Traditional thatched roofs are still prevalent in many regions worldwide, including Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. Traditional thatched roofs offer numerous advantages, one of which is their natural insulation properties. These qualities help maintain a cool interior during the summer and a warm one during the winter.
Top 5 Myths about traditional thatched roofs revealed
Unfortunately, they are often surrounded by several myths and misconceptions. The truth is, that traditional thatched roofs have so many benefits. One examples is that it provides great insolation. Here are 5 top myths that people believed to be true:
Traditional Thatched roofs are a fire hazard
Although traditional thatched roofs are constructed from highly flammable materials like straw or reed, they do not pose a greater fire risk compared to other types of roofs when installed and maintained correctly.
To protect against embers and sparks from sources like chimneys, bonfires, fireworks, and Chinese lanterns, fire retardant sprays can be applied to the exterior. For instance, Magma Firestop Fire retardant spray should only be used on a dry roof during dry weather conditions. Treatment Certificates serve as proof of certified application and are often required for insurance purposes. Thatch typically requires re-application of the spray every 5-7 years as it naturally degrades over time.
Various systems are available to provide heat warnings around the chimney area. Heat monitors can be used with wood burners. The systems can check flue temperatures, helping to indicate the risk of a chimney fire. Chimfire Stop is a chimney fire suppressant. It can reduce the risk of ejected embers in the event of a chimney fire, giving more time for the fire service to attend.
Different types of barriers are available, each with its composition and capabilities, to protect the rafters and underlay of traditional thatched roofs and meet the B4 Building Regulation for boundary distances less than 6m. Examples include Thatch Safe and Supalux.
Feel free to read more about reducing the risks of fire here: Reducing fire risks
Traditional Thatched roofs are often considered to be expensive.
It is important to note that the cost of a traditional thatched roof can vary significantly depending on several factors.
One of the biggest factors that can affect the cost of a traditional thatched roof is the location and availability of materials. In areas where thatch is readily available, such as in rural communities, the cost of a thatched roof may be relatively low.
Conversely, in areas where thatch is not commonly used, the cost of sourcing the materials and hiring skilled thatchers may drive up the price.
Another factor that can affect the cost of a traditional thatched roof is the size and complexity of the roof itself. Larger or more intricate roofs will require more materials and labor, which will naturally result in a higher cost.
Despite these factors, traditional thatched roofs can also be surprisingly affordable when compared to other high-end roofing materials, such as slate or tile. Additionally, traditional thatched roofs are often valued for their aesthetic appeal and longevity. This makes them a worthwhile investment for homeowners who are looking for a unique and durable roofing solution.
Traditional Thatched roofs are only for historical buildings.
People often associate traditional thatched roofs with historical buildings, but they can be a great option for modern homes and buildings as well.
You can customize traditional thatched roofs to fit a wide range of architectural styles, whether modern or traditional. People can install thatched roofs on a variety of building types, such as cottages, bungalows, farmhouses, and even commercial buildings.
Traditional Thatched roofs are not durable.
These roofs can last up to 50 years or more if proper maintenance and installation techniques are employed. It is also important to use the correct quality building materials. The design of thatched roofs allows for quick water shedding, which helps prevent water damage and rot. The materials used for thatching are carefully selected to withstand extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain, wind, and hail.
For example The SANS 10407:2016 regulations for traditional thatched roof construction state that the poles used in the process of building a frame must comply with the requirements stated in SANS 457-2 (softwoods) or SANS 457-3 (hardwoods) and be treated according to the guidelines in SANS 10005.
This regulation ensures the best quality and durability of the poles. It is an essential part of building a traditional thatched roof.
At Sabie Poles, All of our poles and timber products are SABS approved and fully comply with the SANS regulations. Thus you, as a customer, is guaranteed that you receive only the best quality of CCA poles and timber products.
Traditional Thatched roofs attract pests.
This is a myth that almost everyone believes. If you live in a house with traditional thatched roofing, you may have experienced people asking; “Are you not scared of spiders coming from the roof?” or “Do you struggle with a lot of insects, etc. in your home?”
Pests can be attracted to roofs for a variety of reasons, including food, shelter, and warmth. Also especially if people do not properly maintain them.
While it is true that these roofs may provide some of these attractants, they are not inherently more attractive to pests than other types of roofs. Some types of modern roofs may be more attractive to pests due to their design or materials.
Having said that, it is important to note that; if you do not maintain or clean your roof often, pests can potentially make their homes on traditional thatched roofs. The natural materials used, such as straw or reeds, may provide suitable nesting material for some pests. However, this is not unique to traditional thatched roofs and can happen with other roofing materials as well.
Inspections should be done by a professional thatcher such as Hoffman’s Thatching [(+27) 051 793 1530]. They can help identify any issues, that you may not be able to identify early on.