside the structure because they cave in easily. Metal roofing systems are lightweight and noncombustible while sometimes contributing to the building's aesthetic effect as well. Even when other materials are in use, metal can be added through insulation or coating products. Roofing decks can also be made from concrete, steel or poured gypsum for fire resistance.

Homeowners should always keep large trees pruned so that branches do not hang close to the rooftop. In case of fire, embers and leaves need to fall away from the house. Chimneys can also be a hazard if they're not cleaned and inspected regularly. Only seasoned wood should be burned in a fireplace, and the fire should never be ignited using kerosene or gasoline. Barbecue grills are best kept away from the house and trees; the various parts must be cleaned often to keep the flames under control. With fire retardant roofs and careful household practices, the risk of fire damage and loss can be minimal.

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