Earlier this month we started to provide you with some of the best tips to prepare your home for fire season and keep it safe from embers and flames all year long. It was a popular post. So much so, our team at Borelli Architecture in Lake Tahoe and Incline Village decided to continue the theme on your behalf.
Before we dive in, we want to thank the professional educators at the University of Nevada Extension for providing this excellent information.
Embers are enemies of vents in homes that often lead to open spaces with your roofing or attic. Here are some tips to follow:
- Avoid storing anything combustible in your attic re: cardboard boxes, leftover construction, newspapers
- Inspect those vents before fire season; check the screens and seals
- Consider replacing vents with ember-resistant options
As designers and architects of mountain homes in Lake Tahoe, Carson City, and the Truckee region, we always recommend only the safest and most secure materials for your home. This section outlines options siding.
First and foremost, it is NOT recommended to use fire-retardant coatings like fire-retardant paint. What you want to use is non-combustible products like stucco, steel and fiber cement siding options.
Our team at Borelli Architecture in Washoe County, we also recommend the use of a one-hour wall design with a fire-resistant zone.
In as much as skylights offer natural light throughout the house, they can be the entry for embers and flames if the covers are not sealed well. If you want them designed into your home, we suggest the flat-style v/s domed design. Metal is the only choice in our minds as the plastic style will melt and burn upon contact.
Many skylights are designed to open to bring in the fresh Sierra air. If a wildfire comes unexpectedly, you might not have time to close them. Stay ahead and prepare those windows with 1/16 inch non-combustible corrosion-resistant-metal mesh screening.
Now that we have addressed skylights, let’s take a look at windows. To reduce the vulnerability, look at these tips for the best options for fire-prone regions.
- Chose multi-pane openings containing tempered glass
- It does hurt to also invest in non-combustible shutters to provide extra protection.
- Purchase windows that have screens as they serve as additional ‘guards’ for flying embers.
This is a pretty obvious one, yet we did not want to leave this section out of our tips to prevent a home from wildfire. If your fence is made of combustible material, replace it completely. Or at least replace the combustible section closest to the home with metal or non-combustible options.
And, as pretty as it is to have ivy or flowering vines growing on your fence, the experts at UNR Extension suggest that you opt not to do this.
We want to take this time to thank the University of Nevada, Reno Extension, College of Agriculture for proving this information to you. For more insight about how to prepare and keep your home safe from fire, visit www.unr.edu/avrs.
James P. Borelli
Lake Tahoe / Truckee