Wooden roofing is a very popular choice for Colorado homes, the rustic character and color does well to fit the mountain air surrounding them. Many homeowners can’t imagine their cabin or rustic home with anything but a wooden type of shingle but lately residents are receiving phone calls from their home insurance providers requesting that the homeowner change their roofing material or risk being dropped from coverage.
Insurance companies, especially in Colorado, view wooden roofs as a large liability. Many wooden roofs are installed properly with great materials and are able to stand up against wind and snow very well. However when wooden roofs are past their prime many issues begin to rise. Mold, rot, cracked shingles and the risk of fire covers these roofs.
Wood Shakes Insurance Changes
Wood Shakes as a Maintenance Hazard
As stated above, some wooden roofing materials can be a nightmare for maintenance and repair work. Wooden shingles are an organic material and they behave as such. A wood such as cedar does have naturally occurring preservatives that will resist moisture, insects and rot, but these will break down over time. Wooden shingles have been known to experience the following problems:
- Mold, mildew and rot
- Insect damage
- Swelling and shrinking
Wood Shakes as a Fire Hazard
Wildfire is an ever present danger in the state of Colorado and wooden homes and roofs are a prime fuel source for wildfire. Wooden roofing is usually classified with a Class B or C fire resistance. This classification comes from the American Society of Testing and Materials, a third party testing organization.
The material is exposed to a test flame at one end and then the amount of flame spread is measured across the material during a set period of time. Class B means that the flame spread covered 26 to 75% of the material, while Class C equals a coverage of 75% or greater of the material. Obviously the lower the flame spread, the more likely the material will be able to stand up against fire damage.
This Class B and C rating means the materials are a risk for you and your insurance provider.
What You Can do About It
If your home has a wooden roof it is best to be proactive before your home becomes uninsured. Contact your insurance company and a qualified Denver roofer to find the steps you can take to avoid having to pay out of pocket for damage.