Thatched Roofing: Nightmare or Fairytale?

Aug 3, 2023Repairing

Old Houses with Thatched Roofs

When it comes to roof repair options, you might think of asphalt shingles, slate, or even steel when it comes to modern day options. Thatched roofing captures the picturesque charm of the quaint village aesthetic, and adds a touch of fairytale-like allure to the landscape. But beneath this enchanting facade, is thatched roofing a nightmare or a fairytale?


Thatched Roofing: The Pros

If you’re located in Cambridge and are looking to switch out your flat roofing for something a little bit different, you might consider thatched roofing. But before you take the plunge, take the time to think about whether thatched roofing is the right choice for your home.


The fairytale appeal

There’s no question that thatched roofs are romantic. After all, thatched roofs have inspired literary works and paintings for centuries. Thatched roofs really are a symbol of traditional English architecture, and when you think of a thatched roof, you might think of a Hansel and Gretel house, or a cottagecore aesthetic. Thatched roofs look beautiful, so there’s no surprise that the look of a thatched roof is perhaps its most attractive quality.



With proper care and maintenance, thatched roofing can demonstrate impressive longevity. Thatch can endure for several decades, with some well-maintained water reed, combed wheat, and straw roofs lasting up to 60 years. The use of durable and high-quality materials during roof replacements can also significantly extend its lifespan.



One of the most significant appeals of thatched roofing is its unique aesthetic value. Thatch provides a handcrafted, artisanal appearance that stands out from conventional roofing materials. It complements historical buildings and traditional architecture, enhancing the overall curb appeal and value of a property.



For environmentally-conscious homeowners, thatched roofing can be an appealing option. Thatch is a renewable and biodegradable material, making it an eco-friendly choice for roofing. By using locally-sourced thatch and adopting sustainable practices, homeowners can contribute to a greener future by opting for sustainable roof repairs.


Thatched Roofing: The Cons

Whilst thatched roofing is a great option for homeowners who prioritise aesthetics and sustainability, thatched roofs may not fare as well as traditional roofing, so it’s important to consider the cons of thatched roofs too.


Fire risk

Whilst thatched roofs may have a fairytale charm, their susceptibility to fire is a real concern. Thatch is a natural material, often made from straw or reeds, which is highly flammable. It is essential to take appropriate safety measures to prevent fires and install fire-resistant barriers.


Water damage

Another concern with thatched roofing is its vulnerability to water damage. If not appropriately maintained, thatch can become waterlogged, leading to leaks and rot. Proper installation and regular inspections are crucial to identify water weak spots.


Pest havens

Pest infestations are not commonplace with thatched roofs. Their material makes them appealing nests for birds, insects, and rodents. You may like the occasional visit from some swallows, but it’s important to remember that these little creatures can burrow into within the thatch, leading to structural damage. Regular pest inspections can help prevent infestations and help mitigate potential damage.



Maintaining thatched roofing demands specific skills and knowledge. Regular maintenance is vital to remove debris, moss, and algae, which can accelerate the roof’s decay. Proper thatch combing, repair, and re-ridging should be performed by experienced professionals.


Thatched Patch-Ups with Cambridge Roofing Repairs

If you’ve got a thatched roof that’s in need of some TLC, or you’re located in Cambridge and are looking to upgrade completely to flat roofing – we’ve got you covered here at Cambridge Roofing Repairs.

Our team of skilled roofing contractors understand the importance of a reliable roof. Get in touch with us to discuss your roof repair needs today.