Weekly Tip #6: Create a Home Hardening Plan

April 30th, 2020

Because we won't be out in the community for the next several weeks, the Tahoe Network is sending out weekly tips on how to prepare for wildfire inside your home.

This Week's Tip: Create a Home Hardening Project Plan

Now that the snow has melted, it's time to start planning and implementing projects that harden your home from embers to increase the chance of it surviving a wildfire.

"Home hardening" is the process of preparing your home for wildfire embers by addressing its most vulnerable components and retrofitting them with fire-resistant building materials.

If you haven't already, check out last week's newsletter and learn how to identify where your home is most vulnerable to an ember attack.

How you prioritize home hardening projects may depend on your time and personal budget. Even if you can't do everything, anything you do to harden your home can increase its odds of surviving a wildfire.

Annual Maintenance

Routine maintenance to remove combustible materials is a good place to start.

❑ Remove combustible items such as firewood from underneath, on, or next to your deck.
❑ Remove debris (pine needles, leaves or twigs) from your 5 foot non-combustible zone.
❑ Remove debris (pine needles, leaves or twigs) from your roof, gutters, chimneys, and skylights.
❑ Move combustible items (newspapers, photos, cardboard boxes) away from vents in attics and crawl spaces.

DIY Projects

❑ Replace 1/4-inch mesh screening with 1/8-inch noncombustible metal mesh screening on all vents.

❑ Replace combustible landscaping such as manzanita or wood / rubber mulches with fire-resistant landscaping such as herbaceous plants or rocks / gravel.

❑ Install a noncombustible gutter guard to reduce accumulated debris.

Retrofits

If you have the time and budget, consider planning more involved projects that prepare your home's exterior for wildfire. Keep in mind some of these projects may require the help of a professional contractor.

Roof Covering

❑ If you have a wood shake or shingle roof, replace it with a Class A roof covering.

Eaves

❑ Fill gaps in open eave areas
with durable caulk, and enclose eave areas to create soffited-eaves.

Exterior Siding

❑ Replace wood shake or shingle siding with noncombustible siding such as stucco, steel or fiber cement.

Windows and Skylights

❑ Install or upgrade windows and skylights to multi-pane tempered glass.

Thank you for reading our weekly tip, we hope you feel more prepared for wildfire!