17 Main Advantages and Disadvantages of Thatch Roof | Problems With Thatched Roofs
What is a Thatched Roof? | Advantages and Disadvantages of Thatch Roof | Problems With Thatched Roofs | Thatch Roof Maintenance
What Is a Thatched Roof?
The thatched roof is a roof that is made from plant material such as straw, oats, rice, wheat, rye, or bamboo.
While ancient roofing forts and homes were made from thatch, most modern homes use slate, rubber, tile, aluminum, or metal as their roofing, but most traditional homes still use thatch.
Historically, a thatched roof is made from dried leaves and reeds. The roof is a type of roof that would be a common type of roof in a tropical region.
A thatched roof has a lot of advantages like the roof cools the home more than a traditional roof, but also traps more hot air.
A thatched roof will also help with protection against heavy storms. The roof material is however not fire resistant.
Thatch Roof History
Thatch roofing originated in the mid-18th century where straw or reeds were used as a roofing material instead of wood shingles.
Thatch roofs were used because they required little construction to build and roofs could be built quickly. Straw was mixed with lime, clay or cow dung juice to make a dense foam that would hold heat well.
This mixture would be applied onto the roof in thick layers before being smoothed out with furled cloth strips. Thatch roofs were an effective way of making buildings but they were very difficult to repair.
Thatch roofs dried quickly so if a leak occurred it would be difficult to fix as the material would not be moist enough to repair, like wooden shingles.
Thatch roofs were cheap to build but they did not last long without maintenance. The main issue was that it was extremely difficult to patch or repair the roof once it had started to deteriorate.
The straw that was used to build thatch roofs were also prone to fire and would burn easily.
The colours of a thatch roof can range from dark green or black through to grey. This is based on the type of material and the position of the sun in the sky.
The green appearance comes from algae and moss growing on top of roof material which has been moist for a long period of time.
The colours of a thatch is also affected by human activity such as soil and rainfall. The colour of the thatch roof may also be affected by the type of wood used to make the shingles because of their different colours.
A thatch roof can be more effective in keeping out the rain and protecting a building but they are not perfect, some changes have been made to them to help them perform better.
With modern materials such as zinc, and more advanced technology it is possible get a thatch roof with more insulation.
People in some areas of the world use thatch roofs to protect their buildings as well as making them look attractive. These buildings are constructed in a similar way to a thatch roof but are made from other materials.
They are almost always built over a mound or platform which may be made from earth, wood or metal. There may also be a sloping roof built above the thatch slabs. The thatched roofs provide shelter, warmth and protection for people nearby.
Thatch roofs are used in many areas of the world today as they have low maintenance, good insulation and can be made quickly.
However, there are some disadvantages to them such as increased fire risk and they are not very good at keeping out water.
Thatch Roof Maintenance
To maintain a thatched roof, regular inspection is necessary as the materials may deteriorate easily.
The pitch of the roof should be kept low so that water doesn’t pool on it.
The design of the thatched roof should be made with a good drainage system. The slanting-pitched roofs help to ensure there are no standing pools of water which in turn reduces the risk of decay from mould and other weathering factors.
To inspect the roof for wear and tear, it is necessary to ensure the thatches are healthy. It is best to needs a professional roofing contractor to do these checks as they have the necessary tools for doing this job.
To ensure there is proper drainage, it is necessary to clean the guttering and rainwater outlets every year.
New roofs should be constructed first before the old roofs are repaired. It is not advisable to repair a thatch roof when it already has some damage.
This is because repairs will only prolong the roof life. The best way to fix a thatch roof when it has damage is to completely replace it with a new one.
It may be possible today but most materials used in constructing of a thatched roof are not fire resistant.
Problems With Thatched Roofs
The first issue with thatched roofs is the expense. It is difficult to make a thatched roof and it can be expensive to make one that will last.
The second issue with thatched roofs is safety. Thatched roofs are made of straw. If it gets too close to an open fire, the fire can quickly spread onto the roof.
Some of the thatched roofs are more prone to imperfections than others. It can be difficult to repair, especially if they have been damaged.
Decaying thatch is dry and rough on the roof and can cause problems when it comes to fixing leaks. More of a challenge is removing the decaying thatch to ensure a good waterproofing layer for roof repairs.
Another issue with these roofs is that they are vulnerable to wind damage. The materials are typically susceptible to strong winds because of their flexibility.
To prevent this, many houses now have steel or aluminum strips that are layered over the roof. The strips create an added layer of stability that prevents the roof from swaying during storms.
Finally, thatched roofs pose a fire risk and are not very good at keeping out water. The plastic panels commonly used today in constructing of a thatch roof are fire resistant but they may crack or move over time.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Thatch Roof
Thatch Roof Advantages
1. Thatch roof are durability
Thatch is extremely durable, with some thatching materials lasting up to 50 years. With a lifespan of 40 to 60 years, water reed is the most durable material.
