Frequently Asked Questions

What should we look for with respect to the roof?

Thatch unlike most other roofing materials is usually more evident when it is nearing the end of it's useful life, look out for fixings starting to show, when newly thatched, fixings should have a covering of approximately 6". The coat work should have a nice even look, if gulleys or dips are forming it would be as well to call us out to have a look for you.

Dark wet patches under the eaves show how much water penetration there is, if they sstart forming a 'V' to the wall plate, then this should be checked. Thatch roofs need to shed the water as quickly as possibly so valleys which have a lareger volume of water will generally not last as long as the flatter steeper coat work, also moss and lichen can slow the progress of the rain water down.

Is there anything we need to be aware of when insuring a thatched house?

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How does it keep the rain out?

The rain is kept out of the building by the angle of the roof. A thatched roof should ideally be between 45 and 55 degree's (although this varies over windows or in valleys) which forces the rain to run down the thatch material and run off at the eaves. A properly constructed thatched roof should have no water penetration.

How is thatch fixed to the roof?

New work is usually nailed or tied. Re-thatched work is usually fixed using twisted hazel 'spars'.

How thick is thatch?

Generally 12" - 14"

How heavy is thatch?

7lbs per sq foot, or 34 kg/m2

Is thatch a good insulator?

Yes, it is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. 12" of water reed at 45° has a u-value of 0.35 w/sqmk.

Can materials be fire-retardant?

Yes, but not fire proofed, the material can either be sprayed on completion of the thatch or the material dipped in a fire retardant before being applied to the roof.

What about lead work?

With the exception of box gutters and gullies, all lead work is dressed down on to the surface of thatch i.e. around chimneys. We can carry out all necessary lead work for you.

What are the benefits of wire netting?

It provides a barrier to vermin and birds to stops them nesting in the thatch. Netting becomes virtually invisible when it is laid on the roof, especially once the 'brand new' look has faded.

Designed by Clere Design & Print Ltd 2009