Regular upkeep is crucial for the well-being of your thatched roof. This extends its lifespan and safeguards it from the elements and pests.
If you’re fortunate enough to own a beautiful, thatched roof or are considering a property with one, it is the perfect time to educate yourself on maintaining this unique feature. When purchasing a home with a thatched roof, securing a Specialist Non-standard Home Insurance policy is your first priority.
Typically, standard home insurance policies do not cover thatched roofs, as they are considered non-standard and pose a slightly higher risk compared to conventional tiled roofs.
With the insurance aspect sorted, let’s dive into the world of maintaining your thatched roof. Caring for a thatched property comes with responsibilities, but with regular care, it becomes seamlessly integrated into your routine home maintenance.
Understanding Thatched Roofs
When you typically think of thatched roofs, you tend to think of a thatched roof cottage in a rural village surrounded by nature with picturesque views. You are right, as this is where they are most popular, and you will often see them when you take a stroll through the countryside.
The art of thatching is specialist and skilled as the roofs are typically made of dried material such as long straw, water reed, and combed wheat reed. These are then tied together in small bundles, and carefully structured and pinned onto the roof.
Thatched roofs are still to this day, a cherished part of British history and culture. There is a fair amount of them still in the UK, and they are often found in rural areas, boasting a large amount of history. Whilst thatched roofs are not as popular in recent years as they were before, they are still a unique and loved feature of a house for many homeowners.
What is the Lifespan of a Thatched Roof?
With proper maintenance, thatched roofs can last up to 40 years, with ridge replacements needed every 10-15 years on average. It is essential to keep an eye out for signs of wear, such as dips in the roof, visible wire netting or fixings, and interior leaks, as these are clear indicators that your roof may need replacement.
Identifying Issues and Seeking Expert Advice
If your thatched roof shows signs of wear, it is essential to consult a reputable thatcher to address potential problems and determine if a new thatched roof is necessary.
Regular Cleaning for Longevity
Over time, neglect can lead to moss, algae, and debris accumulating on your roof. To maintain its quality, regular hand-cleaning is essential, as power jets can cause extensive damage. Consider using a dedicated algaecide to prevent algae growth and extend your roof’s lifespan. Also, remind workers not to lean equipment or ladders against the roof during construction projects, as this can lead to considerable damage.
Checking for Damage
Regularly inspecting your thatched roof for damage is crucial, especially during seasons with adverse weather. Look for thinning areas, missing thatch, and pesky animal holes, which can weaken the roof’s integrity. Local thatcher’s can assist in these inspections and offer repair solutions.
Protecting Against Wildlife Infestations
Thatched roofs can become hiding spots for wildlife, such as rodents, nesting birds, and squirrels. To prevent infestations, ensure proper disposal of food remnants away from your home. Additionally, place bird feeders and bird boxes away from your property to discourage birds from nesting on your roof.
Maintaining Dryness for Roof Health
To ensure your thatched roof remains in good condition, avoid excess moisture. Trim trees, bushes, or plants casting shade on the roof to promote ventilation and prevent mold and rot. For added moisture protection, consider installing a waterproof membrane or underlayment after consulting with a thatcher.
Minimising Fire Risks
While thatched roofs add charm, they come with fire risks related to chimneys, electrical issues, and lightning. Install smoke alarms, place television aerials on freestanding poles, and monitor chimney heat during use. Regular chimney inspections and sweeps, along with consulting with a thatcher during roof work, are essential for fire safety.
Buying a Home with a Thatched Roof
Purchasing a property with a thatched roof entails several considerations due to the need for regular maintenance. Research local thatchers in advance to assess the thatch’s condition before buying. Remember to secure a specialised non-standard home insurance policy, as thatched roofs are rarely covered by standard policies.
As mentioned earlier, you will need to take out a specialist non-standard home insurance policy as thatched roofs are rarely covered on standard policies. For more information and advice, reach out to a friendly member of the Carbon Insurance Brokers team today. Your thatched roof deserves the best care and protection.