During the two weeks the Kincade fire ravaged Sonoma County a total of 374 buildings including 174 homes were destroyed as the 77,758 acre wildfire weaved its angry path across the rural outskirts of Wine Country.
With 2017’s Tubbs fire still fresh in our memories, Sonoma County residents are wondering – how do we continue, how do we endure in a community where fires, floods and blackouts are an inevitable part of our existence?
The answer, going forward, may involve rethinking the types of materials we use in building construction, the way we power our residences and the landscape surrounding our homes.
While no home can be 100% fireproof, FEMA recommends the following fire-resistant or fire-retardant materials for rebuilding or repairing homes in wildfire hazard areas.
The surfaces, crevices and corners of roofs are often places where falling embers can settle and ignite. FEMA recommends using Class A roofing materials in regions where wildfires are prevalent. This group of building materials includes metal sheets, fiberglass shingles or concrete and clay tiles that offer the highest resistance to fire.
Exterior walls are susceptible to both radiant and convective heat and can quickly transfer a ground fire to a building’s roof. Exterior walls can be protected by fire-resistant materials such as cement, plaster, stucco, stone, brick, or concrete.
Glass in windows, doors, and skylights can fracture and fall out when exposed to fire leaving an opening for flames or embers to enter a home. Using double paned or tempered glass windows can cut down on that risk. Double-pane windows offer a second layer of protection. Tempered glass resists fracture, even at temperatures well above the radiant heat required to ignite a home’s wood framing.
For a more detailed description of FEMA’s recommendations for homeowners and builders visit their wildfire awareness website here.
Click through our gallery above to explore some of the homes currently on the market that incorporate fire-resistant materials.