Thatch Maintenance and Cautionary Tales

Thatch maintenance is a big subject so here is some useful information and cautionary tales to help you in making decisions on repairing and looking after your thatched property

Thatch Maintenance - required

The Cost of Thatch Maintenance

The cost of thatch maintenance is not just monetary, hence we have a couple of cautionary tales – which are probably valid for many trades/crafts.  It comes down to making sensible informed choices.

We always recommend you get more than one quote for any thatched roof maintenance . Compare them like for like.  References and recommendations are helpful, as there is no overall governing body for thatchers.  A sensible approach is best.  All logos and claims on websites should be checked.  Nowadays, Master Thatcher is a term used by all thatchers and no longer has that ‘master man passing on the trade’ status.

A few enquiries to the Thatch Advice Centre have caused us some concern,  in the variance of advice and pricing for work given by thatchers to clients.  The clients have asked 3 or 4 thatchers for their opinion of a roof.  Beware the thatcher who says you need a complete re-thatch if you think it is not too bad.  However, the cost of putting up a new ridge when the coatwork won’t out last it is also not necessarily value for money in the long run.  You need to understand and weigh up the options.

Appearance can be misleading to the untrained eye so, if in doubt feel free to get in touch. Why not send us some pictures for advice from a Master Thatcher who does not want the work!  Thatching is a craft.  There is room for some variance but general standards are accepted for roof repair and maintenance .

Listed Thatch Maintenance

Also a note of caution from another caller.  Beware a thatcher trying to sell a cheap ‘fire’ barrier as part of a re-thatch package, especially if you have a listed building.  Listed Building consent will be required to take a thatched roof to timbers.  Although you as owner should know this, so should your thatcher!!

Also what does a fire barrier do? Depending on installation, we would recommend a fire resisting barrier which meets the B4 building regulation (minimum ½ hour fire resisting barrier over the rafters and under the thatch).  Otherwise, what is the point? Understand what you are being offered and what it does before you purchase.  We have had four calls on this one in recent weeks.

Sensible Thatch Maintenance

So our best advice is:

  • Get more than one quote/opinion for any works
  • Check references, that the thatching business is sound and check thatching work from a few years ago if possible to see how well it had stood the test of time.
  • Check any claims made on services or products offered.
  • Use the same common sense that you would when buying anything

Remember – Thatch Fire Safety – Read our updated leaflet  Reduce the risk of needing thatch maintenance to your roof following fire damage.

If in doubt get in touch, we will do our best to help.