The Top 5 Fire-Resistant Roofing Materials

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The Top 5 Fire-Resistant Roofing Materials

The Top 5 Fire-Resistant Roofing Materials

Your roof is your home’s most important exterior aspect, and its sole purpose is to protect you from inclement weather. Sure, your roof can serve this primary function of protection and be a beautiful accent to the look of your home. But not all roofing materials are created with equal amounts of protection in mind.

For example, impact-resistant roofing materials offer different levels of protection against falling objects like hail or other debris. Similarly, different roofing materials have varying degrees of fire resistance.

So which ones are the most fire-resistant? Here are the top five fire-resistant roofing materials, along with the level of protection offered.

How Fire Resistance Is Measured

Before any type of roofing material is put on the market, it is subjected to rigorous testing and rated according to its performance. The main test, which determines a roofing material’s level of fire resistance, measures how quickly a fire spreads on a roof within 10 minutes. When it comes to fire resistance, roofing materials are rated on a class system. There are three levels of fire resistance when it comes to roofing materials: Class A, B, and C.

Class A roofing materials are the most fire-resistant. They aren’t readily flammable and will not contribute to the spread of fire across a roof. Many insurance companies offer discounts to homeowners who have Class A-rated roofing.

Class B roofing materials are not readily flammable, and they’ll withstand moderate fire exposure. Typically, a Class B material will allow a fire to spread two feet further in a 10-minute window than a Class A material.

Class C roofing materials will withstand light exposure to fire, although they aren’t as fire-resistant as Classes A or B.

Non-Rated roofing materials are exactly that: they aren’t rated for fire resistance. That doesn’t mean they’re highly flammable, but they don’t meet the requirements for Class C (or the manufacturer didn’t seek a fire-resistance rating).

An important note is that each of these classes depends on the underlayment material and proper installation. For example, a Class A roofing material like concrete or clay tile could ignite if it doesn’t sit on fire-resistant roof underlayment.

Types of Fire-Resistant Roofing Materials

Each of the following roofing materials is considered fire-resistant to varying degrees. You can learn more about the durability of each by clicking here.

Metal Roofing

Metal is one of the best fire-resistant roof materials, and metal roofs are also sustainable. It’s not the cheapest material to install, but because of its durability, metal roofs will last a long time and are worth the investment. Metal is commonly assigned a Class A fire-resistance rating, which is the highest safety level for fire protection. Many of the mountain communities in Colorado have beautiful homes with metal roofing. Common types of metal roofing include aluminum roofing, copper roofing, standing seam metal roofs, stone coated steel, metal tile roofs, and metal slate roofs.

Clay or Concrete Tile

Clay and concrete tile roofs are good options for fire resistance, as both materials are naturally fire-resistant and non-combustible. As such, they’re typically rated Class A. Part of routine maintenance includes making sure cracks in the material are repaired, as damaged tiles can open a roof up to ignition from flying firebrands.

Slate Tile

Slate tile roofs are similar to clay or concrete tiles: they’re naturally fire-resistant due to their material. As a non-combustible material, it receives a Class A fire rating. Slate can break easily, creating the risk of cracks and other damage. Slate tile roofs are typically rated class A.

Fiberglass-Based Asphalt Shingles

Fiberglass-based asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing material, including here in Colorado. Because asphalt shingles are a petroleum-based product, they’re flammable on their own. But that’s where fiberglass comes into play to help make them more durable during a fire; fiberglass-based shingles should be able to withstand a couple of hours of flames before they ignite. A fiberglass mat can also add weather protection and greater fire resistance. They are often rated Class A.

Synthetic Composite

Synthetic composite shingles are a great fire-resistant option. They’re also economical and come in a variety of colors and styles. They’re recyclable, easy on the environment, and highly durable. Synthetic composite roofs are usually rated Class A.

A Note on Wood Shake Shingles

Some homes have wood shake shingles or wood shake tiles as their roofing materials. They are beautiful, durable, and can last a long time. However, they increase the risk of structure loss during a fire (particularly a wildfire). Since the fire season has become increasingly worse, it is important to note the roofing materials that have the lowest rating. Wood shake, plywood, or particle board roofs are the most common roofing types listed as Class C.

Traditional shake shingle roofs have been banned by municipalities in Colorado and other states that often face a fire elevated risk. And many insurance companies are no longer offering insurance on homes with wood shake roofs. If you are looking for wood shake or cedar shake options, consider several new lines of realistic synthetic shake and durable wood shake composite roofing products from Brava, DaVinci, EcoStar, and CeDUR.

We Know Your Roofing Materials

J&K Roofing professionals are knowledgeable and experienced with all roofing materials, plus we’re certified in each one. If you are concerned about fire resistant roofing for your home, we can provide options based on your area and home aesthetic.

