• Fire coming from roof of home

Six Simple Ways To Prevent Roof And Attic Fires

When you think of maintaining your roof and attic, the main thing that comes to mind is probably leaks. Although your roof does play a critical role in preventing water damage to your home or commercial property, it can also be a place where fires start. 

No property owner wants to deal with a scary, destructive fire, but unfortunately they do occur. The U.S. Fire Administration reported 10,000 fires that originated from building attics between 2006 and 2008. Although this is only a small percentage of all residential fires, roof fires can be particularly destructive.  It’s critical that you take preventative action in order to avoid roof and attic fires. 

At McMahon services, we have many years of experience helping northern Illinois property owners with both roofing and fire damage repairs.

Here is our expert guide to the are the top six ways that property owners can prevent roof and attic fires:

1. Keep Your Electrical Wiring Up To Date

Faulty electrical wiring (including bad electrical outlets and malfunctioning appliances) is the most common cause of single family home and multifamily building fires in the United States. Your attic typically holds a lot of electrical wiring and fixtures. Light fixtures and electrical wiring in the attic can suffer from loose connections or damage from pests like mice. The damaged systems then develop burned or sparking wires that can go unnoticed until they eventually start a fire. Older properties with electrical wiring that has not been brought up to date can be particularly vulnerable. 

2. Install Ceiling Insulation Correctly

Ceiling insulation that was not installed properly can damage electrical wiring, and a ceiling or attic without enough insulation can get hot enough to cause a roof fire. 

3. Repair Roof Leaks Right Away

Roof leak repairs should be a priority for any property owner. They can cause messy, pervasive water damage, but they are also a potential fire hazard. A leaky roof can cause the electrical wiring in your ceiling or attic to short and malfunction. Water can even get into junction boxes, and a live wire that is exposed to water can cause a spark and ignite a fire in the materials around it.

4. Choose Fire Resistant Roofing Materials

If you are updating the roof at your property, choose materials that have the highest fire resistance rating. Both roofing surfaces and underlayments can be selected for fire resistance. Your contractor should be able to help you choose the safest and most durable materials for your project. 

5. Clean Your Chimney Regularly

If your property has one or multiple fireplaces, it’s important to get your chimneys cleaned on a regular schedule. Not cleaning your chimney can put your roof in danger: Smoke from the fireplace builds up a layer of flammable material called creosote in the lining of the chimney. Creosote can catch on fire, causing chimney fires that can damage both your chimney and your entire home. 

6. Keep Your HVAC Systems and Ducts Maintained and Clean

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are often placed in attics or near the top of your home or building. These hard-working systems require regular maintenance and cleaning to ensure that they don’t overheat and cause dangerous fires. Studies have shown that nearly 5% of attic fires are started when HVAC systems malfunction.

Both overworked heating systems in the winter and hot attics in the summer can increase the risks for these fires. If you let dust and other debris build up in the ducts of these systems, it’s more likely that a fire will start and spread through your whole property. Regular maintenance and duct cleaning can prevent these dangerous situations. 

Prevent Roof and Attic Fires With Help from McMahan Services and Construction 

Roof and attic fires are a serious risk to both your property and the safety of everyone who resides or works there. Fortunately, there are straightforward maintenance tasks that every Chicago homeowner can take to prevent them. 

Whether you need a quick duct cleaning at your home, or an extensive commercial re-roofing project completed, McMahon Services can help. We have experience with fire and water damage restoration, roofing, construction, and even specialized cleaning tasks. Contact us today – we will be happy to make a plan that will help protect you and your loved ones from roof and attic fire risks.