Thatch roofs are a beautiful, traditional style of roofing seen among many historical and listed properties across the UK. If your property has a thatched roof, it’s important to care for it properly so as to prevent it from falling into disrepair. More than that, as the guardian of some of our most precious architectural heritage, you may feel a special responsibility to do whatever you can to ensure that the building can be enjoyed for a long time to come.
That said, the replacement and maintenance of high-quality thatch can be a worrying and costly experience. Thatching a roof is a specialist job; it’s not something that should be attempted by just anybody. It’s a highly skilled technique that requires the professional services of a trained and experienced artisan who really knows his craft. With trained thatchers in short supply and waiting lists commonly averaging about 1 year for a thatcher to replace your roof, getting a thatch roof survey is essential to ensure that you are made aware of any potential repairs or replacements that are necessary.
Alan Rance Surveyors can provide effective assistance and advice for properties with thatched roofs. Our comprehensive thatched roof survey analyses the type of thatch used, its state of decay, any repairs or renovations needed and the best way in which these renovations should be carried out. Please feel free to contact us for expert advice and professional assistance with thatched roofs.
Age, wear and tear, lack of maintenance and environmental conditions can all take their toll on the condition of thatch roofing, and the main problems encountered are well known:
- Water penetration – Water leaks can occur in all areas of the roof including the ridge where cement cracking can occur on the capping, the valleys where two thatched sections are joined, and the corners that are most prone to high wind and rain ingress.
- Compaction – Effective compaction of thatch is essential to ensure weather resistance and water tightness and reduce the risk of water ingress. Unsatisfactory compaction can lead to excessive oxygen flow which can increase the risk of wind and fire damage.
- Moss and lichen build-up – Long wet periods of rain can encourage the growth of moss and lichens, and the moisture thus held makes it difficult for the thatch to dry out, promoting further growth. It’s a vicious cycle that hinders the roof’s functionality and looks unsightly.
- Animal infestation – Birds, rodents and insects may all be attracted by the thatched environment that is often made from grain straw, and especially if the thatch is not laid tightly enough. Infestations can reduce the longevity of the roof and cause structural defects.
- Insurance – Home insurance premiums for thatched buildings are considerably higher than for conventional houses. The main reason is that thatched roofs are viewed as a fire risk, mainly during dry winters when woodburners and open fires are lit in the homes below.
Why Should I Get a Thatched Roof Survey?
What Is the Life Expectancy of a Thatched Roof?
What Is the History of Thatched Roof Houses?
How Much Does a Thatched Roof Cost?