Guidelines for Thatched Properties
If you’re considering thatch as your roof style of choice, there are a few things to take into account. Because it is an organic material, it is only natural for it to contain micro-organisms. However, an overgrowth can prove problematic for the overall lifespan of your roof. Consequently, it is best for owners to carefully assess their building materials for quality and cleanliness beforehand.
Stalks should be clean and free of broken twigs, as this ultimately weakens the interlocking pattern of the thatch. Stems should also be cut at an appropriate height to maintain strength, with a low-salt content to avoid water retention. Moisture percentages should not surpass 17.5%, or else it will form an optimal medium for the growth of bacteria. Also, keep an eye out for higher bundle weights, as this adds durability and extra waterproofing capabilities to the finished thatched roof.
Thatch Fire Prevention Advice
Though thatch is regularly equipped with fire retardants, it is still wise to exercise caution in regards to fire prevention when living under a thatched roof. Use fire retardant sprays, closely monitor and control fireplaces and/or chimney exhausts, and make sure these exits are swept thoroughly to prevent leakages. Chimneys can even be fitted with fire alarms for an early alert system.
Another up-and-coming strategy is the use of a fire barrier which forms a foundation under the thatching layers. Should a fire start and reach the ceiling, the fire barrier stands staunchly between it and the above thatch.
As we take steps towards the future, it is crucial to preserve our pasts, and natural heritage sites are no exception. The UK is lucky to possess so many of these wonderful locations, offering a glimpse into a different era. Their historic value cannot be replicated, necessitating their careful preservation for future generations. Thatchers embody this urgent responsibility to conserve such deeply meaningful sites, as they undertake new methods of construction to ensure the survival of thatched materials.
NSMT work jointly with local governments to maintain conservation while acknowledging that thatched buildings must meet the demands of an increasingly modern world. This fragile balance is what we have spent years honing and monitoring, using a resilient approach of high-quality workmanship.
In this regard, conservation is inevitably about protecting the structure of thatched roofs. With the looming risk of pest infestation, it is vital that you have your roof regularly inspected for mice, rats, or nesting birds. Lay down some netting or chicken wire to deter critters from making your roof a permanent home. Metallic wires should also receive routine attention from your thatchers, as rust is inevitable and will leave the roof vulnerable to holes.
Thatched roofs are a warm and dry sanctuary for wildlife. Saying this, it is important to keep pests and imposing creatures at bay to ensure a long life for your thatched roof.
Birds will usually pluck out straw from your roof to build their nests, sometimes leaving gaping holes in your structure. Make sure to cover your roof with wiring or chicken netting to avoid this happening, and avoid the placement of bird feeders outside your home.
Netting also inhibits the entry of rats and mice, who are usually very hard to get rid of once they have settled in the recesses of your thatching. Some thatchers offer galvanised wire coverings as well. Make sure to discard food waste in sealed rubbish containers, to avoid attracting these unwanted pests. You may opt for traps or poison, which are some other common methods for pest control.
With such turbulent climactic changes, researchers suspect an alarming decline in the lifespan of roof thatching. Previously, frosty winters and sweltering summers would form enough of an extreme climate to deter fungal and microbial growth amongst the thatching layers. Now, with abnormal rain patterns and rising temperatures, opportunistic forms of growth, such as algae and moss, are growing uncontrollably on exterior thatched structures. With all this wear and tear, thatch degrades at a much faster rate than those of past years.