Roofing in a Designated Wildland Urban Interface (W.U.I.)

April 25, 2022

What is the W.U.I.?

W.U.I. stands for Wildland Urban Interface, which is an area within or near an “at risk community”. According to https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fsbdev3_053107.pdf , an “at risk community is defined as a community within the wildland urban interface listed in the Federal Register notice, “Wildland Urban Interface Communities within the Vicinity of Federal Lands that are at High Risk from Wildfire”.  A group of homes and other structures with basic infrastructure and services within or adjacent to federal land is also defined as an “at risk community”. “At risk communities” are areas where conditions are conducive to a large-scale wildland fire disturbance event, thereby posing a significant threat to human life or property.” A W.U.I. is also any area within 1.5 miles of an at risk community and has terrain that can affect wildfire behavior. A W.U.I. can also be areas next to evacuation routes of at-risk communities. You can find California W.U.I. zones on this map: https://frap.fire.ca.gov/media/10300/W.U.I._19_ada.pdf

The department of housing developed a set of building codes designed specifically for homes within W.U.I. Chapter 7A outlines Materials and Construction Methods for Exterior Wildfire exposure. These codes regulate new construction but are also applicable on exterior remodeling as well.

Placer County is largely consisted of housing within W.U.I. and strictly enforces building codes in W.U.I. areas in addition to the building standards found on their website: https://www.placer.ca.gov/2164/Building-Codes-Standards.

It is important to hire a reliable roofing company for your Placer County roof project. A reputable company is aware of local roofing building codes, including W.U.I. building codes. Without knowledge of the roofing standards, you may be unable to finalize your roof in Placer County, or worse, have a construction project that leaves you unprotected in the event of a fire.

The standards for roofing include the gutter system as well. A less than knowledgeable roofing contractor may not understand that a new roof cannot be finalized by the building department if the gutters do not have gutter guards on it, even if the home did not have gutter guards prior to the roof installation. This can cause an unexpected change order for your roof project if your permit cannot be finalized without the installation of gutter guards.

While these standards can seem cumbersome, these building codes can protect your home in the event of a fire. Having a fire-safe roof and gutter system is an excellent step in protecting your property in the event of a fire.

If your Placer County home needs roofing or gutters, contact American Eagle Roofing.