Wood Shake Roofing - Is It Worth the Fire Danger?

Connie Ragen Green

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Most of us take for granted that we will always have a roof over our heads. But if that roof is made from wood shake that roof may not be safe. This is especially true if you live in an area designated as a high fire risk. In those areas, found across the United States, wood shake roofs are banned even if they have been treated with a fire retardant. Over a period of time the fire retarding material will wear away, rendering the roof unprotected during the intense heat generated by a fire.

There are many kinds of roof coverings used on homes and commercial buildings. These alternatives can be attractive, durable, and inexpensive, but usually not all at the same time. Explore the choices available and see what might be the smartest choice for your home.

The most popular choice is composition shingle. It is very durable, inexpensive, and may be made with some recycled materials. It comes in many colors and is not easily damaged if it is walked on. The only problem is that it will blow off rather easily during high winds. It has a high level of fire protection.

Another choice for roofing is slate. Slate roofing is very attractive with a natural look, but is quite expensive relative to other home building costs. It will last for many years and will not require much in the way of maintenance. Slate also offers a high level of fire protection. The negative aspects are that it is very heavy and may need extra support and that it cannot be walked on easily, which will make it difficult to maintain.

Concrete tile is also a choice for roofing due to the fact that it is durable, has an extremely long lifespan, has offers good fire protection, and does not rot easily. It has the appearance of wood shake, clay tile, or slate. The problem is that it can be very expensive and may break or change color over time.

These types of roofing materials are good alternatives to wood shake. Especially if you live in an area that may be a fire hazard it is a smart idea to look into other types of roofing. Check with your insurance agent and see if there are laws governing the kinds of materials you use. It is always better to go for safety over appearance when it comes to making sure your roof stays over your head and not in a pile of ash.

Connie Ragen Green is a Real Estate Broker and State Certified Residential Appraiser in California and has bought and sold over 100 properties since 1983. Visit her at http://www.BuyRealEstateforProfit.com for more information about buying and selling real estate.


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