Thatching Advisory Services (TAS) have received notification that both their Thatch Fireboard System and Thatch Firewall Membrane System has been approved and added to the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Registered Details database. LABC registration is a one-off certification process proving compliance with building regulations and standards across the UK.
The registered details database contains various products and systems, which once certified, are accepted by LABC building control surveyors in over 300 local authorities across the country. This assures the whole construction industry that a product or system has been rigorously checked by LABC surveyors.
Full details on both systems can be viewed via the LABC links below:
Continuing with their busy programme of thatched roof fire protection, TAS recently applied its Thatchsayf Fire Retardant Spray System to the thatched roof of a cracking garden retreat in Bedford.
The retreat was built and thatched by Harry Roberts who is based in Bedford.
We have a number of unusual (and more conventional) projects coming up shortly – provided the summer behaves!
Keep an eye out on the blog for details. If you have any questions about our fire retardant spray system or would like an ‘affordable’ quote & ‘professional service’ or require general thatch advice please contact us.
The recent good weather saw TAS out and about spraying thatched roofs across the country with their Thatchsayf Fire Retardant Spray System. First stop was Hampshire for a pair of lovely semi-detached cottages. The thatching was carried out by Ed Goodall last year. During the thatching TAS also installed the Thatch Alert chimney heat monitor system to both chimneys.
With the albeit brief start of summer, TAS recently kicked off their fire retardant spraying season on a lovely roof in Hinton St George, Somerset.
The new roof which was thatched by local thatcher Andrew Wright, saw a seamless continuation of the existing thatch and formed part of wider refurbishment works and an extension to the whole property.
The entire thatch roof is around 150m² – 16 Thatchers’ sq.
The building and refurbishment works are being carried out by Building Craftsmen (Yeovil) Ltd.
Please click on the link below to see examples of the Thatchsayf Spray System being applied to both new and existing thatch.
The airless sprayer used to apply the fire retardant is set at a certain pressure to ensure that not only the surface of the thatch is protected but also the stems of the thatch up to a depth of 75mm or more. This means that even though there will be natural degradation of the thatch itself, there will still be an element of protection for around five years.
The best way to apply the Thatchsayf is with a specialist airless sprayer and at a fairly close distance from the thatch. This allows for greater control and coverage when treating the roof.
Fire – Causes
A report from fire investigators Burgoynes into the cause of thatch fires revealed ejected embers and sparks as one of the main causes.
Investigations have shown that many thatch fires relate to the use of wood burning stoves and have occurred within 30 minutes of the stove being lit. In addition, some home-owners were found to be using unsuitable materials to get the wood burner/fire started in the first place.
Other causes can increase the risk of the effects from ejected embers or sparks, these include:
Spark Arrestors – If not cleaned at least once a year then soot deposits can build up and ignite causing a fire in their own right, which in turn could cause a thatch fire. A number of fire services recommend the removal of spark arrestors although a wire-mesh bird guard could be installed to deter birds from nesting but still allow the chimney to function efficiently.
Chimney Height – The risk of a thatch fire is further increased when the chimney height has been reduced following many years of re-coating works, this is more common with thatching materials such as long straw.
Fire Retardant Sprays
The main purpose of a fire retardant is to starve the ignition area of oxygen and therefore delay the spread of flame and the full development of a thatch fire. The idea is to buy more time so that the fire and rescue service have a greater chance of extinguishing the fire before it fully develops.
Thatchsayf Spray System is a water based solution containing fire retardant and intumescent ingredients for the protection of thatched roofing.
This environmentally friendly solution is applied externally to the thatch surface and penetrates the stems of the thatch by up to 75mm, forming a thin protective film on the surface of the thatch stems.
A treated roof will offer protection from a number of fire risks, including sparks, ejected embers, bonfires, Chinese lanterns, fireworks and barbecues.
On exposure to these risks, Thatchsayf Spray System will ‘foam up’ (intumesce) and form a carbonised char, which binds the thatch stems together, cutting off the supply of oxygen to the fire, delaying the spread of flame and lowering the radiated heat output.
The application of Thatchsayf Spray System is undertaken by our fully trained employees using specialist spraying equipment and is normally carried out between March and the end of October. This is due to the high levels of moisture in the air during the winter months.
