How To Protect Your Roof From Firework Damage
When you think of the Fourth of July, you think fireworks. And while fireworks are an Independence Day staple, they can have serious consequences. Debris from fireworks can land on your lawn, litter your neighborhood and even do significant damage to your roof. For these reasons and more, it’s important to practice firework safety each and every time you light a firecracker.
Homeowners Insurance and Firework Damage
Every insurance policy can vary, but in most cases, homeowners insurance includes coverage for damages to other people or property as a result of an incident on your property. This is called Medical Expense or Liability coverage, which could be used if someone, or something, other than your property, you or your family member suffers injury from firework debris in your home or on your property. Your health insurance will cover injuries to you and your family, and your personal property coverage in your homeowners policy may cover damages to property you own.
If you need help filing a homeowners insurance claim, our roofing professionals can assist you.
However, there is a catch.
Firework Safety and State Laws
If you choose to host a firework display, even though you live in a state or county where fireworks are illegal, your insurance company is not responsible to cover firework damage. It should go without saying, if the use of fireworks is illegal, you should not have been using them in the first place. As a result, you are responsible for any and all firework damage and/or injury from firework debris - medical bills included.
How can fireworks damage your roof?
At Superstorm Restoration, we know life happens. It’s easy to forget about the dried leaves and twigs that land in the valleys of your roof and in your gutters. However, it’s these easily forgettable items that oftentimes lead to the dangers Fourth of July fireworks pose.
Firework Debris On Your Roof
Aside from the obvious - namely, the fact that the natural debris on your roof is extremely dry from the summer heat - most roofs we encounter have asphalt shingles. What is asphalt? It’s a petroleum-based product. That, coupled with dry elements on your roof from surrounding trees and other plant life, creates the perfect recipe for a fire. Once a still-lit flame from fireworks contacts the debris on your asphalt roof, you don’t have to guess what happens next.
In fact, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year.
Protect Your Roof From Firework Damage
When having fun with fireworks, it’s important to practice firework safety tips. For instance, make sure other people are at a safe distance, keep a bucket of water nearby in case of emergency and only light them outdoors in a clear area. Similarly, there are also safety measures you can take to avoid firework damage on your roof.
Clean Up Debris
As plant life around your home begins to flourish, debris from trees and other flora can land on your roof and get stuck in your gutters. It’s important to clean your roof and gutters throughout the year to make sure your roof is functioning in tip-top shape. Plus, the less debris you have on your roof, the lower the risk of a fire starting on your property.
Trim Overhanging Tree Branches
Trimming overhead trees prevents shingle damage and hampers a stray spark’s ability to start a house-fire. On windy days, overhanging limbs can rub up against the rooftop, damaging your shingles. When trees strip away the asphalt, it can expose paper on your roof leading to potential firework damage.
Not only do overhanging limbs present a risk of damaging your shingles, leaves, branches and other tree debris could end up on your roof and in your gutters. This is yet another fire risk as debris from trees can be very dry.
Check For Holes or Tears
Inspecting your roof for holes or tears is a great way to prevent firework damage. Any hole or tear on your rooftop can reveal roofing felt - another fire hazard. If debris from fireworks were to land on an exposed roof, the probability for firework damage is even higher.
The best way to inspect your roof is to call us! Our free drone inspection is a safe way to check for tears and other damage to ensure a fun Fourth of July!
Soak Your Roof
As with all things that are wet, a soaked roof is another reliable way to protect your roof from firework damage. When a roof is wet, debris from fireworks have a hard time staying lit. Practicing this firework safety tip is an easy way to guard your roof from firework debris.
Aim Fireworks Away From Homes
It’s important to use common sense when lighting fireworks around any property. Being sure to aim any flame away from rooftops is the single best thing you can do to avoid firework damage all together.
Even though these firework safety tips might seem like common knowledge, firework damage is the cause of roughly $43 million in direct property damage every year.
A common question we often get asked is, “Will my homeowners insurance cover firework damage?” To that we say, it depends.
Firework Safety on the Fourth of July
It’s extremely important to follow the firework safety tips listed above. By taking extra precautions this Fourth of July holiday, you can save your family - and your roof - from firework damage.
If you suspect any damages may have occurred on your property or roof from firework debris, contact a qualified professional for a free property inspection today.
And of course, have a safe and happy Fourth of July!