Why Convert a Thatched Roof to Tiles?

We are finding that the trend of converting thatched roofs to tiles or other roofing solutions is picking up momentum. There are a lot of reasons why thatch home owners might consider converting their thatched roofs and surprisingly, the process doesn't have to be as expensive or invasive as you might imagine.

The original thatch roof - thatched badly and full of leaks.
You can see the ridge pole bending on the left-hand
Original thatched roof - suffered from endless problems,
patching and maintenance to solve leaking
The thatch roof converted to tiles

The thatch roof converted to tiles

Why Convert a Thatched Roof to Tiles?

Thatch has a Relatively Short Life Span
Eventually a thatched roof will come to the end of it's lifespan and the entire roof will need to be stripped and re-thatched. Many home owners are not currently in the financial position to re-roof in thatch considering the lifespan of the new roof into the future.

A tiled roof has a much longer life span and may never need to be replaced under your ownership.

Thatch May Need a Lot of Maintenance
Thatch is a premium roofing product. It looks stunning and when thatched properly will really last for years but if you've been caught out by a sub-standard contractor it is impossible to live a maintenance and leak free life under your roof without constant niggles and maintenance - all of which have to be fixed and paid for.

When the thatch is converted to tiles, after the initial out-lay for the work and materials, these maintenance costs will drop to an absolute minimum. We recommend the use of Onduvilla tiles on thatch roof conversions which are extremely easy to work with and involve absolutely minimal maintenance when applied to the correct specifications.

We recommend the use of Onduvilla tiles
on thatch roof conversions due to their ability
to flex and curve to the shape of the existing
thatched roof structure

Thatched Homes May Get Damaged by Birds & Local Wildlife
In some areas thatch is a draw card for the local wildlife - birds pull put strands of thatch from the top and corners of the roof, baboons and monkeys grab the layers of thatch and pull them out of the roof... Tiles are much less attractive to these cheeky pests and your roof will stay in tact even after a visit from the local monkey family.

Thatch is a Higher Fire Risk
Recently there have been several extremely unfortunate incidents in South Africa where thatch complexes have been burnt to the ground due to a number of issues: a. lack of fire protection and b. severe wind which has exasperated the fire. Many thatch home owners have suffered the devastation of losing their homes due to this. Although it is not possible to protect your home 100% from fire, a tile is much less flammable than thatch. The conversion will likely bring down your insurance premiums too!

It is up to individual home owners to weigh up the pros and cons of thatch roofing and decide which roofing solution is best for them. To find out more about converting a thatch roof to an alternative roofing, visit our "Thatch Roof Conversions and Roofing Solutions" webpage or call Jonathan on
+27 (0)82 780 5725.


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  2. We have a thatch roof here in Uruguay. The material is salt marsh grass so it only lasts 7 - 10 years or so. I do not find the houses here that have been converted to a different material look right. Mostly they cover them with a coloured sheet metal . The proportions of the house look wrong with so much metal and it is sad to see the traditional thatch roof disappearing.

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