How Even a Neighboring Fire Can Damage Your Roof

November 27, 2017

Widespread damage from the October 2017 wildfires in Northern California caused loss of life and significant property damage. Neighboring buildings that remain standing may appear unscathed, but to truly gauge their condition, a roof inspection is a must. A visual inspection by a roofing professional may reveal any of the following:

Hot embers from neighboring fires can cause burns and punctures.

Airborne ash can plug drains and restrict the flow of water from the roof.

White membrane can stain when water mixes with ash.

Adhesives may fail because of excessive heat.

Indoor air quality can be compromised when ash on the roof is ingested by air-conditioning intakes.

Even a thin layer of ash reduces the energy output of solar panels, the effectiveness of daylighting skylights, and reflectivity of white membrane roofs.

It’s important to have the findings from the inspection documented in a written report with photographs. The roofing professional conducting the inspection can help you determine the extent of the damage and whether to file an insurance claim; if that’s the best course of action, proof of the damage is necessary. An estimate of repair costs will also be beneficial.