Fire-resistant Construction And Its Influence On Home Insurance

Fire-resistant Construction And Its Influence On Home Insurance – As the effects of climate change continue, wildfires in the US are steadily becoming larger and more destructive than ever. In 2020, wildfires burned 10.1 million acres and destroyed thousands of homes. The western US is particularly susceptible to wildfires with cities such as Colorado Springs, CO and Sacramento, CA experiencing a high risk of fire damage.

As homeowners in fire-prone states begin to rebuild, they inevitably wonder if it’s possible to build a home that won’t have a problem with a second wildfire. While it may not be possible to build a completely fireproof home, there are many different precautions you can take to make your home as fireproof as possible.

Fire-resistant Construction And Its Influence On Home Insurance

Fire-resistant Construction And Its Influence On Home Insurance

First, it’s important to understand fire class ratings and how they work. Fire class ratings are a means of classifying materials based on their ability to support and spread fire. They also measure how much smoke a material can produce, which is determined by the flame spread index.

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The flame spread index is a value that is usually obtained by checking how a certain material reacts during a ten-minute tunnel test. The flame spread index value is expressed as an arbitrary numerical value between zero and 100, where a highly refractory material has a rating of zero and a highly flammable material has a rating of one hundred.

A class A fire rating is the best fire rating a material can achieve. Class A fire ratings indicate a fire spread rating somewhere between zero and 25. Materials consisting of brick masonry, asbestos-cement board, and rock wool often achieve a Class A rating.

Class B fire rate will drop from 26 to 75. This figure is typical for slow-burning whole wood materials such as cedar, hemlock or spruce.

A Class C fire rating has a flame spread rating of 76 to 200. This designation covers building materials such as plywood, fiberboard, and hardboard panels. It also includes any faster-burning whole forest, such as birch or Douglas-fir.

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Sheet metal – Aluminum and steel siding are virtually unmatched in terms of resistance to environmental hazards. Not only do they easily withstand rain, wind, hail and sleet, they are also extremely fire resistant. Almost all metal siding receives a Class A fire rating and is labeled as non-combustible, meaning it has not been shown to ignite or spread in a fire test.

Fiber Cement – ​​As an alternative to vinyl siding, fiber cement is a mixture of cement, sand and wood fibers. Fiber cement achieves high fire resistance with a class A rating.

Fire-resistant Construction And Its Influence On Home Insurance

Fiberglass Asphalt Shingles – Asphalt shingles make up nearly 80 percent of residential roofing materials in the U.S. They are one of the most affordable options on the market. With a Class A fire rating, fiberglass asphalt pavers are highly fire resistant when installed with fire code compliant layers.

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Brick and stone veneers – Fire risk is reduced when brick and stone veneers are used over timber frames. Because brick and stone do not have bonded joints, they can prevent fire from contacting the foundation cavity and setting fire to the frame of the house. Brick and stone can be used for both roofing and cladding with a class A fire rating.

Choosing a fire-resistant roofing material and using a fire-resistant barrier underneath provides peace of mind. Consider using metal or slate tiles, both with a Class A fire rating. These types of materials can cost around $700-$800 per 100 sq. per foot. Fencing is a common roofing material, and the fiberglass variety offers excellent fire resistance when fire code-compliant underlayments are installed. Class A rated shingles boast asphalt shingle availability and cost between $50 and $100 per 100 sq. ft. per foot – Pisgah Roofing & Restoration.

The first thing we recommend when considering fire applications is DensGlass Sheathing. Exterior fiberglass plaster wall sheathing (especially when combined with a fire-resistant exterior material such as brick or stone and a fire-rated roof) provides homeowners with fire protection, but also protects against moisture and mold. This product works well in warm or cold climates. – Blythe Building Company

Composite Decking – Many house fires start on decks because most types of wood used to build decks are rated Class C fire resistant. However, using composite decking materials is a much safer alternative. Composite decks like Ameradeck and Trex are made of PVC and wood fibers, giving them a Class A fire rating.

