Thatched roofs have been covering houses for centuries, but surprisingly little has changed as far as what is required for upkeep and maintenance of these domestic features.
As one of Ireland’s longest established providers of Thatch Insurance, we know that having a thatched roof requires patience, dedication, and care. That’s why we’ve put together a list of top tips for maintaining and properly caring for this unique aspect of your home.
1. REGULAR INSPECTION
If your property includes a thatched roof, you’ll know that setting a maintenance routine is vital to its longevity. Set a schedule for inspecting your roof and stick to it – remember, delaying or straying from this routine will only inconvenience you in the future!
Be sure to inspect your thatch several times per year, particularly when the seasons are transitioning, and make sure you immediately address any areas that require maintenance. Generally, the more frequently you are able to inspect your roof, the smaller the fixes will be; whereas the longer you go between inspections, the more time problems have to build up and require more serious fixes.
Like anything else, the more time and effort you put into keeping your roof in good condition, the longer its life will be.
2. LEARN THE INS AND OUTS
Routine inspections are all well and good, but the most important part of conducting them is knowing what you’re looking for.
Make sure the area around the roof, and of course the roof itself, is clear of debris or anything that could retain moisture, block the sunlight, and prevent rain or snow from dispersing and evaporating. This includes overhanging branches and sticks, twigs, and leaves that may have fallen or been blown onto the roof or caught in the netting. Large areas covered in moss can also be cause for concern, as this can cause excessive moisture underneath.
Divots or depressions in the roof should be addressed immediately, along with isolated holes, which should be patched with the same material as the rest of the roof and fastened with screws or spars.
However, be sure to also look for the source of these problems so they don’t happen again. For example, if a hole is caused by birds or rodents attempting to nest in the roof, simply patching the hole doesn’t ensure it won’t happen again. Do your best to isolate and fix whatever is causing the problem and you’ll have fewer holes to fix in the future
Of course, when addressing these issues, it is essential that no one is ever allowed to walk or step directly on the roof’s surface.
3. FIND THE BEST FIX FOR THE PROBLEM
While regular inspection may sound like a simple enough solution, make sure you’re prepared for addressing issues that arise from these inspections. As a thatched roof owner, you may be capable of handling most of the issues presented by your roof throughout the year. Fixing these yourself is often the best solution, as it’s much faster and cheaper than having to call someone in.
However, it’s also important to know your limits and not take any risks with safety. If a routine inspection uncovers a large or widespread problem, make sure you call a professional rather than attempting the fix yourself. For jobs like re-ridging or adding a new coat, only hire an experienced master thatcher who is willing to take the time to do the job right.
4. RE-RIDGE REGULARLY
Re-ridging your thatch, if done regularly and correctly, doesn’t have to be as big a job as it seems. The ridge is not only the weakest point in your roof, but it also generally takes the most damage, which can range from weather-related wear and tear to direct contact with animals such as birds and squirrels.
As long as it’s completed regularly, ridge replacement can be a quick and painless job. When done correctly, the process only requires the removal of the topmost layer of the thatch, along with any netting that may have been added, to create a surface where a new ridge can be placed. Re-ridging your roof regularly can actually save money on bigger fixes in the long run and can easily add years to your roof’s lifespan.
5. FIND THE RIGHT INSURANCE
While routine maintenance and care are the best ways to keep your thatched roof healthy, it’s impossible to plan for every eventuality. Having the right insurance that will support you in a worst case scenario is an essential part of having a thatched roof.
With over 40 years of experience providing bespoke insurance to thatch owners, we know that each roof is different. We work with each individual to tailor their insurance plan to your specific circumstances so that you have cover where you need it most and never have to pay for cover you won’t need.
If you need cover for your thatched roof, contact OBF today. Our team of experts is here to support you and guide you through building an insurance plan that meets your needs and is as unique as your roof!
Call-to-action: Simply call +353 (1) 660 1033 or request a callback https://www.obf.ie/contact-us