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How to protect your log home against Colorado wildfires

With the nasty string of wildfires Colorado has had, we all feel the devastating loss for those who have to rebuild their burned down homes. While this is a scary realization for those homeowners of log homes in the Colorado Mountains, fear not, as there are many solutions and home insurance policies that will help ensure that homes stay safe in the event of a wildfire.

When building a mountain home in Colorado, it is important to realize that it could be in the path of a wildfire. Courtesy of the NFPA Firewise Communities Program, there are different zones and preventive measures to take.

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Zone 1

Within the first five feet of log homes, it is recommended to use any material that is fire-resistant, including rock mulch, stone walkways, and/or plants with high moisture. From 5 to 30 feet, choose plants that are low-growing and wax, resin, and oil free, as those tend to burn very easily.

Zone 2

From 30 to 100 feet away, a mix of deciduous and coniferous trees should be planted in clusters of two to three with 30 feet between each cluster. These trees should be pruned six to 10 feet off the ground. In this zone, walkways, rock gardens, and gravel are encouraged as a fire break.

Zone 3

From 100 to 200 feet away, it is important to reduce the density of trees and prune the crowns, so they do not touch. Also, removing smaller plants in between these tall trees is encouraged.

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Wood Treatment 

Mountain homes are often times made of wood. While wood fuels fire, there are different treatments and wood types to use so that it can still be used to create beautiful log homes. One of the few important factors is keeping wood dry, along with applying stains, finishes, and preservatives to prolong the lifetime of the wood.

Fire-Rated Materials

For roofing, metal, slate, and tile are recommended. For skylights, tempered glass lights should be used instead of plastic. For windows, double paned or tempered glass will help to offer extra protection. For eaves, use finer 1/8-inch opening steel screen as this will prevent debris from being pulled into the attic in the event of a wildfire.

Landscaping

It is possible to create a gorgeous, fire-resistant landscape. Choosing the right plants, shrubs, and materials in addition to keeping up the maintenance of the landscape by routinely mowing, weeding, and removing dead debris are all very important. Outdoors, decorate with stones instead of mulch, store gas grills away from the house, and create a fence barrier of non-flammable material six to 10 feet away will all help prevent wildfires from coming too close and destroying precious property.

Proper Insurance

The most important way to protect a home is with home insurance. While mountain homes and log homes tend to be expensive to cover, find a competitive rate while providing the best insurance policy to cover your home in case of a wildfire or other danger. Though no amount of preparation can completely keep your home safe from fires, following these tips can help protect your home from devastating damage.

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