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Structural Insulated Panels (SIP) – These large wall panels can take the place of conventional stud framing. Their laminated panels are engineered with a rigid foam core sandwiched between structural shells such as oriented strand board or plywood. In some cases, SIPs are covered with fiber cement, which gives them a Class A fire rating, extreme weather resistance, as well as resistance to mold and water damage.

Aerated concrete – these blocks are made of concrete mixed with aluminum. They are only half the weight of conventional concrete blocks and provide better insulation. With aerated concrete blocks, you get about one hour of fire protection for every inch of block, giving them one of the highest hourly fire resistance ratings per inch of any building material.

Fire Retardant Treated (FRT) Timber – While traditional stick framing is highly flammable, it can still be a viable option for your fireproof home if treated with a fire retardant. Fire rated wood has a Class A fire rating and is usually available from the same companies that pressure treated wood. It is an affordable alternative to other fireproof framing materials, costing about $3 for a treated 12-foot 2×4.

Fire-resistant Construction And Its Influence On Home Insurance

Homeowners in wildfire-prone areas can use fire-resistant deck building products to create the ultimate outdoor living scenario. Options such as pre-engineered steel deck framing systems provide proven fire resistance, strength and efficiency to support deck functions while playing to today’s sought-after rustic, industrial aesthetic. Additionally, given the volatility of the lumber market, fire-resistant alternatives to traditional framing materials don’t hit the budget as much as they once did. – Castle construction products

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Double-paned windows – These windows are not designed to protect against the heat and fire damage of a fire, but they offer more protection than a single-pane window. The outer layer of glass, acting as a barrier, slows down the heating of the inner glass, helping to resist breakage. When it comes to window frames, steel provides the highest fire resistance, followed by wood and aluminum.

Steel Garage Door – Steel makes an excellent fire resistant garage door. Fire-rated garage doors, such as Wayne-Dalton’s 9000 series, have a core made of “polyurethane foam-in-place insulation,” which is a heat-resistant material that bonds steel exterior panels. These doors typically range from $800 to $2,000, depending on size and design.

Steel Front Door – Metal front doors are often recommended by fire safety experts to protect your home from fire. So if your goal is to make your home as fireproof as possible, try to use steel front doors in as many places as possible. Metal doors can provide fire protection for up to 90 minutes in the event of a fire.

Fire rated wooden doors – If you don’t want to sacrifice the aesthetics of a wooden door for the fire protection of a metal door, there are different types of fire rated wooden doors. These doors are constructed with a core that provides up to 20 minutes of fire protection.

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Windows must withstand wind debris and we use metal storm shutters on the west coast with metal fire shutters. No matter where we are on the planet, there seems to be some type of weather event that our structures must survive. Strong materials like steel and concrete are universally superior construction methods that allow our homes to survive fires and hurricanes. – The Mark Batson Group

As a general rule of thumb for fire-rated windows, aluminum frames with insulated glass last longer in the heat of a fire. Consider tempered glass. Different types of fireproof glass can be used. Glass thickness up to 60 mm allows various applications. The Schüco FireStop ADS 90 FR 90 platform is the basis of the new concept of 90 minutes fire protection. – Sustainable windows and doors

Fiberglass – Fiberglass insulation is commonly used in residential and commercial buildings. It is created as a result of weaving thin threads of glass. Fiberglass is very affordable, widely available, and very effective as home insulation. However, extreme caution is recommended during installation to prevent small shards of glass from injuring the eyes, skin, and lungs. Although fiberglass is not completely fireproof, it can withstand temperatures up to 1,220 degrees.

Fire-resistant Construction And Its Influence On Home Insurance

Reflective Insulation – This very popular form of insulation is typically used between floor joists, roof rafters and wall joints. Its reflective insulation is designed to reflect heat. Made by bonding a reflective material such as aluminum to plastic film or cardboard is often used

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