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Looking after your Thatch

Installing a new thatch on a South Hams cottage

Thatch requires more care and attention than other roofing materials.
Here is some advice on how best to look after your thatch:

• To minimise fire risk, keep lofts draught free and clear of old thatch and other combustible material. Sweep chimneys that are 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 a minimum of six feet above the top of ridge line, according to current industry recommendations.

• Do not let non-thatchers fit netting, flashings and other items on your roof, without advice from an experienced thatcher.

• Do not move around on your thatch unnecessarily. TV aerial erectors and other tradesmen should be required to keep off the thatch as much as possible.

• Do not assume that because materials are slipping or that the roof looks a mess that it needs rethatching.

• Do not assume that because the roof looks neat (with a well executed ridge pattern) that it is in prime condition.

• Ensure that, wherever possible, trees and other vegetation do not overhang the thatch. They will damage it and reduce the lifespan of your roof.

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