Have you ever seen a picture of a cozy cottage with what looks like a thick, puffy roof? Chances are, that was a thatched roof — a roof made from water reeds or straw. Thatched roofing is a lot more effective than it sounds like it would be, and while it is mostly a relic of a bygone era, it is not completely obsolete. There are still some roofing companies that specialize in thatching, and it can be a nice choice for a cozy cottage or country home. Keep reading to learn a little more about thatched roofing.
How does thatching keep the water out?
The first time most people hear of thatched roofing, their assumption is that the water must go right through the straw or reeds. But actually, these materials are really good at keeping water out. This is partially because reeds and straw are naturally water-resistant and let water slide off of them, and it is partially because of the way thatched roofs are constructed. Before being put onto the roof's surface, these materials are bundled really tightly together. With this close packing, when rain does fall, it mostly slides off the surface. After a few days of heavy rain, the outer half-inch or so of thatching might be damp, but the water doesn't penetrate much further than that.
What are the benefits of thatching?
Most people who choose a thatched roof these days do so because they like the look. However, thatching does have a few other advantages over modern roofing materials.
1. It's eco-friendly. There's really no material more natural than straw or water reeds. They're widely available, and they're biodegradable.
2. It's insulating. Thatching does a great job of trapping heat inside the home in the winter, and of excluding heat in the summer. This can really be an asset in a small cabin where the only heating source is a wood stove, and where there is no air conditioning.
3. It's long-lived. A well-thatched roof can last 50 years or more. This is longer than most of today's asphalt shingles last. It's definitely longer than cedar shakes last, which is another popular choice for rustic cabins.
If you can find a roofing company that offers thatching, it can be a very good choice for your cottage home. The look is simply gorgeous, and thatching can also help keep your home dry, cozy, and comfortable.