Commissioning a detailed report of your thatched roof can be valuable. Often, it’s difficult to appraise the true condition with a glance from the ground, even for experienced general building surveyors or thatchers. Allowing a master thatcher to inspect the roof and structure at close quarters is essential, to look beyond the aesthetics.
There are several reasons for considering a thatched roof survey. Many owners will be familiar with the requirement of insurance companies for a report. When buying or selling a thatched property, or when considering major thatching work to the roof, can also call for an inspection.
Firstly, a walk round, visual check from the ground will be made. If there are any obvious areas of concern then these can be inspected at close range, from a ladder. The wire netting, if any, can be pulled aside and a metal pin inserted into the layers of thatch to test for total depth, and more importantly, the depth over the fixings holding the thatch onto the roof. The closer these fixings are to the surface, the closer to the end of its life the thatched roof is.
Where the roof is covered in a layer of moss or debris, it is doubly important to make a hands-on check. Moss growth in particular, can occur on both sound thatch in good condition and completely decayed, rotten thatch at the end of its life. The only way to find out is to strip a small patch and check.
Only once several sections have been inspected at close range can genuine conclusions be drawn about the condition of the thatch, and from that information, estimates can be made as to the remaining working life of the roof.
A thorough internal inspection should also form part of a full thatched roof survey. The timber structure of the roof, comprised of frame, rafters and battens should not be overlooked.
It’s also worth considering having any electrical wires which run through the roof space checked, as well as a flue and chimney survey.
If you are in need of a thatched roof survey in Dorset, or further afield, give us a call. We are able to perform an in depth survey and write a detailed report into the condition of any thatched roof.