Thatched roofs are good insulators, environmentally friendly and also beautiful. Their main problem is that they are fire risks because the thatching materials are very flammable. Fortunately, there are materials you can use to fireproof your thatched roof such as:
One effective method is to put a barrier between the internal structures of the house and the roof. The most common barrier for this purpose is aluminum foil. This method works because aluminum is nonflammable, even in the form of a thin foil. Even if the roof catches fire, it will protect (at least for some time) the other parts of the house.
A further advantage of aluminum foil barrier is that it is also a weatherproofing material. This is particularly beneficial if you install it during the construction of a new roof because you don't need further weatherproofing. The joints are made to overlap so that neither water nor fire passes through the gaps.
Apart from barrier foil, you can also install thatch batts (or thatchbatts), which are Rockwool slabs bonded with resin. You install them on the underside of your thatched roof to protect it from fire. The slabs are installed between the rafters to separate the roof thatches from the other parts of the roof. In a burning house, these batts can provide you with a safety window with which to evacuate your house in case of a fire outbreak.
The main advantage of thatchbatts is that, apart from fire protection, they also act as heat and sound insulators. On the flipside, they will not protect your houses from external fire (since they are applied on the underside of roofs), but only from internal fires such as those occasioned by electrical faults.
Fire Retardant Spray
Finally, you can also spray fire retardants on your roof to slow down the spread of flames in case of a fire outbreak. There are substances superficially manufactured for this purpose, and your roof contractor can advise you on the best one for your use. In the event of fire, the retardants break down into chemicals that self-extinguish.
There are both outdoor and indoor varieties. Most of them need to be re-sprayed periodically, for example after every five years, in order to maintain their effectiveness. Some of them also act as water repellants, which means you don't have to worry about water leaching into your thatched roof.
Using one or more fireproof technique may not be as effective as using a combination of several techniques. Apart from keeping your house safe, you may also need to fireproof your thatched roof as a requirement of property insurers. As a precautionary measure, you should also consider installing a smoke in your roof to alert you in case of a fire outbreak. Talk to your local roofing contractor, such as Front Range Roofing & Siding, for more information.