We have a very reliable local supplier who supplies us with good quality straw with an average length of 3 foot. You should expect a roof thatched in long straw to last between 20-30 years. You will be able to tell if a house is thatched in long straw, as you will see decorative woodwork around the eaves, gables and windows and it has a “shaggy” appearance. Most “chocolate box” houses or “Lilliput Lane” ornaments are thatched in long straw.
Whilst we can give an estimate of how long the thatch would last, other factors like climate and whether the roof is able to dry out, will determine the life of the thatch. We recommend that you check the roof regularly for any signs of vermin/birds that may interfere with the thatch. Over hanging trees can also reduce the life of thatch as debris can blow onto it and get stuck in the wire. This will break down and form compost, which will then cause the straw to deteriorate.
This is the most durable and you would expect (if it has been thatched to a good enough standard) to last 40+ years. Some roofs are known to last up to 3 new ridges and maintenance, which is 70 years from re thatch to re-thatch. Our water reed comes from the east coast of England , which is harvested, between the end of November to mid March so as not to disturb the wildlife in the beds after this time. We also use Hungarian water reed, which is just as good quality and has the advantage of being available all year round.
Combed Wheat Reed
You should expect the roof to last 30-40+ years with needing a new ridge and maintenance between 10-15 years. You may even have a roof that would last the time of 2 new ridges and maintenance’s as we have been doing this with roofs that had been thatched in the 1970’s.
New Ridge & Maintenance
This procedure normally happens every 10-15 years on every thatched property. It is nearly the same process on long straw, water reed and combed wheat reed roofs.
The old wire is removed and maintenance is carried out acrossthe roof where needed and a new ridge is put on. We only put decorative woodwork around eaves and gable on long straw roofs. The roofs are then completely wired in new galvanised wire and then replace the cement fillets around chimneys.
Decorative Gazebo / Summer Houses
Even if you do not own a thatched house you are able to have a thatched summer house or gazebo if you have a suitable existing frame installed.