Traditional Thatched Roof

England’s Thatched Roofs

Pavel Gonchar Renoteck News

The thatched roof, in various forms, has been used in tropical and temperate areas of the world. Thatching continues to be used in developing countries using locally sourced materials.

At a time when there was a shortage of roofing materials in rural England, a thatched roof on cottages was common among the poor.  This roofing style continued until the late 1800s. The roofs were made of materials including straw, reeds, palm fronds or other dried plant material. The materials were assembled so that rain rolled off the roof, keeping the interior of the home dry. Since  the underlying material stayed dry and contained trapped air, the thatch also insulated the home. The result was a warmer home in the winter and a cooler cottage in the summer. An additional feature was the the natural wind resistance. As needed, new lays of straw or “spar coating” would be laid over the original thatch to do repairs. On some of the oldest buildings these spar coatings have accumulated to a thickness of 7 feet!

In the past the wheat grasses grew very tall and made for excellent thatch. Today Norfolk reed is most commonly used in England. A roof of reed thatch will last 50 to 70 years, with the roof ridge being replaced roughly every 10 years.

England's Green Roof, the Thatched Roof

England’s Green Roof, the Thatched Roof

In the last few decades the thatched roof has seen a resurgence in England. Presently, there are about 1000 full time thatchers in the UK. Restoration work on the old thatched roofs is being done as the preservation of historic buildings becomes a focus. For new builds a thatched roof provides a charming historical roof style. For other building projects it is considered an environmentally friendly roofing material.

Such a roof in England is associated with the wealthy now!

Renoteck may not install thatched roofs, but they do install green roofs in residential and commercial applications. Experience with all that Alberta climate has to offer ensures a successful install.

Integration of Thatching into a New Build

Integration of Thatching into a New Build