Fireproof your roof

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

Q: I'm concerned about shake roofs and fire risk. Is there a substance that can be applied to shake roofs that will make them more fire resistant? A: To the best of our knowledge, and after a Web search to verify our belief, there are no products out there that we believe work in a retrofit application. In other words, if the roof is already installed, there's nothing you can spray or brush on that will make it fire resistant. But if you're planning to install a new shake roof, there are pressure-treated shakes that are fire-rated. The generally accepted application of shake roofing is over skip sheeting -- pieces of 1-by-4 wood nailed to the rafter with 3 inches of space between them. This allows exposure to air on both sides of the shakes and equalizes the expansion and contraction that naturally occurs with changes in humidity. Unfortunately, it also creates a fire hazard. Roofing systems are fire-rated either A, B, C or not ratable, with A the highest rating, or most fi...