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Burbank homeowners' wood roofs must be replaced

Burbank homeowners who have yet to comply with a decades-old ordinance that would require them to remove and replace their wood roofs have just a few months left to do so.

Residents with exposed wood shakes or shingles on the roofs of their homes have until Aug. 14 to have them removed. Those with “roof-overs,” or wood shingle or shake roofs covered by another type of roofing material, have until 2020.

The deadline comes after an extension granted by the Burbank City Council two years ago at the request of local real-estate agents and homeowners who argued that the expense would be unaffordable during the recession.

“We’re at a healthier market, so it wouldn’t be such a burden,” Julian Munoz, president of the Burbank Assn. of Realtors, said this week. “We’re in a better economy — that was kind of the reason for us interjecting.”

The law was passed to make homes more fire resistant.

“Wood shakes are basically like having a pile of firewood on top of your house,” said Burbank Fire Capt. Peter Hendrickson. “Most of the wood shakes are years old and very dry. During hot, dry conditions, they dry out just like brush does.”

The process could cost between $7,000 and $20,000 depending on the size and shape of the house, Munoz said.

“It could be quite hefty,” he said.

When making the switch, Munoz recommended that homeowners hire licensed roofers, seek multiple bids and check references.

A city permit is required for all new roofs and reroofs.

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Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek.

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