Fire Ratings for Roofing Materials

With the fire season here, I have had many question regarding Fire Rated Roofing Materials. There are concerns about fires jumping from home to home. As seen in the past, whole communities can go up in flames with the wrong conditions present, like wind and plenty of fuel. This picture is just a few miles from where I live near Sacramento CA. in the Tahoe Nation Forest. With only a slight shift in wind. this fire could become more of a disaster to the locals in the small rural towns near by.

Class A Roofing

As you can imagine everyone is talking about how to protect their home from fire and flying  embers. One way to protect ones home is having a fire safe roofing system. There is a rating system in place regarding roofing materials. Most people know that some roofing is more flammable than others. For example untreated cedar shake roofs burn more often than a concrete tile roof would. The fire rating for roofs are called A,B, C and unrated roofing systems. Having an unrated roof makes your home or business vulnerable to fires vs having a Class A roofing system.

Untreated cedar shake and shingle are unrated. These roof have been used as roof coverings for many years, but can burn very easily. By having the cedar shakes or shingles factory treated with fire-retardant, these types of roofs can gain the class C, B, and yes, even a class A rating with the proper roof assembly. The DaVinci Shake is also an option to explore.

fireworks  on a roofMost asphalt shingles are rated Class A and protect the roof from fires very well. Many years ago, just after a 4th of July, I was doing a roof inspection in Sacramento, and found a bottle rocket on a roof top. Next to it was this burn scar left in the asphalt shingle. It came close to missing the roof top all together but as you can see the granulated surface of the Class A shingle burned a little but kept the small fire from spreading to the entire roof. That is what the ratings mean, Class A roof slows the burn down the best, then the B and then a C rating. Metal roof are great for commercial and rural homes and can also be Class A rated. Some need an assembly to gain the rating and some are A rated standing alone.

dens deckThe best roofs to have in many opinions, are the concrete tile roofs. These  roof have and will continue to be Class A  Fire Rated Roofing Systems. With all the styles, profiles and colors it is a good choice for fire protection.

It sometimes become needed to have an under-layment barrier with some roofing products and the roof deck. This  serves as a fire stop from fire getting down into the building. Dens Deck, { as shown } is one of many ways to accomplish this tasks. Using gypsum or rolled roofing 72 pound cap sheet can also gain the Class A rating. These are applied as part of the assembly of the roofing system.

Just a short safety tip. Clean your gutters or used a fire rated gutter screen. Dead dry leaves catch on fire very simply as embers move down the roofs a drop into the gutters.

Please share this with someone.

For more detailed information on the actual fire testings go to this website.



About author

Bob 270 posts

Since 2005 Bob has been answering questions, free of charge, here at With a strong background in residential roofing and provides a practical and simple answers to hundreds of roof related questions, so it is easy to understand the issues you may have with your roof. Our answers are free so feel free to ask what you want. Use the green question box to contact myself or I have spent ten years as a union shingler, seventeen years as a California licensed roofing contractor with a general contractor endorsement and since Feb. of 2005 a roofing consultant. If I don't know the answer to your question, I will point you in the right direction.

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  1. Roof
    December 12, 17:55 Reply
    Great article. Thank you for the information, learned something here today.
  2. Gibbie
    December 12, 18:00 Reply
    Great article. Thank you for the information
  3. Other
    December 14, 16:44 Reply
    I found your article to be very interesting. It something I should consider being a homeowner.

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