As a perfectionist by nature, thatching is a tremendously rewarding path for me to follow. It is the love for my job, respect and willingness to please my customers that I believe has kept me in my profession for over 30 years.
Re-thatching will be necessary when the roof has lost all of its wear. This usually manifests itself by the appearance of horizontal lines in the roof, these will be the roof fixings becoming exposed
Re-ridging will need to be undertaken when the main coat work of your roof is still in good order but the ridge has worn.
Typically a ridge will last 12-15 years before replacement is necessary.
There are many different types of ridge, from a flush ridge to a full pattern ornamental block ridge, I can cater for all of your requirements.
It is always advisable to wire net your roof. Galvanised wire netting will last a minimum of 15 years, so it will generally be replaced when either your entire thatch or ridge are replaced. This is to stop bird damage by nesting within the roof.
Where the roofing materials meet a wall or the faces of a chimney you will need a seal of some kind. This will be a cement fillet or a lead flashing. Lead is my favoured method where possible as it will maintain a permanent seal whereas cement can crack away with roof movement. I became skilled in the art of leadwork as a result of my frustration with cement not providing the longevity I expect from my work. I am now highly experienced in all aspects of leadwork.
Long straw is cut with a binder and thrashed in a thrashing drum and is then tied up in to bundles.
These bundles are then spared to the roof and will give a shaggy tea-cozy finish with a life expectancy of 20-25 years .
Wheat reed, also known as 'Devon reed' because this is largely where it is grown, is prepared initially in the same way as long straw but at the thrashing drum stage it is sent through a 'comber' instead.
This combs out the grain and leaves the straw physically intact.
This can be fixed to to the roof by either steel rods and hooks on bare timbers or new structures or by spar fixing to an existing base coat.
The appearance is much the same as water reed but with a more poured on look common to more central regions of the country with a life expectancy of 30-35 years.
This is a coarser material that is generally much longer in length than Wheat reed. This is grown in fen or marshland and will give a much more angular appearance on the roof as it should always be fixed directly to the roof structure and not re-coated as long straw and wheat reed can be.
This is more common to southern regions and can give a life expectancy of up to 50 years.