While the idea of owning a property with a thatched roof may seem like an appealing idea to many potential homeowners, these types of roofs do need specific care and maintenance. Even correctly maintained and properly installed thatched roofs made from traditional materials may require routine inspections and certified maintenance to comply with the terms of your buildings insurance cover.
Saving money through correct thatched roof maintenance
One of the biggest and most costly mistakes that an owner of a thatched property could make is to neglect it through lack of regular maintenance. Even a close visual inspection can often highlight many minor issues that have the potential to turn into expensive faults if left unattended to.
The relatively small and regular amounts of money spent on keeping the roof in good repair over the years will serve to delay the major cost of a full thatched roof replacement. Correctly maintained, a good thatched roof can last for anywhere up to fifty years.
Ensure excessive moss is removed as can trap moisture, don’t worry about small pockets of moss though.
Equally remove leaves and other debris that collects on the roof surface.
As you undertake this maintenance though make sure you minimise any disturbance of the roofing materials. This applies to any tradesmen you have in for example working on the chimney, make sure they do not walk directly on the thatch itself, instead use a ladder over the roof and walk on that.
Dealing with Mother Nature
Thatched roofs present a rather attractive habitat for some of our less desirable fury and feathered friends, whether that be rodents, nesting birds or squirrels. They will all inevitably damage your roof as they make holes to nest or hide their food.
Try and deter animals as best you can, perhaps for example making sure bird feeders are some distance away from your house. Squirrels as well as birds love bird feeders and they will feed and then move on into the house and whilst they may look cute and cuddly they are anything but, they will happily gnaw through your roof beams and cause much damage as the enter in and out of the thatch.
Wire netting is often placed on the ridge and is particularly helpful in protecting the roof from birds. Make sure this though is kept free from debris collecting under it as over the years more will collect and potentially attract birds to try and pull out insects from it!
Re-Ridging the Roof
Whilst a full roof will need replacing in time, more regular replacing of just the ridge, perhaps every 3 – 5 years, can add many years to the life of the roof. As you can imagine the ridge takes most of the beating from the weather and animals and as such is effectively the weakest part of your roof.
The Importance of Thatched Roof Maintenance for Adequate Insurance Cover
While your thatched roof is keeping you covered, you need to ensure that your insurance is covering the roof. A specialist insurance broker will understand the specific risks involved and an understanding of how the roof should be maintained in line with the specific requirements for adequate levels of cover. Dealing directly with the insurance company yourself, on the other hand, could be both time consuming and unnecessarily complicated for you as you will not have the same level of knowledge.
The Importance of Keeping Up With Scheduled Thatched Roof Maintenance
Due to the specific risks associated with thatched roofs, insurance companies are keen to ensure that maintenance and inspection schedules are strictly adhered to. Experienced brokers have an in-depth understanding of what will be required to satisfy the insurance companies to prevent your policy being invalidated in the unfortunate event of a claim.