House roof on fire because the roof was not made of fire resistant roofing materials

Best Fire Resistant Roofing Materials

The dry climate in Southern California and Southern Nevada along with the strong winds make the entire region highly prone to wildfires. When building, renovating or re-roofing a home in these areas be sure you and your builder select quality, fire-resistant materials, especially for your roof. The roof plays an important role in maintaining the structural integrity of your home, so it’s important to keep it safe and intact. Of course, due to its large surface area, a roof is highly vulnerable in the event of a fire. Burning embers can easily blow over and settle on rooftops. Radiant heat from large fires can cause roof materials to hit their flash point, or a temperature at which they self-ignite. Your roof might also come into contact with open flame if a fire moves into your area. Using quality fire-resistant roofing materials gives the entire structure a better chance of surviving a fire.

Roofing Fire Ratings 101

Roofing materials go through strenuous testing to determine a fire rating. This includes checking if the material is combustible, whether it will splinter and generate flying firebrands (i.e. burning pieces of debris), and if flames can spread across its surface. Class A roofing materials are typically non-combustible, can withstand severe fire exposure, and don’t produce firebrands. Class B roofing is made of combustible materials that are treated with chemicals to make them more fire retardant. Class C roofing is made up of things like untreated wood shakes and shingles, which will only survive light fire damage. Many communities in fire-prone areas ban Class B and Class C roofing materials for safety reasons.

What Are the Most Fire-Resistant Roofing Materials?

A fire-resistant roof includes the entire roofing system, including the deck, insulation, underlayment, and even the roof incline. The roof sheathing material plays a large role in preventing ignition and slowing the spread of fire to other parts of the building.Here are some popular roofing materials to provide Class A protection for your home.

Good Fire Resistant Roofing Materials

New gray slate roof in Las Vegas view from atop roof installed by Prestige Roofing

Slate

This natural stone tile is beautiful, durable, and non-combustible. However, slate is also an extremely heavy material, so you have to make sure your roof can support the weight. Additionally, slate tile is expensive and requires specialized knowledge for proper installation.

Clay Tile

Clay tile is another non-combustible option. It’s a popular choice for Southwestern, mission, or Spanish-style architecture. However, for optimal fire protection, it does require a bit of upkeep, particularly the barrel-shaped tiles, as there can be gaps between the underlayment and the tile sheathing. If these gaps aren’t plugged, embers can get blown in, bypassing the Class A protection of the tiles, and spread to the structural support beams.

Concrete Tiles

Concrete tiles, like clay, are non-combustible. They can be a good choice in terms of durability, fire-resistance, and cost-effectiveness. Today’s concrete tiles come in many colors, finishes and shapes for an attractive look to your roof. Like clay tiles, a concrete tile roof must be installed correctly. LIke clay, regular inspection by your roofer for misplaced tiles or other problems will help it retain its maximum fire resistance.

Asphalt Shingles

Fiberglass-based asphalt shingles provide good fire protection when they’re installed with a fire-resistant underlayment. They’re relatively inexpensive, but also require more upkeep than other options.

Best Fire Resistant Roofing

Two roofing materials, in particular, combine Class A fire-resistance, style, low maintenance and durability.

Metal

Luxury home at night with beautiful fire resistant copper roof

Metal roofing is non-combustible and offers Class A protection in combination with a fire-resistant underlayment. It’s lightweight, won’t corrode, and requires little maintenance. Metal roofing can be made from copper, zinc and steel, as well as various alloys, and comes in a variety of finishes, colors, and designs. Even better, most types of metal roofing are heat reflective and meet Energy Star efficiency requirements — making them a great option for the Las Vegas desert climate.

CeDUR

Vintage Las Vegas home restored with CeDUR shake roofing

Natural wood shakes are a popular roofing choice for their natural look and beauty, but are prohibited in many fire-prone communities for safety concerns. Fortunately, there is now a synthetic option on the market called CeDUR which replicates the look of natural cedar shakes and tiles but is designed with high fire resistance. CeDUR tiles self-extinguish and create minimal heat transfer, which helps prevent the spread of flames across the surface of the roof.

CeDUR tiles are also rated for impact and high winds, and won’t rot or split — unlike natural wood or asphalt shingles.

