An unfortunate reality many Californians face is our annual fire season. Every year hundreds, if not thousands of Californians lose their homes to a wildfire.
Although the loss of personal belongings or existing structures is out of the home owner’s control, there are ways to reduce the harm to your home. Our experts at Built to Perfection Inc. put together a list of actions to take to prevent damage to your home from wildfires.
- For property owners building a home from scratch, they may want to consider a concrete frame. As we have seen structures being torched down from the fires we have equally witnessed concrete framed buildings remain stable. An example of the materials used to build a frame like this is a lightweight material called SCIP. SCIP panels are made from concrete wrapped foam which creates a fire-resistant frame.
- Fires cannot only affect the frame, but they can also penetrate through windows so the best way to minimize damage to your home is to add steel windows with double-pane, tempered glass. These windows have been proven to withstand wildfire temperatures, ensuring your home’s protection.
- An additional layer of protection is adding a fire-resistant stone as a finish to the outside of your home. This is a preventative measure as well as a style choice.
- Just because wood is not fire-resistant does not mean you cannot add decorative elements to your home, for example, faux wooden support beams. Using insulated concrete panels in the roof eliminates the need for interior support, so homeowners can make a stylistic choice with faux wooden beams. And although the external structure is fire resistant, it does not mean your home cannot succumb to fire damage, unfortunately.
- Ventilation is not only ideal to include in your home but will block embers from entering your home to potentially ignite a fire from within.
- Another safeguard is not only thinking about the actual structure of your home but the landscaping throughout your property as well. Follow the concept of defensible space when it comes to plants and foliage around your property, make sure there are 100 feet of clear area around your home. Meaning if there is dry grass or leaves around your yard, make sure to maintain the space. Space out the areas where you’d like to have grass or plants and flowers and make sure to maintain the vegetation and foliage with consistent trimming.
- As we mentioned earlier ceiling and roofing for structural integrity, is a given, but the materials you choose to do this with are critical. A roof is the most vulnerable place for embers to come in contact with as it covers the surface area of your home. Using non-flammable material like slate and closed eaves and keeping the roof and gutters free of debris will increase your chances of protecting your home from a fire.
- Siding and decks are other areas of vulnerability. Better to stick with non-flammable materials when thinking of a design. Wood decks are aesthetically pleasing but stone, brick or concrete are much more practical and what would you rather have when it comes to the matter of protecting your home?
Firefighters in California often warn fire season has become year-round. And in order to protect your home, these are the precautions you should take.
Need a contractor to help you make your home fire safe? Call Built To Perfection, Inc. and schedule a free consultation today!