What is the Life Span of a Thatched Roof?

How Long Does a Thatched Roof Last? 

The use of thatched roofs as a suitable form of shelter to protect against the elements has been used for centuries and even millennia, across the world.

So great and structurally sound are the methods and materials of thatching, the techniques, methods, and materials have hardly changed in all that time.

With regular maintenance and care, an expertly installed thatched roof can last between 20 to 30 years.

Factors That Affect a Thatched Roofs life

A thatched roof will naturally deteriorate over a long period of time, as do all organic materials. The vast majority of materials used in roof thatching include straw and water reed, which are biodegradable.

However, longevity also relies on a number of different factors and variables that can speed up or delay the rate of decline.

Weather and Climate are one of the biggest factors contributing to the lifespan of a thatched roof. If the building is located in an area that receives regular rainfall or humidity, it will have a considerably shorter life expectancy than a roof located in an area that stays relatively dry.

The less moisture there is within the thatch, the less chance it is for bacteria and harmful organisms to grow.

Wild birds and pests can cause significant problems to thatched roofs. Wire netting to deter birds and pests is a relatively new practice, and although it works to stop undesirables, it is not a perfect solution and can fail.

A wired net also does not prevent small pests such as bugs and insects that can infest.

Another important factor is that of the original thatching techniques. If a thatched roof is installed incorrectly, not by a Master thatcher, then the life span of the roof will be significantly less than a roof expertly installed.

An issue that can arise, for example, is that an inexperienced thatcher will add more layers to the roof, decreasing its pitch which will mean rainwater cannot escape, increasing moisture.

How to Extend the Life of a Thatch Roof

When you’ve invested so much time and money into your thatched roof, you’ll want to make sure the high-quality stays for as long as possible. To prolong the longevity of your thatched roof, regular expert professional maintenance is required.

A Master thatcher will thoroughly check the materials; water reed, long straw, and combed wheat, for proper ventilation and any possible condition wear and tears.

Protections such as chemical treatments, pesticides, and insecticides are necessary to prolong the life of your thatched roof and protect against fire damage and pests.

To receive more advice about how to care for and prolong the life of your thatched roof across Somerset, Wiltshire, Hampshire or Dorsetget in touch with Steven Hewlett Thatchers Limited today by calling 01980 611 880 or 07790 020 917.



Steven Hewlett

Mr Steven Hewlett

My family are something of a rarity in modern Britain. Myself & my brothers represent the fourth generation of the Hewlett family to work as master thatchers, carrying on a business that was started by his grandfather back in 1925, at the tender age of 16.

I am a proud member of National Society of Master Thatchers and have been thatching roofs across Wiltshire, Somerset, Dorset & The New Forest for over 40 years.