Other Tips for Reducing the Risk of a Roof Fire

Simple maintenance can go a long way to help mitigate the risk of a roof fire. Periodically inspect the condition of your roof, checking for gaps in the tiles, areas where shingles have fallen away, or where the surface is damaged. Also, make sure to remove wind-blown debris, such as leaves and pine needles that accumulate on your roof and in gutters.It’s important to have a fire-resistant roof when living in a fire-prone area like Las Vegas. By choosing Class A roofing materials and keeping up with maintenance, you can help prevent fires from destroying your home. If you have any questions, contact the experts at Prestige Roofing. We will help you find the right option to match your style and budget.

Roof Cleaning is a Regular Part of Roof Care

picture of a clean new residential roof

It’s smart thinking to wonder if you’re providing the right care and maintenance for your roof.  After all, it’s the most important barrier between your home and family and the weather. Neglecting your roof can lead to creeping damage that may be expensive to repair and could cause loss of personal property from intrusion of water and mold. Doing at least an annual cleaning and inspection will go a long way to prevent long-term issues with your roof. A clean, well-maintained roof will add years to its life and value to your home.

Cleaning and Inspecting Your Roof

Man repairing rain gutter system on a house

The most common task involved in roof cleaning is removing debris from rain gutters to allow rainwater to flow through the roof drainage system as designed, and help prevent water damage to the exterior and interior of your home. Gutter cleaning is a great time for a general health inspection of your roof. The best times to do an inspection are during spring and fall as the seasons change.

If possible, use a ladder to work on clearing your rain gutters. As you work, carry out a good visual inspection of as much of the roof as you can see. Judge the condition of shingles, downspouts, gutters, and skylights. Take note of any dark stains or discolorations, such as water stains. These are possible signs of water infiltration or areas that may need further inspection and repair.

Here are a few things to include in your spring and fall cleaning and inspection:

  • Clear and test gutters and downspouts. Use a broom, gloves or other light tool to clean out debris from these important systems that direct water away and off your roof. The roof valleys and the roof’s intentional slope are designed to direct rainwater from the roof to the gutter system. When debris accumulates on your rooftop, the entire system is affected. Loose or broken gutters and downspouts need to be repaired so that they do not misdirect rainwater and cause damage to your home.

Broken rain gutter on metal tile roof in need of repairs

  • Trim back trees and bushes. A semi-annual plant trimming will help avoid roof damage and damage to your plants. Cut tree limbs and large bushes back at least 1-2 feet from your house, and keep them far from your rain gutters to reduce clutter. Keep climbing plants off your walls and roof. They can infiltrate drainage systems and hide water damage and rot. Be sure to remove all dead branches from your trees before they become a hazard. If a tree is in poor health, have it removed to avoid it falling on your home during a storm. When in doubt, contact an arborist for an expert opinion.

House with a fallen tree on the damaged roof due to a tornado or hurricane

    • Check for clogged or blocked vents. To be sure your ventilation systems are working properly. Visually inspect roof vents and fixtures, which come in many types and shapes. Don’t forget to inspect flat soffit vents which may be located vertically on the side of the house or horizontally under the eaves of your roof.  If the openings on roof vents are blocked, your roof may be accumulating moisture inside the roof and attic that can result in warping, rotting or moldy eaves, roofing or walls. Left year after year, this accumulated moisture can result in major repair costs or even require reroofing.

 

  • Look for loose, bent or broken flashing. Flashing is the metal material used to close gaps between roofing components, usually along the ridge of the roof, around the edge of chimneys, vents and other roof fixtures, or along the eaves and gutters. Flashing serves to weatherproof these joints, making your roof fully resistant to wind and water intrusion. Any that are not functioning properly should be repaired to avoid further damage in high winds, rain or other severe weather. Some flashing can be easily secured back in place, but it’s best to have a roofer do the work as misplaced flashing or incorrectly placed nails can result in severe leakage or other problems.

Of course, if your home is two stories (or more), seeing your rooftop from a ladder may not be possible. Or, your home may not even have a gutter system if it was built with slope high enough to drain water away. This is typical in the desert Southwest. If you don’t or can’t regularly work around your roof, build a relationship with a local roofer who will do an affordable annual inspection for you. This could save you thousands in “surprise” repairs down the road.

Things to Remember When Cleaning your Roof

After you remove debris from the gutters, test the system using your water hose (don’t use the hose to clear packed gutters – you may end up just clogging the drainage system). Run the hose across the roof to simulate rain. Check that all the water is flowing into the gutters and that they, and the downspouts, are clear and functioning. There should be no water pooling on top of your roof.

