Fire rated roofing system—they are sought after by countless consumers for obvious reasons. Every location in the world experiences its own extreme weather conditions—one of them being wildfires. This unfortunate natural disaster sweeps across the western states obliterating hundreds of homes, businesses, and cities with no mercy. Just in six months of the year 2020, wildfires destroyed 13,887 buildings. Finding the best fireproof materials to incorporate on a home is crucial to maintain precautionary safety. States across the Midwest statistically do not experience wildfires—but it’s not impossible. Incorporating a fire rated roofing system on your home provides incredible protection for years to come. Continue reading to learn more about the fire-resistant qualities a metal roof has to offer. First, let us explain the flame spread scale.
What is a “Class A” Fire Rated Roofing System?
Metal roofing systems are energy-efficient, durable, long-lasting, low maintenance, and best of all for these circumstances—fire-resistant. We talk about steel roofing systems being rated Class A, but what exactly does this mean for homeowners? The flame spread scale that we rate metal roofing on has three classifications. The ratings on the sale are Class A, Class B, and Class C—Class A being the best rating of the three. Adding a Class, A rated roofing system to your home is a proactive choice. Class A rated roofing systems are the best roofing materials to aid in fireproofing your home. Next, we will explain the specifics regarding the testing process.
How a “Class A” Fire Rated Roofing System is Determined
Determining how a product is rated is based upon a series of controlled scientific testing. These tests make it possible to determine how well certain products stand up against possible combustion. Through testing, scientists determine the flame spread index and smoke developed index. Flame spread index can be referred to as FSI, and smoke developed index can be referred to as SDI. FSI measures the rate at which the flames spread across a surface. SMI measures the rate of smoke production. All testing procedures are performed at the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM). The exact test for classifying the fire ratings for each material is called the E-84 test (or tunnel test). The sample material is closely monitored as special software is used to determine the specific SMI and FSI measurements of the material. This is the process in which scientists categorize the fire ratings for individual building materials.
Fire Rated Roofing System vs. Fire Rated Roofing Products
Steel roofing panels are widely known as a Class A fire rated roofing product. Many customers seek out metal roofing for this purpose alone—especially those who locally experience the wildfire season. Although a Class A rated roofing product is wonderful—that does not necessarily mean the entire roofing system is rated Class A. This is where customer education comes into play. You can have either a singular product or an entire roofing system rated Class A. The roofing system includes the decking, underlayment, trim, and panels. The roofing system will be more susceptible to combustion if all the materials are not Class A rated. This may not concern everyone, but those worried should aim towards installing a completely Class A rated system.