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Thatched Roofing

Partially thatched roofing

Thatched roofs are beautiful! Once you've seen a thatched building in decent repair, you'll never ask such a question again. There is simply no other type of roof that has such texture, such swoops and rolls, and such personality. Distinctive? With a capital D!

The most durable thatching material is water reed (Phragmites Australis) which can last up to 60 years.

Water reed is naturally waterproof. This is no waterlogged plant, soggy and bloated with water. In fact, the inside of a natural water reed is hollow. The water is kept out by the tight overlapping of cells on the plant's outer layers. If you bundle enough of these water shedding plants together, water simply cannot penetrate. Moisture typically does not absorb into the thatch bundles more than 1 or 2 inches.

The thatchers' art consists of carefully laying 5 to 6 foot bundles of reeds atop one another so that an impenetrable shell of waterproofing covers a roof. Each thatch layer is built up to a thickness of around 12 inches and gravity carries rain, sleet, and snow down and off the roof.

One of the great attractions of thatch is that is extremely thermally efficient – warm in winter and cool in summer. Unlike conventional roofing systems that trap heat and moisture vapour in attics, thatched roofs require no attic ventilation.


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