Thatched roofs are a beautiful and traditional roofing option for many homes, but they are also at risk of fire damage. In fact, thatched roofs are considered a higher risk for fire than other types of roofs due to the flammable nature of the thatch material. However, there are steps you can take to fireproof your thatched roof and reduce the risk of fire.
Choose Fire-Retardant Thatching Materials
The first step to fireproofing your thatched roof is to choose fire-retardant thatching materials. These materials are specially treated with fire-retardant chemicals that make them less likely to ignite and burn in the event of a fire. Fire-retardant thatching materials can be made from a variety of materials, including water reed, wheat straw, and synthetic materials, and are available from many thatching suppliers.
It is important to note that even though modern fire retardant sprays can be used to make thatch more fire-resistant, they are not foolproof. These treatments will only delay the spread of a fire, giving the occupants of the property more time to evacuate.
Install a Fire Barrier
Another way to fireproof your thatched roof is to install a fire barrier between the thatch and the roof structure. This barrier can be made from materials like plasterboard or mineral wool and is designed to prevent flames from spreading to the underlying roof structure in the event of a fire. A fire barrier can also help to contain a fire and prevent it from spreading to other parts of the house.
Install a Chimney Spark Arrestor
Chimney fires are a common cause of thatched roof fires, so it’s important to take steps to prevent them from occurring. One way to do this is to install a chimney spark arrestor. This device is designed to catch any sparks that may come out of the chimney and prevent them from landing on the thatched roof. A spark arrestor can be installed on any type of chimney, including wood-burning stoves and open fireplaces.
Keep the Roof Clear of Debris
Debris on the roof, such as leaves, twigs, and other combustible materials, can increase the risk of fire by providing fuel for a fire. It’s important to keep the roof clear of any debris and to regularly sweep it to prevent the accumulation of flammable materials. This can also help to improve the overall condition of the thatched roof by preventing the growth of moss and other vegetation.
Install a Lightning Protection System
Lightning strikes are another common cause of thatched roof fires. To prevent this, it’s recommended to install a lightning protection system on the roof. This system is designed to capture any lightning strikes and safely redirect the electrical current away from the thatched roof and into the ground. Lightning protection systems can be installed by a qualified electrician and can help to reduce the risk of fire damage caused by lightning strikes.