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Frequently asked questions

Thatched roof repairs in South Brent

How long does thatch last?

There are a number of factors that affect how long a thatched roof will last before needing to be rethatched. These include the quality of materials used and the skill and care of your thatcher. The situation of the roof is also important: is it north facing? Are there trees nearby? 

In South Devon the average thatched roof lasts between 25 and 30 years. Many last for longer than this. In parts of the country with a drier climate, like Norfolk, thatched roofs have been known to last for over 100 years.

What precautions should I take to prevent fires?

Keep lofts draught free and clear of old thatch and other combustible material. Sweep chimneys in use twice a year and carefully monitor the condition of the stack, especially in the roof space. The top of the chimney pot should be at least six feet above the top of the ridge line (the highest point of the thatch), according to current industry recommendations. 

How often does a ridge need to be replaced?

The ridge needs to be replaced at least every 8 - 12 years, depending on the type of ridge, location and other factors. Looking after your ridge – making sure that it doesn’t become too worn – can greatly extend the life of your thatch.

What is the difference between water reed and wheat?

Both water reed and combed wheat are excellent thatching materials. In Devon it is considered more traditional to thatch in wheat, but usually we replace like with like. Your conservation officer may have an impact on this decision.

What is a ‘flush’ or ‘block’ ridge?

A flush ridge runs flush with the main thatch coat. A block ridge has a stepped undercut, which can be cut in a straight or ornamental style. We offer both types of ridge to our customers.

I am thinking of buying a thatched property. Can you give me advice on the condition of the roof?

We are happy to offer advice to prospective thatch buyers and will undertake roof surveys for a nominal cost. Please give us a call for more details.

Will there be an extra charge for scaffolding?

We organise all the scaffolding for you, making sure it complies with current regulations. The price for this will be included in the initial estimate.


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Please feel free to contact us for an informal, no obligation chat about your requirements or for further information about our services.

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