Thatched Roofing: It's Still Around

You may have seen thatched roofing in photos of quaint, little cottages from years gone by. Made from water reeds or straw, thatched roofing certainly seems like a relic from the past. But actually, thatched roofing is still around, and it might even be a good choice for your home. Here are some questions people often have about it.

How does a thatched roof actually keep your home dry?

It might seem that the plants would absorb water and then let it seep into your home. However, the way thatched roofs are constructed and the specific materials they are made from keep this from happening. Straw and water reeds are actually pretty water-resistant from the get-go. Bundle them together tightly, as is done with thatched roofing, and water tends to roll right off their surface. The first few inches of thatch are designed to absorb water and get a little wet when it rains for a long period, but due to the overall water resistance of the material, the water never really gets deeper than that.

Will a thatched roof make your home more prone to fire?

Thatched roofing is probably not a good choice in areas where wildfires are really common. It does have the potential to catch fire if a branch or another home close to it is smoldering. In the average area where wildfires are not a concern, there's no big reason to worry. Thatched roofs can be sprayed in a flame retardant for extra protection, and then they're not much riskier than your average shingle roof.

Will the roof blow off in a storm?

If you've seen straw from a scarecrow blowing around in a storm, you might worry the same would happen to your thatched roof. However, the way the thatching is bundled and attached to your home prevents this from happening. The straw (or reeds) are tied together very tightly, and they are also anchored directly to your roof's rafters. As such, there are no free or loose ends for the wind to catch. Would you want a thatched roof on a home in a hurricane zone? Probably not. But in a place that gets a few thunderstorms or snowstorms a year, it's wind-resistant enough.

Thatched roofs are still around. If you want to give your home a really unique look, installing a thatched roof is definitely a way to do that. Contact a local roofing contractor for more info.