Considering Fire Protection for your Thatch

Whether you are executing maintenance or purchasing a new home it may just be the beginning of your worries if you take in consideration of a few safety points. It can be related to the type of building materials used whether or not they are or contain a fair amount of ignitable ingredients and could this pose a potential problem to your home. Or you perhaps fancy a beautiful thatched home that you just spotted for a good price and it contains a huge thatch roof.

To execute fire protection to an existing thatched roof the very first question to anyones mind including the contractor is big is it? whats the square meter of this and how will it implicate on the price o u t ( c o m e. To a lot of people this may be an item that can be just brushed to the side as if it never got the list of requirements or even oops I really dont want to know about this one. But if you ponder just a little and ask yourself do I actually need it or how will I benefit from it, take it a little further and ask whats the pros and cons of it, what are the alternatives, pricing, etc.

In areas of high winds to special places that are dry and arid then it tells me straight away ..yap I’m really in it and rather be wise, throw away the pride and bite the bullet. Rather safe than sorry I’d say. We all have seen it in the news recently on the maze of fires happening in a world wide scale hitting some most beautiful places on earth. In areas such as St Francis Bay, Eastern Cape South Africa, Pedrógão Grande and Nodeirinho, Camp Fire in California and other areas, Woolsey Fire in California,  Nelson fires – Two wildfires Australia and others.

In areas such as [St Francis Bay, Eastern Cape] where its pretty much a residential and tourist attraction winds can take up to 60 k/ph. This natural event becomes a weapon that at high speeds can cross roads and freeways and hit neighboring houses or pretty much anything in its path as we seen it in St Francis Bay more than one time destroying one whole village.

In areas such as this Yes Fire Protection is of absolute a necessity if not a requirement by a municipal regulation. Is it ? not really ..!?  how so ..??

“regardless weather regulation or not would you not pay attention to this details?? Yap, I also think I would. Insurance does not cover memorabilia and when your skin has been hit replacement parts are of short supply..  but anyway lets get back to our topic at hand…”

Fire Protection has its best results like anything else “the way it was engineered” when the application is executed to the exterior and the interior of the thatch. That simple..? thats it

Yes, it is an added expense but if you compare it an alternative method then you will be comparing apples with apples. What alternatives will you find? There are a whole bag of alternatives ranging from fire walls to fire blankets and pricing all revolves around the same parameters. Some cheaper some a bit more expensive but in the end you will get for what you paid.

but wait don’t despair just yet..

thatch in the wild
thatch in the wild and considerations of fire protection for your roof

It is understandable that fire retardant applications have an expiry period, these are natural products that we are dealing with. Fire retardation  applications require a re-application every 5 – 7 years as rain, wind and other natural elements usually shave off the chemical. On the other hand providing you have had your interior done the first time you will not need doing that again since the interior is not exposed to the outside ambient. Also do take in consideration of your thatch condition prior to the application, it may require a brush or general maintenance, once this product is on you don’t want to disturb it or break the shell as this can become the weakest link when protection is most needed. Further advantages to this application is that your thatch may not need the usual 2 -3 year general maintenance. The product is quite robust enough to hold the grass in place under severe storms and allow for water runoff your thatch at higher speeds and amounts. Also make sure your applicator does give you a certificate or make your own record so you can monitor the extent and durability of the product to your particular thatch geographical location. The product is very forgiving, it will feel like plastic and rigid surface, invisible and odorless but the best part of it is that from now on you will be able to have proper night sleep knowingly that you’v added some extra value and protection to your habitat.

For the budget minded individuals working in collaboration with [fire application contractors solutions] are always at hand. And finding a working solution is a win win situation that everybody wants.

Give us a call so we can discuss means and ways to help you achieve your end results that can still guarantee you a reasonable amount of protection to suit your budget.

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RedFireLabs is an approved fire protection applicator of thatch roofs in the st Francis Bay, Canals, The Links, Eastern cape area.

