During the early hours of January 16, 2014, in the dangerously dry foothills of Southern California’s San Gabriel Mountains, the first spark of a wildfire ignited, eventually growing to ravage almost 2000 acres before firefighters could fully contain it. The gusty Santa Ana winds worsened matters, agitating the fire’s embers and making its unruly spread into the neighboring city of Glendora, California, a swift certainty. Nearly 2000 residents awoke in the morning darkness by orders to evacuate the area, the inferno giving them little hope for relief from the damage to come.
The fire raged as it traveled simultaneously up and down the Glendora mountain road, smothering many of the homes in its path—many, but not all: “Four of my neighbors’ homes burned to the ground,” recounts Elizabeth Teakell, the Glendora homeowner whose property was on the hilltop directly in the path of the Santa Ana winds and surrounded on three sides by the burning canyon below—purportedly in the worst position of all. Having installed a Gerard metal roofing system nearly 40 years ago, her home escaped the devastation.
“If you watch the news clips, you’ll understand why it’s so amazing that anything at all has been left standing,” Elizabeth affirms. While four of the neighboring homes were reduced to ashes, Elizabeth reveals that “most of the other homes sustained some sort of damage as well.” The Class A fire-rated protection of Gerard’s roofing systems is not only evident when comparing Elizabeth’s properties with her neighbors’. It is also clear when comparing the different structures occupying her 10.5 acre property. “All of my out buildings—my barns and tack rooms—burnt down,” Elizabeth explains before going on to point out that the two structures with Gerard roofs, the main and guest houses, withstood the fire. She clarifies, “Everything with a Gerard roof survived; everything without a Gerard roof burned to the ground.”
It was no happy accident that Elizabeth chose to have a Gerard roof installed. In the late ‘70s, she needed to replace her asbestos slate roof with a lightweight material that didn’t burn and could stand up to hurricane force winds. “Gerard checked all three of those boxes,” she remembers. What’s more is that Elizabeth confirms that there is no difference in the roof’s performance quality from the day it was installed to now. “The roof is solid.”
Elizabeth’s Gerard roof has been tested by nearly every extreme condition: “I think the only thing it hasn’t been through is a volcanic eruption,” she laughs, relishing in the fact that the roof has not only protected her home through every event, from tornados and wind storms of over 100 mph to severe floods and devastating fires; it has done so and come out unscathed. “The roof has never lost a tile; it’s never faltered,” she muses with appreciation before concluding with a simple message to homeowners everywhere: “If you don’t want to replace a roof in your lifetime, put a Gerard roof on your home.”
If you’d like to take Elizabeth’s recommendation visit Gerard’s website to review their extensive selection of profiles and colors. To speak with a Gerard representative today about your upcoming roofing project, call 800-237-6637 or contact us via email. It’ll be the last roof you’ll ever need!
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