Re-Roofing System Renders Wood Roofs Fire-Resistant; Strengthens House and Saves Environment

BREA, Calif., July 31 /PRNewswire/ -- A building technique thatturns vulnerable wood shake into a fire-resistant roof is paying off forhomeowners, according to Gerard Roofing Technologies.

The method, in which the wood shake or shingle is encased by a stone- coated steel roof, was developed as a response to the wildfires that strike many areas of the U.S. each summer and fall. (For booklet or video, call 800- 237-6637.)

"Homeowners are reporting that this roofing-over method is effective in protecting their homes from exterior fires," says Gerard product manager, Matt Pritchard. "In some cases, the system has even suppressed fires inside their homes."

Case in point: When Phil and Judy Armstrong's propane tank regulator blew out recently, high pressure gas surged through the pipes to the water heater, ignited, and erupted from heating-cooling units mounted on the roof of their Fresno, California, home.

"It looked like a flame thrower up there," one eyewitness told the Armstrongs. Eleven minutes elapsed before the first fire trucks arrived.

"According to the firefighters, this house was saved by the Gerard stone- coated steel shake we'd installed just a year ago," says Judy. "Without the new steel roof over it, the wood shake would have caught fire, and almost certainly taken our house with it."

Also saved was the sole occupant of the Armstrong's house, their boxer pup, Melody.

Fire damages or destroys half a million American homes each year, killing more than 4,500 people and injuring 20,000 more. While wildfires sweep the West with grim frequency, the most common fires begin inside our homes, caused by a heater or cooking appliance.

"Re-roofing over an existing wood or asphalt shingle roof can also suppress a fire inside a house," notes Pritchard at Gerard. "A fire that's unable to burn through the roof deck because of a steel tile roof, can be starved of oxygen."

Gerard's stone-coated steel roofs are designed for new construction as well as installation over an existing roof. The steel adds structural integrity to a home, yet is extremely lightweight -- just one-seventh of a traditional tile roof.

From an environmental standpoint, encasing an old roof also saves tearing off and dumping tons of unwanted roof materials into overburdened landfills.

Available free to homeowners is a booklet and video, "The Search For A Better Roof." Call Gerard Roofing Technologies at (800) 23-ROOFS. SOURCE Gerard Roofing Technologies

-0- 07/31/97

/NOTE TO EDITORS: Matt Pritchard is available for interviews. Photos and video showing fire situations also available./

/CONTACT: Mike Kerr for Gerard Roofing Technologies, 805-525-2266/

CO: Gerard Roofing Technologies ST: California IN: CST SU: PDT

LV -- NYFNSD7 -- 0250 07/31/97 05:12 EDT