Thatched Roofing: A Dying Craft That You Can Help Preserve

It seems like most every day, you hear about another "craft" or artform that is dying. From weaving to woodcarving, they just don't make things by hand like they used to, right? Another so-called dying craft is roof thatching.

Thatching is the art of creating a roof out of bundles of water reeds or straw. It is a roofing method that was used in rural Ireland and Eastern Europe for years and one that can even be seen on cottages and rural homes in the U.S. With the commonality of shingle roofs, thatching has become far less common. But if you're dedicated to preserving traditional crafts like this, you may want to consider a thatched roof for your home. Here's a closer look.

Are thatched roofs durable?

They're a lot more durable than you'd imagine straw or water reeds to be. The reeds or straw are so tightly bundled together that they won't blow off the roof easily. You can expect a thatched roof to last between 25 and 40 years, though they do last longer in some cases – particularly if you're in a dry environment. With the average shingle roof lasting about 20 years and wooden roofs lasting about 30 years, the lifespan of a thatched roof is nothing to sneeze at!

Won't water come through the roof?

Straw and water reeds naturally wick away moisture. Only the outermost layers of the thatched roof will actually get wet. The deeper areas will stay dry, protecting your home from moisture. Thatched roofing also breathes well, so you don't have to worry about installing a lot of vents on your roof. Better ventilation will actually keep your attic more dry during hot weather, since water won't be condensing from the trapped air inside your attic. Thatching is also a great insulator, helping to keep your heating and cooling bills under control.

What kinds of homes look good with a thatched roof?

Thatching tends to look best on rustic, country-style homes. It's a good choice for woodsy cottages and older, stone houses. However, you can really have a thatched roof put on most any home. It is a big project that will take your thatched roofing company a few weeks to complete, so you'll have to be patient. However, by choosing a thatched roof, you'll be supporting a crafter who is carrying on a noble tradition.  Look for a thatched roofing company in your area, and get an estimate today.