What can you do now to protect your home from wildfire? Start with improving your roof.
During a wildfire, your roof is the most vulnerable part of your home, as direct flames and wind-blown burning embers can rapidly ignite the roof covering, vegetation, and combustible debris accumulated on the rooftop. Studies have shown that many homes lost in Northern California wildfires were due to burning embers entering attics or crawl spaces through uncovered vents.
Class A fire-rated roofs provide the best defense from wildfire and are required in many areas of the Bay Area, including Marin County, Sonoma County, Napa and the East Bay. Homes and buildings located within California’s Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) areas are subject to additional requirements and restrictions for protection in these areas determined to be at greater risk of wildfire.
►Enter your address HERE to determine if your property is located within Marin County's Wildland-Urban Interface.
All buildings, even those with Class A fire-rated roofs, are vulnerable to ignition during a wildfire. To reduce this risk, it is vital to thoroughly inspect and remediate the vulnerable aspects of your roof.
► Note the true fire rating of your roof is dependent upon the integrity of the contractor who installs the system. Improper installation techniques, material substitution or non-compliance of building codes can compromise the fire-rating performance.
►Look for missing shingles or tiles where fire embers could enter your home. Replace these missing roofing components.
►Check for debris at the intersection of the roof edge and the vertical walls where burning embers could ignite the exterior siding and roof overhang.
►Please note accessing your roof is dangerous. We advise, for your safety and for the preservation of your roof, to hire a professional roofing contractor.
►Remove leaves and other roof debris that accumulates near or in the roof vents.
►Cut back all tree branches, shrubs and other vegetation within ten feet of your house or building.
►Remove ivy and other vines that have grown on your roof, and beneath the roof eaves.
►Install gutter covers or screens as per your local building code stipulations.
►Remove accumulated debris on and around skylights.
►If there is a wildfire in your neighborhood, remember to close all skylights.
►For more suggestions to protect your home against wildfire, please visit FireSafe Marin or your local fire protection district.