There's nothing better than getting away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Buying a home in the mountains is the perfect way to get away from it all, and give yourself some space. However, buying a home in the mountains does come with its own set of concerns, such as wildfires. If you're going to be looking for a home in the mountains, make sure you add fire protection to your list of must-have's. Here are three ways to make sure your new mountain real estate has some additional protections from wild fires.
Check for Defensible Space
When you're looking for a home in the mountains, you should begin your inspection on the outside of the home. You want to check for defensible space; the area around, below, and above your home that can help stop a wildfire from finding its way to your front door. Make sure that the property you choose has room for you to clear a path all the way around the perimeter of your home. If there are hillsides, be sure they're accessible enough to remove dead trees, brush, grass, and bushes. If there are dead, or diseased trees, on the property, make sure they're in an area where you can safely have them removed before the next fire season begins. Defensible space not only helps keep flying embers from igniting when they land near your home, it also helps prevent fires that are caused by radiant heat, which can occur during a wildfire.
Lean Towards Metal or Tile Roofs
In the past, mountain homes were often designed with wood shake shingle roofs. While they were beautiful, and added a rustic feel to mountain homes, they were also quite flammable. Now that you're in the market for a mountain home, avoid those that have wood shake shingle roofs. Instead, lean towards those that have either metal or tile roofs. Metal and tile roofs are fire resistant, which means your home will have an added layer of protection against wild fires. If you do find a home that you like, and it has a wood shake shingle roof, try to negotiate a new roof before you say no to the deal.
Look for Additional Water Sources
During a wildfire, additional water sources are crucial. Wildfires can be slowed down by a creek, river, or even swimming pool. While you're shopping for a new mountain home, look for one that has that additional water source. During the recent fires in California, several home owners sought refuge in their swimming pools until they could be rescued. You can also use your pool water to saturate the ground around your home to help slow down the progress of approaching fires.