The lifetime of combed wheat reed ranges from 20 to 40 years. Long straw has a life expectancy of 15 to 25 years.
2. Thatch roof uses available resources
Thatch is made from reeds and grasses that are grown in abundance. It has become a renewable resource in countries like Japan, China, and India.
3. Thatch roof are environmentally friendly
They are much more environmentally friendly than shingles, which are made of metal and can be recycled and reused as shingles on other roofs. They also use a lower amount of wood resources.
4. It is cheaper than other roofing
Thatch roofs, usually made of straw, have a low-cost material compared to metal roofs.
5. Thatch roof is flexible and waterproof
Thatch roof offers greater flexibility than metal roofs. While most metal roofs are more durable and resistant to high winds and storms, it also reduces the durability of the thatched roof.
However, there are still ways to protect this with extra layers of plastic or clay.
6. Thatch roof are good insulators
Thatch roofs act as good insulators. During the winter, the straw thatching retains heat while preventing it from escaping out through the roof during summer.
7. Thatch roof is available in different colors and shapes
Thatch roofs can be made to suit the style of any house. The type of thatch used on a roof depends on cultural and architectural preference.
8. Thatch roofs are lightweight
Thatched roofs are lighter than other types of materials used in traditional houses. This means that there is less vibration when walking on them so any noise is reduced through the house.
9. Thatch roof requires less maintenance
Thatch roofs require less maintenance as it does not have steel nails and screws like metal roofs do. Metal and wood roofs are prone to rusting and rotting.
10. Thatch roof is easier to install
Being simple, low-cost, quick to assemble, and easy enough to install, thatch roofs are suitable for a variety of areas.
11. Thatch roof has an appealing look
A thatched roof has a unique look and can make your home stand out among other houses.
12. Thatch roofs make homes more energy efficient
By providing an insulation layer between the top of the roof and the ceiling, thatched roofs keep living spaces cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
Thatch Roof Disadvantages
1. Labour Intensive
Though lasts longer, thatched roofs are more costly and time-consuming to install
Thatch roofing takes significantly longer to install than steel or slate roofing. Time-consuming installation is a disadvantage of thatched roofing.
2. The materials used for thatching are difficult to access
The construction materials for thatching are becoming more inaccessible and expensive. The main building materials for this type of roofing are straw, hair, reeds, and grasses such as clover and bracken.
3. Prone to fire
Thatch roofs are easily prone to fire because of the materials they are made from. When burning, it will create sparks that could lead to a large fire.
4. They have higher maintenance costs than other roofs
Thatch roofs require little to no maintenance as they do not have any electrical components that can be prone to rust and corrosion.
5. Limited material availability
The availability of materials is limited and expensive in some cases, which increases the project cost considerably.
6. It is very difficult to repair and maintain
Thatched roofing It is very difficult to repair and maintain and does not come with any manufacturer warranty.
With the high production cost of thatching, it is hard to justify it as a long-term roofing material.
7. It is prone to rot
Another disadvantage of thatching is the risk of foul and rotting, especially if they are left exposed to strong winds and rain.
8. Thatched roofs require regular maintenance
As with metal roofs, thatched roofs need regular maintenance programs in order to ensure the longevity and durability of the roof.
Thatched Roof FAQs
0. What is a thatched roof?
The thatched roof is the most primitive form of roofing material. It is made by using materials like straw, wood, grass, etc. The materials are layered together and woven together, giving the roof its distinctive texture. The thatched roof can last for decades, but will need to be maintained through the years. It is the perfect choice for people looking for a sustainable material.
1. What are some thatched roof pros and cons?
Thatch roofs are a traditional form of roofing that is traditionally made up of straw or grass that is then thatched together into a thatched material
The pros of thatched roofs are that they are easier on the environment, which is important since thatched roofs are usually made of straw.
Thatch roofs are generally lightweight, making them an economical option.
However, they are more susceptible to fire which makes them more difficult to clean.
The downsides of thatched roofs are that they are more expensive to install, and they are also more susceptible to leaks.
Overall, thatch roofs are a good option if you are on a budget and materials are readily available. It’s important to take proper steps to maintain them, as they can fail over time.
2. How long does a thatched roof last?
The roof of your house provides more than just shelter from rain and sun, in many cases it can be your office, bedroom, living room, dining room, and in some cases your laundry room.
Thatched roofs are not for everyone, but if you are looking to replace your old roof with something more interesting, this might be the right option for you.
A thatched roof will last for many years. A roof is typically able to last for more than 20 years before needing to be repaired.
A roof’s life span can be extended by regularly checking for any damages or issues that might arise.
A thatched roof is often made with reeds, straw, and clay. A thatched roof can last up to thirty years or more when it is well cared for.
The one downfall of a thatched roof is when it rains it is difficult to keep them dry.
3. How long does it take to thatch a roof?
It takes approximately two to four days for a team of three thatchers to thatch a roof. The time required to thatch a roof varies on the type of roof, the roof size, and the amount of rain in the area.