If you’re in the Denver Metro, Front Range, Colorado Springs, and Northern Colorado regions, contact us today by calling 303-425-7531. We’d love to hear from you!

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New Year, New Trends: Here’s What’s in Store for Roofing in 2022

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New Year, New Trends: Here’s What’s in Store for Roofing in 2022

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It’s a new year, and for many people that means new home projects. Wintertime may not be the best time to get a new roof in Colorado, but it is the right time to begin preparations for your new roof installation. 

Your roof should provide ultimate protection, sustainability, and style. According to the roof trends on the rise, these factors are becoming the standard for residential property owners.

To help you make the best decisions for your new roof, let’s take a look at some current and upcoming roofing trends. 

1. Bourbon Is the 2022 Shingle Color of the Year

If you’re beginning to do research on a new roof for your home, you might be interested in current and upcoming roofing trends, including roof shingle color. The 2022 shingle color of the year, as announced by Owens Corning, is bourbon.

This year’s color of the year for roof shingles blends brown colors like caramel, leather, and chocolate with notes of gold and subtle blues. The bourbon color is stylish yet balanced, making it a great option that complements the exterior finish of nearly every home. 

For more information and design inspiration using Owens Corning’s color of the year, click here.

2. People Will Choose Roof Shingle Colors That Pop & Contrast 

Speaking of a unique shingle color like bourbon, 2022 will bring more roofing installations that are designed to pop and contrast with a home’s overall look. That means choosing a color combination that works well to accent siding or the exterior finish of your home. These days, shingle manufacturers offer a nice range of color options, making it easy to find a perfect match for your home.

3. Environmentally Friendly Roofing Installations Increase

More and more people are choosing eco-friendly options for their home projects and upgrades, and roofing is no different. Whether that’s going with a cool roof that reflects rather than absorbs the sun’s rays to keep your home more energy efficient or a synthetic roof that’s made from recycled materials, 2022 will bring more variety with environmentally friendly roofing.

4. Solar Makes Your Roof Work For You

Your roof gets blasted by the sun many days out of the year, making it the perfect spot for solar panels that can help lower your energy bills. In 2022, more and more people will install solar panels to help manage energy costs and harness the power of the sun.

5. Metal Roofing Remains Popular

Due to its longevity, durability, and environmental benefits (they are often made from 25 to 95% recycled material), metal roofing will continue to grow in popularity. Metal roofs are also highly durable and functional and are more likely to withstand hail, wind, fire and storm damage. The metal roofing material has also gained recognition for having clean and simple lines while also being made of sustainable materials.  There are some drawbacks to going with a metal roof, including affordability and possible noise, but there’s no doubt that more people will continue to have metal roofs installed in 2022. 

6. The Modern Flat Roof

Not just for commercial buildings anymore, a flat roof design accentuates modern as well as modern mid century home design. Beyond their appearance, flat roofs are eco-friendly, inexpensive, and wholly functional. 

 Take a look at this flat roofing system design and materials guide.

7. BONUS: Asphalt Are Still the Most Common Option

Asphalt shingles remain the most common roofing material, as they are easy to work with and come in a variety of colors. They are lightweight and easy to install and repair. These shingles come in a wide variety of colors and patterns and provide high durability and long lifespan. Asphalt is an extremely common and reliable roofing material, especially in Colorado.

Go With J&K Roofing for Your New Roof in 2022

No matter what kind of roof you choose, J&K Roofing is your best option for a professional installation in the greater Denver and Front Range areas. Get in touch with us today for a free inspection and to start your planning.

And despite the current materials shortage, we have great relationships with material suppliers and manufacturers. We will do our best to make sure your project is done on time and on budget.

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Wood Shake Roofs: Traditional and Alternative Styles

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Wood Shake Roofs: Traditional and Alternative Styles

The wood shake roof is one of the oldest styles of the roof still in use today. Traditionally made by splitting wood logs, these materials offer a deeply natural and rustic look. Their hand-made construction gives them a deliberately non-uniform color and texture that is both durable and charming.

In recent years, the popularity of wood shake has declined. Synthetic materials that can adequately mimic the aesthetic of wood shake without the potential drawbacks are proving to be a more practical choice for many homeowners.

Nonetheless, the aesthetic appeal of true wood shake and its relative affordability make it a viable option for roofing projects in many areas.*

*You will want to check with a local roofer who is familiar with your region’s building codes. Some areas, especially in the mountains, may have restrictions regarding wooden roofs.

What Is Wood Shake?

Wood shake differs from wood shingles in that it is hand split against the wood grain, resulting in its signature look. Wood shingles, by contrast, are manufactured to be uniform in size, shape, and color. They are also a beautiful option but lack the whimsical, handmade aesthetic of wood shake.

