Our cottage roofs are thatch and are very old. They were not looked after properly by the previous owner so we have a few leaks and they all need to be brushed and repaired. The Beans cottage was the worst. She had quite a few leaks where rain would drip on her as she lay in bed. Just small drops but nevertheless it was time to get her roof seen to before it was too late and we would have to replace all the thatching which would be quite an expensive exercise.
Above is the Bean’s cottage with the leaky roof.
On investigation we found that many of the securing strings had snapped as you can see below.
The strings on the outside were exposed to the weather and were stitched too widely when they put the original roof on. You should not be able to see the stitching on the outside of the roof but as you can see – the strings were very evident.
On the inside of the roof the grass had slipped down so much that at the apex the roof cap was showing and the grass was very scruffy (please excuse the cobwebs – it is really difficult to clean up so high 🙂 )
The team arrived on Wednesday last week with 4000 bundles of thatching grass
and immediately started by brushing the roof to get rid of all the rotten ends
I don’t know why they call it brushing because they use a wooden paddle. After the brushing they begin to sew on the grass bundles. One man underneath to push the needle through and one man on the top to push through the other way.
The masked super hero is one of the labourers – he was dressed like that in 42°C heat (in the shade) to protect himself from the sun. It was baking hot and I am sure after a few days he is rather cooked.
After quite a few bundles are sewn on, they use the wooden paddle to push/slide up the ends of the grass to make a nice finish for the roof.
Below is a closer view of Laurence stitching on the grass bundles – imagine sewing with such a big needle! He really knows what he is doing and works really fast although he was cursing the old roof pole structure because apparently our cross bars are slightly too far apart. No matter – he just adjusted his style and went to work. Laurence showed me that half way up the roof the old grass was so thin that you could stick your finger right through. No wonder the Bean complained that the wind used to blow through her roof! I though she was
Once all the grass has been laid, they will break off the old cement roof cap and make a nice new one without any leaky holes. Hopefully all will be done by Friday and then I can post a picture of the finished roof.
Thanks Dad for the wonderful donation to the Jackal’s Den renovation fund – without you the Bean would still be getting dripped on!