When it comes to residential roofing, safety is a top concern. One type of roofing that is becoming increasingly rare is slat decking. This type of roofing, which consists of wood strips laid across roof rafters or trusses, is not in compliance with many modern building codes. In this blog post, we’ll explore why this is the case and what alternatives are available.
The main reason why slat decking is against many current building codes is due to its lack of fire resistance. Slat decking’s construction leaves gaps between the wood strips, which allow for ventilation. This ventilation can help prevent moisture buildup and rot, but it also creates a pathway for flames to spread quickly in the event of a fire. This is a major concern for the safety of the occupants of the home and the surrounding area.
Most modern building codes require that roofs be constructed with materials that have a certain level of fire resistance. This is because a roof that catches fire can easily spread flames to the rest of the structure, endangering occupants and neighboring buildings. In order to meet fire resistance requirements, modern roofing materials are typically made of non-combustible or fire-resistant materials such as asphalt shingles, metal panels, or concrete tiles. These materials are designed to slow or prevent the spread of fire and are less likely to ignite or contribute to the spread of flames.
While slat decking may be allowed in certain circumstances, such as in historic or older buildings where it is deemed to be a desirable feature, it is generally not considered a safe or code-compliant roofing material in most modern residential construction. In fact, many building codes prohibit the use of slat decking altogether or require that it be covered with a fire-resistant material such as gypsum board.
Most or all of the Kansas localities that Flint Hills Roofing operates in, have codes against slat decking. Most homeowner’s insurance policies include “code coverage”. Which means that older structures with slat decking that show signs of roofing damage CANNOT be repaired within code, so the entire roof and decking must be replaced by the homeowner’s insurance policy in the cases that we have encountered. Consult your policy for details, this post is the record of our experience, not official advice, legal, construction, or otherwise.
Residential roofing with slat decking is against many current building codes because of its lack of fire resistance. While it may be allowed in certain circumstances, it is generally not considered a safe or code-compliant roofing material in most modern residential construction. Homeowners and builders can choose from a variety of alternative roofing materials that are safe, code-compliant, and aesthetically pleasing. By selecting a roofing material that meets fire resistance requirements, homeowners can help protect their homes and their families from the devastating effects of fire.
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