Just in the last couple of years, we’ve seen some incredibly destructive wildfires across the country. The most susceptible areas to wildfire include California and the Pacific Northwest as well as Texas. A long period of time without rain in the Dallas-Fort Worth area increases the risk of wildfire. You are the best judge of your property’s preparedness in case of wildfire damage, so consider the following:
- The fire resistance of your home or business
- The topography of the property
- The type and nature of vegetation nearby
Ensuring your home is fire resistant in an area at risk for wildfires is a crucial step in protecting your property. Make sure your roof, outdoor deck, and house siding are made of fire resistant materials. Fire resistant materials include stucco, metal, brick, cement shingles, concrete and rock. Wood siding can be treated with UL-approved fire retardant chemicals, but it is not a permanent treatment.
Your roof is especially vulnerable to wildfire, so avoid the use of flammable materials like wood, shake and shingle. Consider instead using single ply membranes, fiberglass shingles, slate, metal, clay or concrete tile. And of course, always clear your gutters of leaves and debris during the dry season.
Other parts of your home to check include your house vents and windows. Any attic vent, soffit vent, louver or other opening to your home can catch an ember and ignite within the home. Add mesh wiring to all vents leading outside. Consider replacing single-pane windows with double or triple-pane ones with fire resistant shutters.
Topography and Vegetation
Any type of vegetation surrounding your home or business is possible fuel for a wildfire, especially certain shrubs and trees during the drier seasons. Keep the volume of vegetation within 30 feet of your structure to a minimum and if you live on a hill, extend that zone on the downhill side. Fires spread more quickly uphill.
Remove any vines from the walls of your building as well as tree limbs within 15 feet of the ground. Always clear any type of dead brush or branches away, as these are even drier than the living parts of the plant and even better fuel for a fire. Consider replacing all highly flammable vegetation such as pine, evergreen, eucalyptus, junipers, and fir trees with lower growing, less flammable species. Cut the lawn often.
Our Fire and Smoke Damage Experts Can Help
If you do happen to experience damages to your property due to a wildfire, we can help. Our fire damage recovery team can handle any situation – large or small. From the parts of the structure charred by the fire to the soot and smoke damage that accumulates on the surface, we know how to clean it correctly. Call ServiceMaster TEAM in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex when you need fire damage restoration services.