All About Thatching Poles

December 25, 2014

Thatching poles

The R&B Group provides the structural thatching poles used to support thatch roofs. This article will provide you with everything you need to know about thatching poles and wooden structures to hold up thatching roof materials.

What is thatching?

Thatch is a natural material made from reed and grass which forms a waterproof roof when properly cut, dried and installed. Traditionally thatchers use locally available materials from local farms such as growing wheat, wheat reed and straw. The most durable thatching material is water reed scientifically known as Phragmites Australis which can last up to 60 years.

What are the advantages?

Water reed is naturally waterproof and thus thatching roofs are naturally water resistant. This is because water reeds have tight overlapping cells covering its outer layers. If you bundle enough of these reeds together tightly, water simply cannot penetrate.

From a conservation point of view, thatch has less of a demand on the land as the raw material does not require mining or quarrying. It is a natural crop that if properly maintained promotes the survival of wildlife and improves the environment it grows in.

Thatching water reeds are also a material which grow in environments that are agriculturally unviable. These plants are hardy, sustainable, renewable resources, similar to the materials used at the R&B Timber group.

Alternative thatching material such as straw is a by-product of an essential food harvest so it does not create waste or drain natural resources.  

What type of building can be thatched?

Everything from small cottages to huge hotels. Houses, commercial establishments, heritage centers, holiday villages - you name it, we've probably thatched one. There is a practical consideration - the roof should have a slope no less than 45 degrees to aid in the shedding of water.

Won't pests be attracted to thatch?

Rats and mice are attracted to holes. A properly thatched roof won't have any. Rodents won't go into properly set water reed because there's nothing in there to interest them. If you don't have problems with a standard roof, you won't have them with a thatched roof.

How long does a thatched roof last?

When thatched properly by professionals, the major portion of such a roof (the water reed) should last 40 to 50 years. In other words, as long as any other roof.

However, the roof ridge will have to be replaced roughly every 8 - 10 years. Such ridge line replacement is, luckily, a fairly rapid and reasonably inexpensive procedure.  

Contact us for more advice on creating a thatch roof and frame. The R&B Group can supply you with any thatch poles and roofing advice you may need.