Fire Resistant Roofing Materials: Your Choices, Ranked

Wildfire season stresses everyone. The winds can bring fire to your house. Although no roofing material can be guaranteed to keep your home safe from fire, there are some roofing options that are less combustible than others and less likely for wildlife to set fire to them. You can also choose materials that won’t catch fire if they fall into your home.

You may need to compare the fire resistance of different roofing materials if you are in the unfortunate situation of having to replace your roof after a fire. This guide will compare the fire resistance and other benefits of various roofing materials.

What does Fire Resistance mean?

Before we can compare different materials, it is important to understand what fire resistance means. There is no roofing material that is immune to fire. Although it will not catch fire, it can melt under heat from a fire (especially wildfire). The roof can still be damaged by fire, whether it is located next to or beneath the roof.

Materials with high fire resistance are an improvement on older materials. Low-quality asphalt shingles and wood shakes could catch fire in a wildfire, or on a building’s fire. The roof’s structural integrity can be damaged during a fire. Materials could fall into the fire and start a new one inside the building.

How is Fire Resistance Measured?

How do you determine how fire-resistant a roofing product is? There are three types of roofing materials: Class A, B, and C. Materials that have not been rated should be avoided.

Class A is the highest fire-resistance rating. Materials with this rating are capable of resisting severe fire exposure. These materials must pass three tests to be certified by the ATSM. The first is the intermittent flame test. For two minutes, testers light intense flames on the roof. To determine if the roof is safe, the test is repeated fifteen times. The flame is then lit for 10 minutes by testers to test if the material catches fire. If it does, it will be measured how far it spreads. A burning brand is then placed on the roof and a wind generator generates strong winds. The roof is left to catch fire for 90 minutes. All of these tests must be passed for a Class A roof to pass.

Although there are both Class B and C roofing materials, they are not recommended. You don’t have to settle for less when there are affordable options that can meet the Class A rating. It’s still a good idea to compare materials that are fire resistant to Class A standards to determine which offers the best protection and which meets your other roof priorities.

1. Metal roofing

Metal roofing is a great option for a fire-resistant roof. Metal roofing will not burn under fire and, even if it does eventually melt, very few fires are hot enough to cause that. Metal roofs have wooden decking, as do all roofs. This makes them vulnerable to internal fires as well external fires. However, not all metal roofing systems are created equal. It is crucial to ensure that the metal roofing system you select passes the Class A test.

Metal roofing can be expensive but will last longer. These roofing systems can last between 40 and 70 years. Although they are more versatile than asphalt shingles, they offer a wider range of color and style options. They can be a great choice if you are able to afford the initial investment.

2. Asphalt Shingles

Most asphalt shingles on the market have a Class A fire resistance rating. You can pick almost any one of them to get great fire protection. CertainTeed shingles are our favorite. All options have UL Class-A fire resistance rating.

  • Landmark
  • Presidential Shake TTL
  • Grand Manor
  • Carriage House

Although shingles may not be as fire resistant as metal roofing, they will still impress you. They are unlikely to catch fire, or fuel a fire, if they do fall in. They can melt or warp in extreme heat, just like metal.

You may also find them to be more cost-effective than metal roofs. They are less expensive upfront and easier to install. Additionally, they come in a wider variety of styles and colors. CertainTeed offers shingle options that mimic the appearance of wood shakes. These shingles are great if you want wood shakes, but don’t like their poor fire performance. Asphalt shingles can be made to look like slate tiles.

3. Concrete or clay tiles

Clay tiles have been used for centuries in areas with warm climates and large urban centers where fire spread was a problem. Concrete tiles can be found that look like clay tiles but are much more durable. Concrete is naturally resistant to flames, but it is important that you make sure the tile products you choose are Class A fire-rated.

Clay tiles are less durable than other roofing materials. Clay tiles can be difficult to install and it can sometimes prove difficult to find a roofing contractor who is able to work with them. These roofs are cheaper than metal roofing but will require replacement sooner.

4. Slate Tiles

Another possible fire-resistant roofing material is slate tiles. Slate tiles are made from rock and are therefore resistant to flame. It also resists high heat and will not melt or warp. Slate is not the best roofing material. It can be heavy, costly, and difficult to install. Slate tile is a great choice for homeowners with a historic home or who desire an elegant look.

This post was written by a roofing professional at KCG Roofing. KCG Roofing is a premier roofing contractor that has Roofers port charlotte fl! KCG Roofing has the experience and expertise to replace or repair your roof with quality materials and excellent craftsmanship. All our roofs are backed by a 15-year leak-free guarantee, the highest in the industry. We have been family-owned and operated for over 40 years.