An insurance company in Parktown, Johannesburg, South Africa cautions homeowners about some dangers of natural thatched roofs. The Hollard Insurance Company wrote a thought-provoking blog post highlighting some concerns about natural thatched roofs people often don’t consider. Their focus was on thatched roofs and fire. A consumer asked if thatched roof buildings are insurable in that region of South Africa. The answer: Mostly likely, if you jump through all of the hoops to ensure the building is as safe as can be.

They explained in great deal the extra fire risks of natural thatched roofs. Did you know that a lightening rod, which are commonly seen near thatched buildings might be more of a fire hazard than an asset? The author explains:

“A freestanding lightning mast works in much the same way as a surge protector, but it must be earthed and bonded sufficiently. The mast shouldn’t be too short; it has to be at a height where the 45-degree protective angle – for a virtual ‘umbrella’ from the top of the mast – covers the entire roof. If you extend your building, ensure your mast is high enough to cover it in its entirety.”

Speaking of lightening rods though, Hollard Insurance also explained that it’s a fire risk to have anything metallic (unless it’s earthed and bonded) within one meter of a thatched roof! Many people don’t think of metal pipes and cabling near a thatched roof as a fire hazard, but unearthed and unbonded, they certainly are.

The blog post also points out that fire retardants don’t actually stop fires. Really, they just slow them. Though, as you’ve seen on this blog before, flame retardants don’t slow a thatched roof fire by much. Also, did you know that you must use a different type of fire extinguisher if you have a thatched roof?

Why Choose A Natural Thatched Roof When You Can Choose Endureed?

These concerns are just a few of the reasons a synthetic thatch roof by Endureed is drastically safer than a natural thatched roof. You can have a perfect replica of a natural thatched roof with none of the risks. Check out our products!

To read the entire blog post by the South African insurance company, click here.


Interested in roofing an umbrella for your backyard or an entire hotel? We’d love to help you choose the right product for your specific needs.

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Author: Endureed