Thatching is probably one of the few building crafts that has been widely used by mankind since the beginning of civilisation. Ever since we figured out a way to move out of the caves and started constructing homes for ourselves. Be it, the ruins of Machu Picchu or random farmhouses in rural India, men are yet to give up thatching and the skills that goes with it. Though the thatching techniques, materials, tools or even the very structure itself can be vastly different from one region to the other, we can safely say that thatching is a vital part of architecture in every culture and civilization.
A thatched roof knitted with dried vegetation (as is true for most of thatch structures despite the country) and, by an expert thatcher still comes with its limitations in providing a secure and long-lasting shelter.
As we all know, natural materials come with the beauty of nature along with all the downsides of nature as well. Dried vegetations (such as grass and palm leaves) can be woven into closed structures, but they are also a huge fire hazard. A tiny spark can transform a lovely home into a fiery inferno within minutes. To keep natural thatch structures safe, the possibility of fire hazards surrounding it should be zero.
Another major issue associated with natural thatch are the pests. Nature did not limit the use of its components only to human use. Most of the materials used for thatching are naturally available for use to other species as well. Hence, natural thatch will attract all sort of pests, from poisonous reptiles to defensive birds. Careful and consistence maintenance may reduce the problem but will not solve it all together.
Finally, though natural thatch roofs could withstand the elements of nature, and have, they are made from materials that are naturally decomposable.
If the roof is exposed to an element such as water constantly, it will break down. As snow and hails will take their toll, the best installed thatched roof in the world will eventually leak and age as nature does. This intolerance leads to high winds and hurricanes resulting in irreparable damage costing time and money for repairs and in most cases, a complete replacement.
So how do we continue to keep an element of our ancestor’s artistry with us while building with safety and long-life in mind. These are the things that Endureed put into consideration when they came up with a long-term solution over 20 years ago.