By Cass Jacoby.
Fire-resistant materials are not all the same. Roof fire ratings are established by test methods to ensure that certain standards are formalized to protect human life and property. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard E108 is one such test method. This organization rates materials and classifies them as a Class A, Class B or Class C Fire rating through this method.
Class A is the highest, whereas Class C is the lowest. Naturally, most people want the safest roof possible. That’s the Class A rated fire-resistant roof. There are three tests that roofing products and systems must go through to achieve a Class A rating. The roofing product must pass all three tests to be listed as a Class A product.
1 - Intermittent flame test – An assembly of tiles is subjected to an intense flame for two minutes then turned off for two minutes. This is cycled 15 times to see if there is failure in the roof deck.
2 - Spread of flame test – Flame and air current are applied for 10 consecutive minutes and then checked for failure.
3 - Burning brand test – A burning brand is placed on an assembly of roofing tiles with a high volume of wind behind it. The decking of the assembly is constantly monitored for 90 minutes to see if any fire burns through. If fire burns through the roof deck anytime during the 90-minute trial, the tiles fail.
When you are told a roof has a Class A Fire Rating, it means that the product has successfully undergone these three tests.
A roofing product that has Class A Fire rating meets all three requirements which are: ability to resist spreading of flames on surface, ability to resist fire penetration from the exterior to the underside of the rock deck and ability to resist recurring intermittent flame. Always remember that Class A is the best classification available!
As fire season extends and becomes more of a threat across the country, this level of fire safety becomes more and more important to protecting homes and stopping the spread of fire. Obviously, the top benefit of selecting a proven Class A fire resistant roof is safety. Your home, valuables and family are safer in a structure with fire resistant roof tiles.
However, a highly fire-resistant roof can be a major help to stopping the spread of fire. Take for example, that a spark from a wildfire can travel up to a mile in windy conditions. That one spark could be fatal if you have a real wood roof. However, that same spark turns into a nonevent when you have a Class A-rated synthetic shake or slate roof overhead.
These materials that are backed by fire-rated tests can be a serious help in defending your home. Start protecting your home from fire in style with Quarrix’s Composite Roofing tiles.
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Cass works as a reporter/writer for RoofersCoffeeShop, AskARoofer and MetalCoffeeShop. When she isn’t writing about roofs, she is putting her Master degree to work writing about movies and dancing with her plants.
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