Cedar tends to be the most popular wood used in wood shake coverings in the United States. It is a wood that is both durable and flexible, and relatively cost-effective since it is native to the US. It also has a pleasant scent and, with proper maintenance, can have a lifetime greater than standard asphalt shingles (30 years or more).

Other woods that may be used include teak and wallaba. Teak is a highly durable wood sourced from Southeast Asia and offers superior longevity and resistance to rot and mildew. It is the most expensive type of wood shake, but can last up to 80 years.  Wallaba is another exotic wood derived from trees in South America. It is also more expensive than cedar, but can last up to 50 years and has enhanced resistance to humidity and pests.

What Are the Benefits of a Wood Shake Roof?

In addition to aesthetic appeal and durability, wood shake roofs are also an environmentally-friendly option. Unlike traditional asphalt shingles, which are unable to be recycled in many states (including Colorado), wood shake materials are completely biodegradable.

What Are the Drawbacks of Wood Shake Roofs?

Wood shake is, admittedly, difficult to maintain. Without routine inspection and treatment, it can be prone to rot, insect damage, mold/mildew, cracking and warping. Since wood is also inherently combustible, wood shake also needs to be regularly treated for fire resistance.

What Are Some Alternatives to Wood Shake Roofs?

You may be surprised to learn that a great alternative to traditional wood shake is metal roofing. When many of us picture a metal roof, we may imagine some highly industrial-looking corporate covering, glinting in the sun like aluminum foil. But metal roofing has become extremely sophisticated in recent years, with many manufacturers offering lines of designer tiles that perfectly mimic the look of wood shake, wood shingle, and even Old World clay.

Other Benefits of Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is also surprisingly light and affordable. It is not subject to rot or infestation and is non-combustible. It is an increasingly popular choice among homeowners looking to create the rustic, natural appearance of hand-split wood without the required maintenance or potential fire hazard.

In addition, metal roofing materials are fully recyclable and are often made from recycled materials themselves.

How Long Does Metal Roofing Last?

Metal roofs are designed to last between 50-70 years. By comparison, asphalt shingles typically need to be replaced every 15-20 years. The longevity of a metal roof tends to mitigate any increased upfront costs for homeowners since the headache and expense of having to replace the entire roof will not be for a long while.

J&K Roofing Is Here to Help

J&K Roofing services the Denver Metro, Front Range, Colorado Springs, and Northern Colorado regions. If you are in one of these areas and looking to install a traditional wood shake roof or want to look at some alternatives, give our office a call. We work with the highest quality vendors and are certified in all materials we use. Our team can knowledgeably assist you in choosing the best material for your home or corporate project.

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What Goes Into A Roof? The Roofing System Explained

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What Goes Into A Roof? The Roofing System Explained

What Goes Into A Roof, The Roofing System Explained - JK Roofing Denver

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In general, most of us don’t think much about our roofs. We see them almost every day, perched on top of our own homes and our neighbors’. Yet the processes and materials used to actually build them are often taken for granted.

In truth, the roof is a system of complex design, and understanding some of what goes into this system is beneficial for proper maintenance and repair.

The Steep-Sloped Roof

The steep-sloped roof, or “pitched” roof, is the most common type of residential roofing system. This system incorporates materials such as asphalt shingles, composite shingles, metal shingles, and wood shake, and implies a slope of 18 percent or more. It is a popular choice among homeowners for being low maintenance and aesthetically pleasing.

The steep slope roof system has eight basic elements:

1. Frame

When a home is first constructed, a wooden frame acts as the foundation for your roof. This is also called a roofing “truss.” Thin sheets of plywood are placed over the entirety of the wooden roof frame. This is called “decking” or “sheathing.”

2. Underlayment

The underlayment is applied directly to the decking and under the shingles. It can be synthetic or made from felt saturated with asphalt. The purpose of the underlayment is to protect the shingles from any resin released from the wooden decking and for added waterproofing and fire resistance.

3. Shingles

Perhaps the most recognizable part of the roof, shingles seal the home against environmental damage. They are available in a variety of materials and can be manufactured with additional waterproofing, including wind-resistant, hail-resistant, and heat-resistant coatings.

Typically, shingles are played and then secured via nail gun by your roofer. Some types of shingles also include a heat-activated seal that will form when a specific temperature is reached.

4. Ice and Water Shield

This is a layer of material applied between the shingles to give further protection against water damage from rainstorms and ice dams. This is particularly beneficial to homeowners who live in colder climates.

Heat escaping from the home leads to the continuous melting and refreezing of snow, leaving the roof more susceptible to ice dam formation.

5. Flashing

This is a thin sheet of material, usually metal, used to waterproof a roof around any projections throughout the roof deck, such as your chimney. Without this flashing, water could seep through the shingles around the chimney and straight into the home.

Flashing is also applied to skylights, vents, and plumbing fixtures where they meet the roof.

