Thatched roofs come in many varieties in terms of the type of thatch used, and the way it is constructed and cut. Some of the main types of thatch include long straw thatch, which is composed of wheat that is prepared by hand and can last for up to 30 years. Long straw can be ornately cut and designed to frame windows and doors in beautiful patterns and shapes.
Water reed is a coarser and longer-lasting material than long straw and can be expected to last for up to 60 years. This type of thatching is longer than long straw and is suitable to harsher climates where durability is needed.
Combed wheat reed is similar to long straw, but is prepared mechanically and straightened through a reed comber that allows a neat and smooth appearance. Combed wheat reed has a longer life expectancy than long straw of up to 40 years.
Although thatch roofs are amongst the most beautiful building implements, they do come with risks, primarily, increased chances of fire damage. To make sure you and your family can enjoy a thatched roof home safely; make sure you are aware of these simple safety guidelines:
- Install smoke alarms in your home to quickly alert you of any fire emergencies.
- Regularly check up on electrical systems to ensure there are no faults that could spark or overheat and cause a fire.
- Keep safety implements like fire-blankets or fire extinguishers close at hand.
- Minimise the prevalence of exposed cables in the home.
For increased fire resistance, thatching can also be coated in a fire retardant substance that, in the event of a fire, causes the thatch to smoulder rather than burn.