If you live in an area that frequently suffers from wildfires, choosing fire-resistant construction materials for your home can help save your property from catastrophic damage. This is particularly true when it comes to roofing materials. Even if your home survives a passing wildfire, a roof badly damaged by fire can collapse, destroying everything (and everyone) still inside.

If you are constructing a new home, or your existing home needs a new replacement roof, choosing fire-resistant roofing materials can literally be a lifesaver. Here are two of the most useful fire-resistant roofing materials used in residential construction, along with their pros and cons:

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is an excellent fire-resistant choice for homes in areas prone to wildfires and has a Class A fire-resistance rating when combined with a suitable fire-resistant underlayment. Metal roofing is also highly durable and long-lasting, and very user-friendly, requiring very little maintenance and upkeep over its long lifespan. This is particularly true of aluminum roofing, which does not rust.

Metal roofing is a particularly good choice if wildfires in your area are frequently caused by lightning storms and other extreme weather patterns. Many types of metal roofing are designed to resist high-speed winds, and standing seam metal roofing can withstand extremely heavy rains without leaking. If your metal roofing is uncoated or painted in lighter colors, it can also reflect the sun's heat, keeping your home cool during hot summers.

If you do opt for metal roofing, bear in mind that it isn't cheap. High-quality metal roofing frequently costs as much as other 'premium' roofing materials, such as wood shakes and clay tiles. However, it does require less time and skill to install, so labor costs for installing your roof are relatively low.

Asphalt Roofing

Asphalt shingles are not as fire-resistant as metal roofing, and some cheaper varieties are not rated as fire-resistant. However, high-end asphalt tiles with suitable fire-resistant coatings can be exposed to open flames for several hours without igniting, and still provide a good amount of protection.

If you want to beef up your home's fire resistance without breaking the bank, asphalt shingles are an excellent choice. They cost a lot less than metal roofing and other fire-resistant options and can be installed quickly and easily by a reputable roofing contractor. They are also relatively easy to maintain and repair, and any damaged shingles can be individually replaced.

Asphalt shingles are also very versatile and come in a variety of styles, including designs that closely mimic more expensive options (such as slate tiles and cedar shakes). Unfortunately, asphalt shingles don't last as long as some other options, and your home will probably need to be reroofed after a couple of decades.

To learn more information, reach out to a residential roofing contractor near you.