6. Ventilation/Insulation

The roofing professional will install vents and insulation to allow for proper air circulation within the home. Good ventilation will keep the house cool in summer and warm in winter. It will also prevent damage from trapped moisture, such as mold and mildew.

7. Edging

There are two types of edging on a pitched roof: eaves and rake edges. Both hang over the exterior walls, but eaves do so horizontally while rake edges are sloped. These edges are part of your roof’s drainage system.

A strip of metal called a “drip-edge” is installed after the underlayment on the rake edges and before the underlayment on the eaves. When water hits your roof, it flows to the drip edge, which directs it to the gutters.

8. Gutters and Downspouts

The final steps in the roof’s drainage system involve your gutters and downspouts. The gutters are the plastic troughs that collect water and debris at the roof’s edge. They are attached to the fascia, a board that acts as a support base and also helps the home look “finished.”

Downspouts are strategically installed around the gutters to direct water flow away from the home’s foundation.

Want to Know More?

At J&K Roofing, we have installed over 50,000 commercial and residential roofs! We are highly knowledgeable about the process and are more than happy to walk you through what goes into your roof if you wish. You can also visit the Roofing 101 section of our website for further terminology and information.

We service the Denver Metro, Front Range, Colorado Springs, and Northern Colorado areas. Call us today to see how we can help you start your next roofing project!

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Building a House? Consider Metal Roofing for Durability & Style

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Building a House? Consider Metal Roofing for Durability & Style

What is Metal Roofing?

Metal roofing is exactly what it sounds like: a roofing system made from tiles or pieces constructed from metal alloys (zinc, steel, and copper are common). While you may be picturing a steel warehouse building glinting in the sunlight, metal roofing has recently gained popularity as a residential material. In fact, as of 2019, metal roofing was the second most popular material for both new construction jobs and repairs.

What Are the Advantages of a Metal Roof?

Metal roofing systems offer several benefits to the homeowner:

1. Long-lasting
Metal is resistant to water damage, corrosion, cracking, fire, and high winds. Its durability means homeowners can expect their roofs to last much longer than traditional asphalt shingles. When installed properly, these roofs can last between 50-70 years, whereas asphalt typically has a lifespan of no more than 20.

2. Safe
Metal roofing is non-combustible, meaning it will not ignite during a lighting storm* or wildfire.

3. Earth-friendly
Not only is metal roofing itself made from recycled materials, it is also 100% recyclable if a home is demolished or re-roofed. By contrast, asphalt shingles cannot be recycled in the state of Colorado and account for many tons of landfill waste.

4. Energy-efficient
Metal roofing reflects the sun’s rays and reduces the energy needed to keep the home cool. In fact, a well-built metal roof can reduce energy costs by up to 40%.

5. Lightweight
Metal roofing is actually very lightweight, which provides two advantages: 1) it is easier to transport and install; and 2) it places less strain on the framework of the home, preserving its structure and helping it to last longer.

*It may surprise you to hear that metal roofs are actually safer during a lightning storm. Metal is, after all, an excellent conductor of electricity. But it is a misconception that metal somehow attracts electricity. Your metal roof is no more likely to attract lightning than any other structure. Lightning strikes whenever and wherever it is ready to discharge, regardless of what lies in its path. Furthermore, if it does happen to strike your metal roof, there will actually be less likelihood of damage, since the metal framing will give the lightning a low-resistance and non-combustible path to the ground.

Aren’t Metal Roof’s Industrial-Looking?

Not at all! Many companies have developed techniques that incorporate stone and color coatings that do a superb job of mimicking traditional clay and wood shake tiles. Imagine having a rooftop with the elegant appearance of a Tuscan villa, minus the risk of cracking associated with traditional clay; or a roof with the charm of red cedar shingles, but no risk of wood-rot.

Are There Any Drawbacks?

There are a couple of things to consider when deciding whether or not a metal roof is right for you.

1. Expense
Perhaps the most obvious drawback of metal roofing is that it is more expensive. However, many homeowners are finding that this initial cost is offset by the savings presented by a metal roof’s energy efficiency, longevity, and durability. In fact, Sheffield Metals estimates that mid-range priced metal roofing can save the homeowner nearly $10,000 over a 60 year period compared to mid-range architectural shingles:


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2. Noise

Some may worry that a metal roof will be more noisy during a rain or hailstorm. While this was a concern when metal roofs were first introduced, modern installation techniques incorporate a plywood or OSB deck on top of the rafters, which significantly dulls outside noise.

J&K Roofing installs commercial and residential metal roofing in the Denver Metro, Front Range, Fort Collins, and Colorado Springs areas. Our roofers are certified in all the materials we use, including metal products. If you are planning a new build or looking to replace your existing roof, call us to see how we can help!

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