It also depends on the steepness of the roof.
4. How is thatched roof maintained?
Even though a thatched roof has a long lifespan, little care may be necessary owing to the causes mentioned above and the natural deterioration of materials over time, which is unavoidable.
There are a few things you and roof thatchers can do to keep your thatched roof looking excellent.
Keep a watch on your roof throughout the year (particularly before and after winter). By examining the ridge, you can identify where on your roof requires repair.
If the ridge has metal netting (which it should have to protect it from animals), the wire mesh may appear lifted up, indicating that the thatch has deteriorated and the spars are protruding.
Lines across the main roof coating and dips in the thatch also indicate wear.
5. What are some thatch roof problems?
- Thatch roofs can easily catch fire during the dry season, particularly if they are being used as a shelter for animals, including birds, bats, and rodents such as rats or mice when humans are not around (e.g., farms and backcountry areas).
- Some animals may leave droppings on the thatch roof, which can attract termites.
- Like any other type of roofing material, it will need to be replaced after a certain number of years.
- Thatch roofs are often very steep, which makes it difficult for people to climb on them for maintenance and repairs.
6. How often does a thatch roof need replacing?
In general, a thatched roof can last for about 30 years with correct care. It’s important to check your roof frequently to see if there is a need for a replacement.
However, the thatch ridge will need to be replaced every 10 – 15 years. The coatwork will differ based on the material chosen and its longevity.
To keep the roof in good condition, do the following: Allow it to dry thoroughly, and remove any trees or plants that may obstruct the sun’s and wind’s drying or rain dispersal.
7. Are thatched roofs expensive to maintain?
When you need to make repairs or maintain your thatched roof, it can become very expensive. There are a few ways to make it less expensive when you need a repair. It is important to have a regular inspection of the roof.
Because thatching is a sought-after and highly skilled job, it may be extremely costly.
There are also many types of thatching material available, such as Norfolk Reed, Combed Wheat, and Long Straw. Each has a unique price and lifetime.
8. Are thatched houses more expensive to insure?
For thatched houses, insurance can be more expensive than for other types of houses. Thatched roofs are more expensive to install and maintain than they are with metal roofs.
Because a thatched roof is a higher fire risk than a slate roof, you should expect to pay extra for your building or contents insurance.
They are also more expensive to reconstruct than traditional residences since they were created using specialized materials by professionals.
9. Do thatched roofs leak?
Over time, thatched roofs can leak as the thatch deteriorates. Some of the issues include damage from stormy weather and subsidence caused by the weight of the roof material.
Another issue is when heavy winds blow down parts of a roof. If your thatch is coming loose or has holes, there is a good chance it will start leaking.
If you notice water getting in through your roof, it’s likely you will need to make a thorough inspection to find out why it’s happening and how to fix it.
Again, if you get any type of extreme weather, your thatch roof cover will leak, come apart, blow away, and disintegrate.
10. Do thatched roofs get moldy?
Mold is common if thatch is exposed to damp weather for lengthy periods of time. It tends to grow on the thatch and will be found around leaks, in eaves and around damaged roofing.
If you regularly check your roof for problems, you may be able to find these issues before a large amount of mold can grow.
11. Why do thatched roofs not rot?
Straw is an organic material that may rot. However, owing to the slope of the thatch, only the top layer can penetrate water; this actually flows off fast and may dry out readily, making rot unlikely. Prolonged moisture, on the other hand, will degrade thatch and create rot.
When a thatched roof is exposed to water, it will always be damp. This is because the thatch is positioned over the roof vents and rainwater simply drains into the space.
Therefore, if there are no leaks or damage to the roof structure above the thatch, then there will be no problems with mold.
12. What are alternatives to thatched roofs?
There are many alternatives to a thatched roof in a modern house. The advantages and disadvantages of each material should be considered before making a decision for your home or business.
The most important factors for choosing materials include:
- Energy efficiency
- Cost to maintain and repair
- Fire risk
- Wind and water damage
The most common roofing material is metal. Metal roofs are inexpensive, relatively easy to maintain, and can last up to 50 years. It is also quite simple to install, making it fairly popular.
However, some people criticize metal roofs for being too harsh on the environment during their production and can give off harmful fumes.
13. Are there any legal requirements?
The Building Regulations Part P (Approved Document P) only requires that “roof covering must be of a suitable material which does not present a fire hazard when it is in place.” It does not specify that the roof covering must be non-combustible.
It may, however, be necessary to comply with local authority regulations or requirements.
14. How do I maintain a thatched roof?
If you have a thatched roof, there are a few ways to keep it in good condition:
– Regular, careful maintenance
– Checking for signs of wear or damage regularly and repairing as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
– Making sure your thatch is not too steep for people to climb on safely.
– Finding out if your insurance policy covers you if your thatched roof is damaged by fire or other external causes.