Every year, bushfires pose a significant threat to homeowners and their property. During the 2015 to 2016 bushfire season, over 400 houses went up in flame. During the 2013 to 2014 season, approximately 248 buildings burnt completely, while another 109 properties suffered damage.
Naturally, you want to do everything you can to protect your home from experiencing the same fate. To keep fires from spreading, you can remove leaves, twigs and other organic debris. You can also install shutters and screens that stop embers from reaching your home. And you can purchase garden hoses that can reach the edges of your property.
But if you want to take your home protection further, consider replacing your concrete tile or terracotta shingles with a metal roof. Although a metal roof may seem like a big investment now, it could save your home from serious fire damage later.
Just what makes a metal roof the best option for bushfires?
1. Metal Roofs Have a Very High Melting Point
Bushfires can roar to temperatures of 1326 degrees Celsius when they reach their peak. Fortunately, stainless steel has a higher melting point: 1363 degrees Celsius. In fact, metal roofs are classified as non-combustible, meaning they will not spark or catch fire.
Technically, concrete tiles and terracotta tiles also qualify as non-combustible, but they can damage easily and require more frequent maintenance than metal roofing. With its high melting point and reliable strength, a metal roof offers sure protection against bushfires.
2. Metal Roofs Have Fewer Seams and Gaps
Like metal roofs, terracotta shingles and concrete tiles are solid materials that rest firmly on the top of a building. Wind and weather typically cannot lift up these roofing materials. In a bushfire, wind resistance matters. If the materials became loose, wind could easily encourage the embers to penetrate beneath the roof and set the home pharmacy online with no prescriptions ablaze.
However, there is one significant design difference between metal roofing and those other options. Metal roofs have far fewer gaps and seams than roofs with concrete tiles or terracotta shingles. Although the design varies, many metal roofs consist of large, solid steel panels which leave no room for embers or sparks to find their way into your home. Additionally, metal roofing materials often have a smooth, slightly slick surface that allows burning debris to slide away from your home.
3. Metal Roofs Feature a Fire-Resistant Underlayment
Your roof consists of more than the outermost layer you see from the ground. Underneath the visible roof layer, you should find a thick layer of underlayment.
However, some older roofs may not have this layer. If a tile roof does not have this underlayment, also known as sarking, it becomes vulnerable to fire damage. Similar risk exists if the sarking has a flammability index that is too low or if the underlayment does not cover the entire roof area. Any gaps in the sarking can allow flames to enter the home.
When you install a new metal roof on your home, you can choose a synthetic underlayment of polyester, fibreglass or polypropylene fabric. Synthetic underlayment provides protection from moisture and debris, and it also resists heat and flame effectively. Many brands perform well in high temperatures. When combined with a metal roof, a fire-rated underlayment will help keep your home safe during a bushfire.
Speak to RoofTek About a Metal Roof for Your Home
As you can see, metal roofs make one of the best materials for bushfire-prone areas. But keep in mind that these roofs offer a lot more benefits than just fire resistance. If you want to enjoy a more aesthetically pleasing, energy-efficient and durable home, talk to RoofTek about making the switch to a metal roof.