Still dirty? If your roof appears to need more than just a hose-cleaning, here are a few things to keep in mind:

    • Roofing materials will begin to look weathered over time. Look for areas that appear moist or warped, rather than just aged or weathered. Long-term, localized moisture is your roof’s enemy and should be investigated.

 

    • If moss, algae or related unattractive stains are a problem, most roofs can be gently cleaned with a biodegradable chemical cleaner to discourage moss growth and help extend the life of asphalt shingles. They can be cleaned by the homeowner using regular household items.  Note that installing copper or zinc flashing can also help to reduce moss and algae as they naturally contain antifungal elements which wash down the roof and protect it from these growths. Algae stains are common in humid parts of the country but not common in the Southwest.

 

    • Some roofing materials may have a manufacturer’s clause regarding regular cleaning or maintenance. Keep your warranty effective by following their guidelines.

 

  • Modern roofing materials, such as CeDUR shake roofing, are available and offer improved durability, weather-resistance and longer life. Many newer materials are resistant to mold, mildew, moss and algae. Metal roofing, for example, has a long life, needs little maintenance and naturally resists the growth of mold, moss and algae. Be sure to ask about maintenance and durability of your roofing materials whenever you select a new or replacement roof.

CeDUR roofing modern fire resistant shake roof newly installed

    • In hot, dry climates like Las Vegas, sun and wind can do a lot of damage over the years. If you have an asphalt roof, look for dried, cracked, warped or bent shingles and have those replaced. Asphalt roofs last 15-25 years in the desert and damage will worsen over time as the roof ages. Tile and metal roofing are highly durable choices for the desert, but it’s still a good idea to carry out a visual inspection in case other problems crop up, such as damage caused by falling tree branches or high winds.

 

  • It’s important to remember that roof work is dangerous and work that requires climbing onto the roof should only be attempted with the right safety equipment and with knowledge of how to avoid damaging your roof, as even roof inspectors know. The best solution to roof care is to partner with a professional roofing service that provides scheduled inspections and regular maintenance programs to help you protect your investment.

Avoid Pressure Washing your Roof

Some companies offer to pressure wash your roof, promising to make it look new.  Unfortunately, pressure washing may cause a lot of damage, particularly to roofs like asphalt or tile where components can easily be pushed out of place by the strong spray. Spraying pressurized water from the edge of the roof line (against the lay of the roof tiles) can cause uplifting or force water underneath the tiles. Pressure washing will simply cost you more money in the long run, with potential damage to the roof’s substructure.

If you roof needs washing, hire a company that will use a biodegradable cleaning solution (you don’t want dangerous chemical damage to your plants or have it wash into the sewer system) with regular water pressure only.

Prestige Roofing Takes Care of All Kinds of Roofs

As a longtime quality roofer in Las Vegas, Prestige Roofing also provides roof cleaning, inspection, repair and maintenance services for all types of roofs. If you would like more information on caring for your roof or to schedule a free estimate on any of our services, give us a call or contact us.

See the Cupola Installation as it Happened

three roofers completing work on top of a copper cupola dome on the roof of a new buildingPrestige Roofing has delivered and mounted the new cupola, an inspired copper dome design, commissioned to grace the roof of the new Nevada Supreme Court building in downtown Las Vegas. The classic design of this new state building that will serve the people of Nevada’s as its highest court is perfectly complemented by the cupola whose classic look recreates the dignity of famous buildings worldwide. The Prestige team is proud to have participated in building and delivering the dome. We’d like to share some of the images as it happened.

The Copper Dome Project Beginnings

The dome project began with building the underlying structure and cutting, shaping and installing the copper on the dome’s steel frame. The dome was designed and built so that it could be dismantled in sections for transport to the installation site.

As a final step in the construction process, the brilliant new copper was aged to give it the classic patina that beautifies copper domes and copper roofs atop structures around the world. The classic green Copper dome preparing the bottom of the copper cupolapatina was achieved with an acid mixture that accelerates the normal oxidation process that results in the changing coloration. Left to itself in the dry desert air, the dome would have turned a “dirty penny” brown patina, while the more attractive and recognized aged copper green patina, which needs moisture from the surrounding air to form, happens most quickly in coastal areas. With a little help from us, the dome was able to achieve that natural effect and present itself from the start in its most beautiful colors.