Find our form in the link below to request a quotation or speak to a consultant ..

Wind and Dust Reduction of your Thatch Roof

Wind and Dust Reduction …

We have came across many inquiries regarding wind drafts to the interior of thatch houses. It is indeed normal for St Francis thatch houses to suffer from this event. Most thatch houses built in this area have been decked using cape reed as the main exterior insulation layer.

Unlike the counter parts of thatch houses in the Gauteng for example where all thatch used is of Hyperthelia Dissoluta or similar are of much thinner straw diameter comparing to cape grass straw measuring about 3 – 4 mm. Thus the thinner the grass used the higher the compaction can be executed achieving much less gaps between straws. Houses built with cape reed thus suffer from wind being able to actually cut through the thatch roof much easier and obviously bring dust etc with it.

It is however possible to reduce if not achieve close to a 100% sealing by using certain materials during the installation of the thatch when new. Foil and thermal mats can be used to reduce this effect and further improve roof insulation. This practice is obviously more expensive as it includes further building materials.

.. but how can we now remedy the situation that my roof has been already built or been in existence for a long time?

One way to resolve the dilemma is obviously to increase the thickness of your thatch but structural rigidity and well specification of trusses need to be in place.

Fortunately technology is continuously at hand and improvements have always succeeded and nowadays fire retardants are commonly the answer in achieving successfully at resolving this situation.

To achieve this results thatching companies employ the use of a high pressure pump that can deliver close to 3 bar of pressure and permeate the inside and outside of the thatch roof. This works very well since the roof is completely sealed with this intumescent chemical (providing its free from sulphates) which it also makes your thatch fire retardant a the same time. Rather chose a chemical that is water base since this way you know you are safe in case of bleach and organic decompose events.

The benefits are quite immense by using this practice as it also prevents and protects allergies from rising or getting them out of the woods..


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RedFireLabs is an approved fire protection applicator of thatch roofs in the st Francis Bay, Canals, The Links, Eastern cape area.

Find our form in the link below to request a quotation or [speak to a consultant] ..

Thatch Fire Protection in St Francis Bay area

Ways to help with thatch fire protection can be viewed as:

There are three main ways in which you can help to fireproof a thatched property, and if all of these methods are used together then maximum protection against the spread of fire will be achieved. It is advisable to take precautionary measures against the spread of fire as, although thatched homes are safe, the devastation caused by a fire will be much more widespread.

Thatch Insulation Matts – These give an extra hour of fire protection to the underside of the thatch, reducing the spread of the flames.

Aluminium Barrier Foil – A thermal reflective insulator that is made from heavy gauge aluminium foil. These low level of fire protection media when applied in conjunction with fire blankets can improve fire protection ratings.

Water Nozzle Sprinkler – Effective to a degree and dependant on the installation whether plastic hoses used and components that may sabotage the real deal. Reactive fire fighting action meaning that it will be the water fighting the fire instead of a protective measure. 

Fire Retardant Sprays – An intumescent chemical applied by means of a high pressure pump used indoors and outdoors. The outdoor spray is applied directly on to the outer surface of the roof. As it is both water and fire repellent, it cannot be washed out. The internal spray does not necessarily need reapplication as long as the roof is maintained in good condition, whereas the outdoor spray usually needs reapplication every 5 years depending weather conditions.

There are various different makes of fire retardant spray on the market but they are generally a water based solution containing fire retardant chemicals in a polymer emulsion binder that is specifically manufactured for thatch. They are non- toxic, odourless, fast penetrating, fast drying and bio degradable.

Fire retardant spray should be applied by trained professionals using high pressure specialist equipment. Ideally the roof should have had two hours of sunlight before the application process and there should have been no rain for at least four hours before. The drying time is usually anything up to a maximum of three hours.

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RedFireLabs is an approved fire protection applicator of thatch roofs in the st Francis Bay, Canals, The Links, Eastern cape area.

Find our form in the link below to request a quotation or speak to a consultant ..