Natural thatch is often considered extremely environmentally friendly. In fact, it’s one of the few reasons people think they would prefer natural thatch over Endureed’s synthetic thatch. One thing people often don’t consider when basing their decision on their environmental concerns: Natural thatch, in most modern municipalities, requires regular applications of an approved flame retardant.
Now, flame retardant chemicals vary. There are a multitude of choices, depending on the requirements of governing agencies. One of the most popular natural thatching companies suggests a couple of different chemicals to satisfy fire safety requirements.
Fertilizer-Type Flame Retardants
One product, described as an “environmentally safe” fire retardant coating works by forming a protective char when exposed to heat. It restricts the oxygen flow. Sounds great. Right? Well, these types consist of phosphates and nitrogen compounds.
These compounds in concentrations that can be reached in the run-off water from the first rain can damage vegetation on your property. They also leech into the water supply. People say that it’s OK, because they’re in water naturally. Still, waterways around the globe get inundated with these chemicals already.
In truth, farming thatch grasses for roofs often includes excessive phosphates and nitrogen fertilizers right off the bat. So, natural thatch farmers often use these chemicals already. Then, they’re used again to fireproof roofing products. Look, it’s great that they fight microbial growth on the finished natural roof. Still, when they run off, it’s a problem. They potentially affect the natural flora in the soil and water around your property. Or, wherever else the water goes.
Check out this information from the EPA about these compounds:
“Too much nitrogen and phosphorus in the water causes algae to grow faster than ecosystems can handle. Significant increases in algae harm water quality, food resources and habitats, and decrease the oxygen that fish and other aquatic life need to survive. Large growths of algae are called algal blooms and they can severely reduce or eliminate oxygen in the water, leading to illnesses in fish and the death of large numbers of fish. Some algal blooms are harmful to humans because they produce elevated toxins and bacterial growth that can make people sick if they come into contact with polluted water, consume tainted fish or shellfish, or drink contaminated water.”
This treatment is repeated at least every five years and must be applied by a professional.
Boron compounds, borates, make up many flame retardant products to satisfy fire safety requirements. Still, some fire protection companies specify that fire retardants for thatched roofs should never contain borates or borate-based additives. Meanwhile, other people prefer borates for fireproofing thatch. They say it also keeps pests away. Others point out that it’s considered “toxic,” and that’s why pests stay away.
One problem people have with borates is that they seem to be capable of disrupting the endocrine system in male animals and disrupt skeletal formation in developing animal fetuses.
Endureed is Environmentally Responsible
Our products are shipped flame-resistant as they are. They are made with around 40% recyclable materials and are 100% recyclable. You will never need to spray them with pesticides or flame retardants. They promote conservation, and earn you one point towards a LEED certification.
CONTACT ENDUREED FOR A CONSULTATION
Whether you’re interested in roofing an indoor gazebo or an entire hotel, we’d love to help you choose the right product for the job.
Check out our synthetic thatch roofing materials now to find one that’s right for you: