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Denver Roofers Explain 3 Common Causes of Roof Fires and How You Can Prevent Them

December 11, 2019

Winter is coming. That means it’s time to start thinking about fires in the fireplace, holiday decorations, and bundling up against the cold temperatures. But it also means it’s time to start paying attention to a new hazard: roof fires. Unfortunately, home fires do about $6.5 billion in damage each year. Luckily, preventing home and roof fires is easier than you might think and your trusted Denver roofing experts are here to help. Here are some of the most common causes of roof fires and what you can do to prevent them at your home. 

Roof Leaks
Believe it or not, even routine roof leaks can put your home at risk for fires both on and off your roof. This is because the water can damage your electrical system and create sparks in the walls. If this happens in the attic or the upper floors of your home, the fire can and will spread to the roof. 

The best thing you can do is inspect your attic for signs of water damage at least once a month and after major storms. If you notice excess moisture, active drips, or even staining on the supports, contact your roofer immediately. The sooner you get it fixed, the less likely your home is to experience a roof fire.

Dirty Roofs and Gutters
Roof fires don’t always originate from your house. They can be caused by stray sparks and embers from other peoples’ fireplaces. And dirty roofs are like a tinder box for those embers. Dried leaves, pine needles, and animal nests can fuel those sparks into full-fledged flames, putting your entire home at risk. 

Keep your roof clean and free of debris and have your gutters cleaned at least once every season. Remember, your roofing materials offer some fire retarding properties, but they can only do their job if the roof and your gutters are clean.

Poorly Maintained Chimneys
Chimney fires are among the most common causes of roof fires. They’re caused by a buildup of flammable creosote—a byproduct of the burning process—in the chimney itself. These fires can spread quickly and tend to get incredibly hot, letting them spread to your roof and potentially destroy your home in a matter of minutes. 

Get your chimney cleaned before you light your first fire in the fireplace. The cleaning is also the perfect time to check for damage like cracks and structural issues in the flue. If your chimney sweep notices anything out of the ordinary or sees an issue along the seam between the chimney and the roof, get it fixed as soon as possible. 

Keep Your Home Safe This Winter
Roof fires can cause catastrophic damage to your home. Do what you can to keep your house safe by taking care of your roof before the seasons change. Schedule a roof inspection with Big Creek today and let our team make sure you’re ready for everything winter can bring. Contact us to schedule an appointment or to request a free on-site estimate.