There was a time, just a few short decades ago, that the composition of a home’s roof was largely to blame for a seemingly disproportionate number of house fires. Looking back, it’s not that difficult to understand why; commonly used building materials like wood wool, fiberglass, and bitumen laden shingles combine quite effectively to create a uniquely fire-friendly environment.
These days, building materials and safety regulations have come a long way, but that doesn’t mean that the risk of a home’s roof catching fire is completely eliminated. Your roof is still prone to fire under the right conditions – conditions that can be as innocuous as a simple errant ember from a neighbour’s barbecue, fire pit, or fireworks.
Torch Down Roofing: What Is It And Why Is It So Dangerous?
Torch down roofing is a method that comprises layers of modified bitumen (a by-product that’s manufactured when distilling petroleum) that’s bonded to fiberglass using a flame torch. Generally speaking, this type of roofing is only found on flat or low slope roofs and is still surprisingly popular with many roofing contractors (largely because it’s easy to install and adheres quite well to metal flashings) in spite of its inherent dangers.
One of the biggest problems with this roofing method is that it’s easy to damage the home during the installation process. There are many accounts of contractors accidentally overheating something in the attic – overheating, of course, leads to smoldering, and smoldering can quickly start a fire in a dry attic. Thankfully, there are many alternatives to this dangerous and somewhat controversial roofing method, many of which place a much greater emphasis on fire prevention.
Fire-Resistant Roofing Alternatives
It’s important to remember that when it comes to shopping around for roofing materials, it’s worth your time to take note of its fire-resistance rating. Materials that are highly fire-resistant will have a rating of “A”; materials that are slightly less resistant will be rated “B”, and so on.
Save Money, the Environment, and Prevent Fires
As you can imagine, recycled rubber tiles are obviously good for the environment as they’re made using re-purposed materials that might’ve otherwise ended up in a landfill. Conventional logic might lead you to think that rubber wouldn’t possess the greatest fire resistance qualities, but in truth, many such tiles are manufactured to include a proven fire retardant and a fire-resistant lining. If budget is an issue