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Do Roofing Shingles Burn?

There truly is a little ambiguity when it comes to the question, "Will roofing shingles burn." The reason for this really depends on if you are trying to burn them and what is being used to burn them. For example, "Class A" roofing shingles are considered fully fire-resisteant, which means that they will not burn. Whereas, "Class B" asphalt shingles are only considered mostly fire-resistant, which means they can ignite under the right conditions, like if they are exposed to extreme heat over extended periods of time. In this article, we dive into more detail and discuss the question, "Do roofing shingles burn?"

Asphalt Shingles have Fire Ratings

Asphalt shingles come in 1 of 3 different fire ratings, which are:

Class A - Asphalt shingles that are considered fully fire-resistant.

Class B - Asphalt shingles that are considered mostly fire-resistant

Class C - Asphalt shingles that have a light or mild fire-resistance.


The ratings that asphalt shingles receive come from the materials the shingles are made out of, as well as the testing that is done on these shingles to show how well they are able to withstand fire and flames. Obviously, the better they are able to resist fire and flames the higher the rating the shingles receive. While each brand of shingles has their own tiers of quality that they offer, some name brands offer shingles that are optimized for protection, whereas some bargain brands are less likely to carry the higher-quality products. It's best to do your research on brands and material quality prior to making a purchase.

How to Prevent Asphalt Shingle Fires

While the obvious is true, don't expose your roof to fire, there are other things to consider in order to avoid your shingles from catching fire. For example, even though "Class A" shingles are considered fully fire-resistant there is still a mild risk that they can catch fire. A way to minimize this risk is to perform regular and routine roof maintenance to remove debris, like sticks, grasses, and other flammable materials from your roof. For ashphalt shingles that are lower class ratings, like "Class B" and "Class C" ratings, it becomes even more important to avoid situations that could increase the risk of fire exposure. Again, cleaning your gutters, removing debris from your roof, and performing a quarterly inspection is one of the very best ways to keep flammable materials off of your roof's surface.

What are the Signs of Fire Damage to Shingles

Fire damaged asphalt shingles become very flakey and almost 'brittle" after being exposed to fire and then having a chance to cool down. They may also break apart and simply fall off your roof, leaving a bare and exposed location where they used to sit, which opens your roof up to additionally damage from flooding, leaking, and other issues the shingles are meant to protect. If exposed to high enough temperatures, lower rating asphalt shingles can even begin to melt and drip off of your roof.

What Should You do if Your Shingles Catch Fire

In a situation where your roof's asphalt shingles have caught on fire, you need to remain calm and call emergency services, like the first department. This is something you need to take very seriously, for obvious reasons. You do not want the first to spread to the rest of your home. Ultimately, it is a very bad situation if your roof's shingles are actively on fire, so there is very little time and they must be extinguished immediately before the situation escalates and gets worse.

Is it Illegal to Burn Asphalt Shingles

Generally speaking, it is absolutely illegal to burn any materials from a construction project that contain any kind of treated elements because burning these items can release dangerous toxins into the atmosphere. This includes roofing shingles. In addition to being bad for the environment, it is very bad for you to breath too. Inhaling these toxins can cause severe health problems and risks. Unless you are burning untreated wood, the good rule of thumb is to rent a dumpster for waste materials.

Disposing of Asphalt Roof Shingles

There is really only a couple of ways to properly dispose of asphalt roofing shingles. First, you can rent a dumpster and load it full of the waste materials. This is probably the easiest option because the person you are renting the dumpster from will handle all of the dumping and recycling required for the wasted materials. If you have your own dump trailer, then you will have to haul your asphalt shingles to either a landfill or a recycling yard. If you are going this route, make sure you call in advance to make sure that the location you intend to take the shingles will accept the load and that they are permitted to take your waste materials. The last thing you want to do is to try to dump your wasted asphalt shingles illegally, as you will be ticketed or fined for illegal dumping, which could end up costing you thousands of dollars in fines and fees.

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