Do’s and don’ts of roofing with thatch?

Roofs made of thatch is a construction technique that has been used for a long time. It is used to create a natural look to complete a home. A thatched roof is often found on cottages, gazebos, cafes and restaurants with a rustic traditional concept.

Before being used, thatch is usually tied in a bundle that is strong enough to be used as construction material. Although the thatch looks fragile, when it is put together into bundles, then the thatch is strong enough to be a building buttress. Yes, thatch can be used not only as a roofing material but also for the walls of a building.

One of the disadvantages of a thatch roof is it is easy for water to get through on the side of the thatch, so you should really pay attention to the density of the material when installed.Here is a method that you can apply to make a thatched roof safe:

  1. Ensure that the thatch roof is suitable for your building construction

Even though it looks easy to apply, not all buildings are suitable for thatch roofs. Many things must be considered, including the location and state of the environment, as well as the climate and weather conditions around the building. In addition, try to select thatch from the stem of the plant, not the thatch of long grass or hay. These contain more seeds that could attract rodents such as rats, which would then undermine the thatch roof.

  1. Attach the frame to the roof taking into account the climate, environment, and natural conditions.

To build a framework ridge of the roof, make sure you consider the climate and weather in the area. If you live in an area with a climate with low amounts of precipitation, you can install a rooftop that is nearly flat to make it more efficient. However, if you live in a neighborhood with high rainfall, you should install a high ridge of the roof frame so that water does not stagnate on the roof.

You can also apply the roof overhang so that the raindrops are not directly hitting the wall, especially if the walls are also made using thatch materials. Also, cover the surface of the roof with a waterproof coating.

  1. Slowly place a haystack on the roof.

Once the roof structure is made, slowly spread bundles of thatch on it so that the entire roof is covered with thatch. Then, add a layer of organic material such as compost or organic fertilizer on it. The thickness can reach 15 - 20cm. Interestingly, after all the organic material has been spread evenly, you can begin to take advantage of rooftop gardening. Yes, you could plant herbs or flowers on the roof. Interesting, right?

  1. Add roof thatch on a regular basis.

Thatch is an organic material, so it is very possible that its thickness will be depleted over time from exposure to the weather. Therefore, every dry season you can add thatch to increase its thickness. Do not forget to distribute organic materials such as manure or compost as well. Make sure that the thickness of the roof is in the range of 14 inches.

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