When it comes to roofing, most property owners are concerned with preventing leaks and molds. However, it would be best to consider other dangers present on your roof, like fire hazards that the roof is susceptible to.
Fires that occur on commercial roofs may not be common, but their effects are irreversible and destructive to your business. It will not only ruin your equipment, but it can also risk the life of your customers and employees. Fortunately, you can reduce the likelihood of this incident from happening through the following.
Use Fire Resistant Roofing Materials
Commercial buildings located in storm-prone or wildfire-prone areas or other nearby fire risks are more likely at risk of having their roofs igniting and burning the rest of the building. Avoid having lightning strikes, wildfires, and other types of fires that can end up affecting your business by choosing a roof with high resistance to fire.
A rating system describes the combustibility of a roof with four categories, including Class A, Class B, Class C, and unrated. Roofs rated Class A are considered as the least combustible materials. It can withstand severe fire exposure without igniting. This is followed by Class B, a rating given to roof structures that can withstand a moderate amount of fire exposure.
Class C is the lowest rating that can be applied to roofing materials. This refers to materials that can only withstand a small amount of exposure to fire. Lastly, the unrated materials, which means the roofing material could not even pass the requirements for the Class C rating. Unrated materials do not offer fire resistance, and most building codes won’t even accommodate this type of material.
Choosing suitable materials for the roof can help prevent it from catching on fire. First, however, you should take a look at your roof and its shape. The roof shape also plays a vital role in terms of the roof’s vulnerability to fire. For example, roofs with many ridges and valleys or roof segments that intersect with the structure’s walls are more vulnerable to wildfires even if they are classified as Class A.
Repair Roof Damage Promptly
Fire-resistant roofing materials do an excellent job of protecting structures against fire damage. However, roofs can still catch fire if there are damaged sections. In addition, when gaps and holes are present, the roof can’t offer the same level of protection throughout its covered area. As a result, a fire can sneak through damaged areas and cause severe fire damage throughout your entire roof.
At this, its fire protective abilities become irrelevant as the roof beneath it becomes vulnerable to fire. Keep your roof healthy by filling holes and gaps as soon as possible. Prioritize regular roof inspections and repairs to minimize roofing-related fire hazards.
Repair Roof Leaks
Leaks are already considered a significant issue on any roof. This is because of the additional problems it brings to the roof and building as a whole. However, a leak can do a lot more damage to your home than stain your ceilings or mold growth. It is also a potential fire hazard.
It is already well-known that water and electricity do not mix. A steady water drip may seep into junction boxes or insulation clumps, exposing live wires to water. When a live wire comes in contact with water, it can spark and ignite the materials around it. That is why prompt roof repair to correct them is crucial.
Avoid Debris Accumulation
Debris accumulation on the roof is one of the most common roof-related fire hazards. Fire needs fuel to burn, which can include the various forms of debris resting on the roof of your commercial building. The more these things are around the roof, the higher the risk that fire might leap onto the roof during an outbreak.
The debris on the roof can catch fire from any stray embers from a nearby wildfire. In this case, even fire-resistant roofing materials may ignite and burn after a long time of exposure. Avoid letting the fire get into the building itself by reducing the debris accumulation on your roof. Make sure to regularly clear your roof of branches, leaves, and other debris.
Maintain Your Electrical System
Electrical wiring problems are common culprits in many fire incidents. This includes many fires that started on the roof. Modern buildings have wiring and other electrical installations like light fixtures, rooftop HVAC systems, and conduit pipes attached to their roofs.
Once these electrical systems malfunction, it can lead to overheating or sparks that ignite a fire. Older facilities should have their wiring inspected from time to time to avoid defective wiring, overloaded circuits, loose connections, faulty fuses. In turn, this can prevent imbalanced electrical loads from developing and potential fire hazards from even existing.
Fahey Roofing Contractors has the experienced and skilled contractors you need to help you with any necessary roof repairs and roof replacement. We serve various areas in West Virginia and Ohio. If you have questions or concerns, visit our website or contracts us at (304) 826-1323 for West Virginia or (740) 523-0380 for Ohio.