Thatched Roof Maintenance
Recent thunderstorms have reminded us that it does sometimes rain and perhaps we should be giving everyone little jog that a thatched roof maintenance programme still requires you to look at your roof regularly and note any changes so that you can call someone in before repairs become a necessity.
Often insurers are asking that a thatcher has checked the roof but just because he said it was fine for a few more years be aware that it still needs to be kept an eye on it just in case.
Proper planning can also prevent a potentially more costly emergency call of out of a specialist.
A few things to consider when looking at the condition of your roof:-
- Has anything changed dramatically since last time eg holes, patches of damage etc? This could be due to vermin, bird attack, tree or weather damage.
- How has the ridge or aprons changed in appearance and how much are fixings and wire showing compared to your last check.
- Are lines showing across the main roof area, or holes or darker patches or depressions?
- If there are moss and lichens growing, are they more excessive in certain areas e.g. under trees, in valleys or under chimney?
- Is the wiring still tight with no areas where gaps have formed which could let vermin enter.
- Look up to the eave, is the outer edge darker (the bit that sheds the water) or do the darker thatch areas run in – indicating potential water ingressing the thatch more deeply.
- If you can, a check in the loft would show if there is any actual water coming in.
- Remember the site of the water may not be where the water is coming in as water runs (e.g. down rafters)
- Look at your cement or lead flashings too to see if they look sound and, in the case of the former, not cracking away.
- Perhaps take pictures of each roof elevation (6 monthly or annually) so that you have something to compare the condition with. We understand that its sometimes hard to remember exactly what it looked like months ago so we find this a great way to monitor the roof easily.
As previously mentioned, we are always happy to help with independent advice from Master Thatchers who are not looking for work.
A stitch in time
So whether your flashings are flapping, ridge reduced or coatwork collapsed, have a look at your roof, note any changes and be aware of any thatched roof maintence which may required so that you are prepared and ready for the next winters.