Once a roof is treated, the homeowner is issued with a Certificate of Completion, which is valid for five years after which re-application is required.
A new build/newly thatched roof offers a good opportunity to treat a roof. However, an existing thatched roof can also be treated as long as it is in good condition. Thatchsayf Spray System can be applied as a standalone product or in addition to having a physical fire barrier system installed.
We suggest you contact your insurance company to check if any discounts are available for taking a proactive approach by treating the roof with a fire retardant spray and fire barriers.
Thatchsayf Spray System has been tested to vigorous testing by the British Research Establishment (BRE). Further details of testing is available upon request. Thatchsayf Spray System is tested to BS476 Part 3 and achieved the designation of EXT.S.BA
The benefits of Thatchsayf Spray System
- Fire penetration may be delayed for over 30 minutes with no spread of flame
- Can be applied to new or existing thatched roofs
- Contains preservatives
- Retards bacterial and fungal growth including moss
- Application is fully certified for 5 years
- Environmentally friendly
- May reduce insurance premiums
Following our epic journey to the Isle of Harris in July, TAS then embarked on another unusual project after we were approached by Master Thatcher – Stephen Letch for our thoughts on treating a unique thatched building in Norfolk with our Thatchsayf fire retardant spray system.
We were aware of a project at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in which Stephen and his team of thatchers had been busy carrying out ‘vertical’ thatching to the walls of the Enterprise Centre. Stephen then confirmed that this was indeed the project.
Please click on the thumbnail images to view the full size images and slide show.
The project incorporated a unique thatch cassette cladding system which had not been used anywhere in the world. The process saw 294 individual cassettes thatched off-site using straw from the Norfolk/Suffolk borders. The thatch cassettes were then transported to site and erected onto the façade of the building.
Please click on the links below for a couple of great videos showing the thatched cassettes and cladding take shape:
We were initially invited to the centre by the Project Director from main contractor Morgan Sindall and the Lead Architect from Architype to carry out a trial application of the Thatchsayf to a small sample area of the thatch as questions were raised about discolouration to the thatch. Once satisfied, both parties instructed us to carry out the application to the entire thatched façades – around 1,000m² or 108 thatchers’ square.
Gary and Stuart from TAS then spent the best part of a week carrying out the application using cherry pickers and their specialist spraying equipment.
How’s this for a stunning property on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides?
TAS were very privileged to play a very small part in this incredible project after we were contacted in late 2014 with a view to treating the roof with our Thatchsayf fire retardant. TAS eventually made the long journey to the island in late July once the thatching works had been completed.
The roof is thatched in marram grass, which was sourced locally on Harris and neighbouring islands. Local thatcher, Neil Nicholson from Uist, sourced all the materials and carried out the work. The roof is around 350m² and had turfs laid over the timbers as a base material.
The project has been a fifteen-year labour of love for the owner Paul Honeywell and his family.
Please check the following links for more stunning pictures and information.
Thatching Advisory Services (TAS) recently launched it’s new website. The new site contains the latest information on fire protection as well as comprehensive advice on buying, owning and maintaining thatched properties. There is a new section devoted to new builds and extensions which includes detailed information on roof construction and the latest building regulations.
There is comprehensive information on all our products and systems and a new facility to buy the products via our online shop.
Have a look around the site and feel free to contact us with feedback or if you have any further questions or queries.
Thatching Advisory Services, whilst taking advantage of the recent warm weather, continued their busy schedule of treating thatched roofs with Thatchsayf fire retardant with a comprehensive application carried out to the roof of the Thatched Cottage in Shedfield, Hampshire.
The 220m² roof was treated with clear Thatchsayf.
For further details about Thatchsayf fire retardant, please give us a call on 08455 204060.
Thatching Advisory Services recently completed the application of Thatchsayf fire retardant to Stream Cottage in Glynde, East Sussex.
The Grade II listed cottage is one of the oldest in the Glynde parish, dating back to 1556.
Prior to the new thatch, the roof structure also had TAS100 Thatch Fireboards and Thatchbatts® installed.
The 127m² roof was thatched by Gavin MacDonald Master Thatcher