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Thatching Services

Hazel spar twisting, Mark harrington Master Thatcher, Chulmleigh Devon
Traditional wheat reed being prepared for a thatched roof. Mark Harrington Master Thatcher, Chulmleigh, Devon

Photo credit: Henry Woide

We are able to provide everything your thatched roof needs

Full rethatch

A thatched roof will need replacing on average every 25 years, dependent on the material. We mostly use water reed for its strength and longevity but are just as happy to use wheat reed, commonly called Devon combed wheat.

We strip off the outer layer of worn thatch to expose either a base coat of  near original thatch or open timber, depending on roof construction and age.

We then fix the new thatch to the roof using traditional wooden spars if on to thatch or modern screw fixings if on to timber.

Ridging

The ridge will normally need to be replaced every 10 to 12 years, and is an extremely important functioning part of the roof - it's not just decoration!

We commonly use wheat reed or Triticale (a wheat/rye cross) as this is flexible enough to be bent over the top of the roof to form a waterproof seal.

We fix the ridge to the coat work underneath using hazel spars and  finish with either a flush cut or patterned ridge depending on your wishes or what was there before.

Repairs

Thatch is an organic material, and as such is subject to all sorts of influences. Most commonly these are the weather and pests.

The cycles of wet/dry and hot/cold all take their toll on your roof and during it's life it may need some repair work doing.

Bird and squirrel damage are fairly commonly seen, especially if you are near trees, and damage is easily repaired and your roof protected from further damage using wire netting. Areas of weathering, such as valleys, can also be easily repaired with new reed

Maintenance

Over its lifespan, your thatch will potentially need some careful maintenance, particularly in the last 1/3rd of it's life. It is a good idea to monitor your roof closely and watch out for damage and wear over the years. It's very easy to forget about your thatched roof until it is too late!

 

If in doubt it's always a good idea to ask a thatcher to come and take a look and recommend any action needed to bring the roof back to good condition.

It needn't be a big job, and it could benefit your roof a great deal.

Surveys

A thatch survey is often required when purchasing a new property, when considering selling a thatched property or just for your own peace of mind.

A survey will involve a thorough appraisal of your roof , and will include remaining life estimates, future work needed and costs for that work.

It can be invaluable when budgeting for thatched roof replacement over the years and can allow you to properly make plans accordingly.

Advice

Although it is sometimes plain to see whether your roof is in good working order or not, sometimes it's just better to get information from someone who really knows.

A thatcher can tell you exactly what's going on and can discuss your thoughts and plans with you, providing expert information as to the life of your roof and the costs associated with thatch ownership.

It is only through years of experience that a thatcher can confidently and honestly give you the options you need.

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