Thatched roofing, is this for you?

(Article by Dion L)

Thatched roof homes hold a distinct character and rustic charm of their own.

Prime examples of these are seen in the Cape Dutch farm houses found along the Wine Route in the Western Cape with their high gables which prevent the fierce Cape winds from ripping up the thatch. Other areas which have thatch roof homes include Saint Francis Bay with its more modern examples in The Village area, parts of the Natal Midlands and the Drakensberg. Thatch is also very popular as roofing on the many game farms and lodges found throughout The Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces, almost all of these have thatched roofing in place.

9 Bedroom Farm for sale in Simonsberg

A thatched roof can really make a home, but there are some serious considerations to be made before deciding whether or not this is for you and both short and long term factors need to be looked at. Ideally this type of roofing is better suited to a property with a lot of open space, most especially a place like a game farm or lodge.

There are many positives aspects about owning a home with a thatched roof, if installed and maintained properly it can have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years and is a durable roofing option. Thatch is an eco-friendly, sustainable material and the framing system used to mount it consists of pine or eucalyptus from local forests. A thatched roof gives a home a spacious, open feel and no space is wasted concealed behind ceiling boards where dust builds up over the years. Thatched roof homes are cool in the summer and warm in the winter, thatch is an excellent insulating material in fact it insulates better than most roofing materials. It is also a very versatile material to use when it comes to covering irregular roof structures as it can be crafted into natural, free flowing shapes.

3 Bedroom House for sale in Bela Bela (Warmbaths)

And now for a look at the some of the problems that come with owning a home that has thatched roofing. To start with it has a higher maintenance than most other roofing, it is also more costly as it is labor intensive to harvest and install. It is also susceptible to bird, insect and vermin infestation unless treated and laid properly and has to be regularly treated with a fire retardant especially in drier regions of the country. Rot and fungal growth is likely to set in if the thatch is left damp for a long period of time, shade cast on to the roof from overhanging trees encourages this. A lightning rod or lightning protection system is required by law for thatched roof homes.    


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