Copper Cupola’s Smooth Delivery to its new Home

A quarter piece of copper cupola dome being installedOnce the dome, or cupola, was complete and ready to go, it was disassembled in quarters for easy transport. Fully complete, the dome itself weighs about 7,200 lbs and is 14 ft tall with a diameter of 20 ft. The circumference is 63 ft, so transporting it across town was made easier by sectioning the large structure. The sections were loaded and transported from our facility in North Las Vegas to the downtown Las Vegas construction site of the now nearly complete Nevada State Supreme Court building.

crane basket lift allowing worker to access roof dome spire atop Nevada Supreme Court building in Las VegasPrestige had already completed the flat membrane roof on top of the building where the cupola would be installed. Each quarter of the copper dome was separately hoisted by crane onto the lantern, or elevated section of the roof, which serves to raise up the decorative cupola and spire for better visibility from below.

The four sections of the cupola were then reconnected to reform the entire structure in its new home. Once the cupola was in place and secured, we were ready to install the decorative spire and statue of Lady Justice to cap off the beautiful structure. Using a crane and lift, we secured those finishing touches place.

A Special Roofing Project for Nevadans to Enjoy

View from above copper cupola and spire newly added to the Nevadas Supreme Court building in Las VegasThe entire copper cupola project took several months and put our sheet metal talents, experience with roof dome structures, and our copper roofing expertise to the test for a one-of-a-kind project. We’re very pleased to have had the opportunity to participate in helping to write a new chapter in Nevada history.

For more pictures from the installation and to see a photo of the entire finished cupola, visit our Nevada Supreme Court Cupola Dome project page. If you have any questions about the cupola project, a monument that now belongs to all Nevadans, contact us and we’ll be happy to answer them.

 

Vintage Las Vegas home with aging shake roofingOne of the great things about being a Las Vegas roofer is being able to work on projects that reflect our community’s historic and sometimes colorful past. We’ve worked on many celebrity homes, some restored classic beauties and others completely new or remodeled, as well as landmark public buildings, like the new Nevada Supreme Court building in Las Vegas. But one recent project gave us a real sense of the history of Las Vegas in its mid-20th-century heyday, when the casinos rocked with swinging bands and crooners, and the locals spread out into new suburbs to occupy brand new, sprawling ranch-CeDUR shake roof replacement in Las Vegas on viintage ranch homestyle homes with seemingly endlessly large desert yards and driveways long enough to fit those really long cars everyone was driving.

Recently Prestige Roofing was commissioned to install a new roof on a vintage Las Vegas ranch style home, in a neighborhood that was home to many casino owners and entertainers. The son of the original owner is restoring the home for his mother and was insistent on maintaining the original look and feel of the home.

 

CeDUR Shakes: Perfect Choice for Vintage Las Vegas Roof Replacement

In keeping with the homeowner’s wish to retain its historic style, but also wanting to install a durable, trouble-free roof replacement that would both beautify and protect this vintage home, Prestige selected img_2180CeDUR Shake roofing for the project.  CeDUR was not only a perfect match for the original hand split cedar shakes, but it is also fireproof and a highly durable, weather-resistant and long-lasting roofing material. We have never seen a better match to a wood shake roof than we had with this project.

Our primary objective, of course, was to retain the home’s historic, retro styling. CeDUR was a perfect choice, not only exactly replicating the look of classic cedar shakes, but also because, among its many durable qualities, CeDUR’s state-of-the-art material is highly UV resistant, a great choice for our harsh desert sun. This beautiful look will last longer than if we had installed actual wood shakes, which are subject to drying, cracking, rotting and other natural processes.

Roof of home with new CeDUR shake roofing showing how it looks just like wood roofThe CeDUR roof on this wonderful classic Las Vegas home is going to look great for many decades to come. We recommend it to any client with an aging, leaking or damaged wood shake or shingle roof that needs to be replaced. It’s also a wonderful upgrade to asphalt roofing or in any case where a traditional roofing look is appropriate.

An investment in quality CeDUR shakes, which are warrantied 50 years, will take your home through the next half century in Las Vegas.  Who knows what changes we will see in the next few decades, but since this is Las Vegas, we know they’ll be interesting, and we look forward to the challenges of finding the perfect roofing solutions for all of them!

Find out more about CeDUR here or give us a call for more information.