Lead or cement flashings finish off areas which may otherwise suffer water ingress, e.g around chimneys.
Maintenance to flashings is often in conjunction with thatch maintenance, although lead often lasts longer. Cement requiring maintenance is obvious if it is cracked, broken or has moved. Lead flashing often looks raised above a worn thatch but will still be perfectly serviceable.
Trees and Plants
Trees and plants in close proximilty to thatched roofs may look pretty but be aware:
- They slow down the roof drying after rain
- They can drop debris on thatch
- Overshadowing can increase the growth of moss and lichens
- Creeping plants can interfere with water run off
Cut back overhanging trees and shrubs to improve the lifespan of your thatch.
Fire Retardant Sprays
After a disastrous few weeks of thatch property fires and a change to lovely spring weather, it reminds us that fire retardant sprays e.g Magma Firestop can be a part of your thatch maintenance programme.
Application of the above fire retardant is undertaken onto a dry roof on a dry day. Re-application is generally every 5 years (due to degradation of the thatch) and based on insurance policies requirements – approximately 2 sprays per ridge.
Fire Safety – Alarms
Following on with our message about reducing risks and fire safety issues, what about fire alarms?
Not only are they a no brainer when it comes to “should I install one or not?” There is always help available for the Fire Service and many specialists out there.
If you are a landlord be aware that a new law comes in – expected to take effect in October 2015 – requiring you to install working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your properties.
Thatch Maintenance – Chimneys
Chimneys should be considered as a part of the maintenance programme, not just the lead or cement flashings but the actual chimney and its operation.
Sweep regularly, including during the burning season. Camera inspections of the inside of the chimney/lining is recommended for both insurance purposes and peace of mind, especially on older buildings.
Don’t just add the height of a chimney without checking the structure below and, if listed, with the conversation dept. Check for nests before lighting a chimney which has been left unused for a while at this time of year.