Certain parts of the United States may be more prone to catastrophic events, like wildfires in the western United States. You want to do everything in your power to protect your home against these catastrophies and that includes making your roof will protect your home rather than fan the flames. When looking for the best materials you want to take a look at the material’s fire rating. So what are roofing fire ratings and why do they matter? Let’s look at fire ratings including the best and worst materials against fire.

What Are Roofing Fire Ratings?

Many home materials, including roofing, are assigned a fire resistance rating. The most accepted fire rating scale in the United States is Underwriter Laboratories (UL) class A, B and C system. UL uses a combination of different tests such as resistance to intermittent fire, flame spread and ignition from burning brands to measure the materials’ resistance to different types of fire.

Class A is the best type of classification that a material can receive while Class C is the poorest. Examples of Class A roofing materials include slate, concrete tiles and even some asphalt shingles. Class C might include fairly flammable materials like wood shakes or asphalt shingles with large amounts or organic material. If a material doesn’t have a fire rating it is possible that it didn’t even qualify for a Class C rating.

Why Do They Matter?

Fire rating classifications matter because the homeowner needs to know what type of protection the roof will offer should fire become a factor. This is obviously more pertinent for areas that have a higher potential threat from wildfires. Regardless of wildfire threats you should know what resistance to fire your roof provides should your home catch fire.

Fire rating classifications might also have a direct impact on your home insurance premiums. For example wood shakes in areas prone to wildfire may substantially hike up your premiums or lead to a cancellation of the policy altogether. It may not come as a surprise to know different companies have different policies on different materials.

Talk to your roofing contractor and home insurance agent about your individual home and the importance of fire ratings.