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Why the Spring Is the Best Time to Harden Your Home from Wildfire

A good spring cleaning can have your home and yard looking beautiful and you feeling refreshed, but have you considered how your spring cleaning can make your house safer, too?

Incorporating home hardening tips into your cleaning can help you to get your house ready for wildfire season, defending it against fires whether you’re at home or whether you’ve evacuated.

As you start your spring cleaning, you can incorporate these home hardening methods into your to-do list.

Establish and Clean Your Defensible Space

Your defensible space – the area from your fence line to your home – is an essential tool in defending your home from wildfires. Embers that land in this space can come into contact with flammable and combustible materials, igniting a fire that quickly spreads to your house.

It’s essential to maintain this defensible space and to eliminate flammable items that are within the area. When you do your spring cleaning, remove woodpiles, dead leaves, and other combustible materials that may have accumulated in the space over the winter.

As you clean, pay particular attention to the five feet around your home. Establishing clear spacing here can help to protect your house in the event of a fire. You may need to reevaluate your landscaping and remove trees with papery bark, plants with oily leaves, fuzzy leaves, or needles and thin leaves. These types of trees and bushes can be highly flammable.

Evaluate Your Fences

Wood fences are attractive, but they’re also combustible. If a wood fence attaches to your house, it could channel fire right to your house.

If you’re considering replacing your wood fence, opt for a non-combustible material, like metal. If you’re not ready to replace your fence just yet, then replace the last fencing panel or 5 feet of fencing leading up to your house with a metal fence.

Remodel Your Finishes

Your home’s siding and deck are also sources of potential ignition, particularly if they’re made with wooden boards or shingles. While these traditional building materials are popular, they’re also combustible and could easily ignite if flying embers make their way into your yard.

If you have a wooden deck, consider rebuilding it with ignition-resistant building materials, like wood that’s been treated with a fire retardant. If your deck doesn’t yet need to be rebuilt, you can apply fire-resistant treatments directly to the existing wood.

Spring is the perfect time to give your house a facelift, and carefully choosing the materials you use can make it safer. Instead of wooden shingles or siding, use a safer material like fiber cement, stucco, or fire-resistant wood siding.

Pay attention to your patio furniture, too. Wood or wicker furniture is popular, but it’s safer to replace those products with metal furniture.

Flying embers can potentially blow in underneath your garage door, so add weather stripping underneath the door to establish a tighter seal.

When cleaning your garage this spring, make sure that any combustible or flammable materials are stored safely and are away from ignition sources like open flames and power tools.

Don’t forget to also make sure that you’re well-stocked with fire prevention and suppression supplies, including plenty of fire extinguishers that are easily accessible.

Clean Your Gutters

Pine needles, leaves, and other items that accumulate in your gutters can ignite when embers from wildfires land on your roof and in your gutters. Make cleaning your gutters a routine part of not only your spring cleaning but also of your year-round house maintenance.

Alternatively, installing Valor Gutter Guardscan prevent debris build-up and keep your home safer.

Retrofit Your Home with Ember Defense

In addition to installing Valor Gutter Guards, installing Vulcan Vents can also help to keep embers, flames, and heat from entering your home. Unlike traditional wire mesh vents, Vulcan Vents feature a fine mesh screen coating that swells shut to block out heat and flames from getting into your home. These vents can be installed in your eaves, foundation, gables, and more, protecting the most vulnerable areas of your home and preventing home ignition.

You don’t have to go through the entire home hardening process alone, and this spring is the perfect time to contact Ember Wildfire Defense Solutions. Our extensive home-hardening package includes a home evaluation to assess and improve your defensive space and home protection.

We then work with homeowners to install the best wildfire defense products for their home’s needs. We round up the package with a home insurance assessment to make sure that you have the coverage and protection that you need.

Contact us today to learn about how we can help you protect your home against wildfires.

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