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Smilegr8

Willow cuttings - are they rot resistant ?

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Hello  everyone 

 

I assume it will be an odd topic however if  somebody can help with and advice - it will be much appreciated ! 

Long story short  - we have a stone building with an A shape roof  fully insulated with straw bales then plywood and few layers of asphalt roofing felt . 

 

Basically - we would like to fake a thatched roof with willow cuttings -  obviously the roof is waterproofed and the willow will be purely for the "look"  .    I'm sure it can be done to a great finish  and my question is - What  problems / issues should we expect have such a roof .  Will it rot too quickly ? will it absorb a lot of moisture ?  what do you think ? 

 

we live in a part of the world  with much hotter summers then UK and some snow in winter if that helps 

 

Thanks very much 

roof.jpg

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Willow cuttings - once dried out they are not very durable. They won't last that long- 2 or 3 years guesstimate. Will just decay. Have you thought of using Common Reed..?

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38 minutes ago, richyrich said:

Willow cuttings - once dried out they are not very durable. They won't last that long- 2 or 3 years guesstimate. Will just decay. Have you thought of using Common Reed..?

I will definitely consider Common Reed just need to find where to source it from and the cost .  Willow came first in mind as we have 5 acres of it ready to be coppiced :)   and we try to use local / green materials 
Thanks for your reply 

 

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It's a tricky one to guess how long willow would last.

 

My roof is wheat straw thatch. If left on the ground it would rot away over a single winter but correctly applied it lasts 25yrs. Willow is considerably more durable than straw if left on the ground so if used as a thatch it may last well, but it's not just the material, it's the way it is layered and packed so that the water runs off it, only really eroding the outermost layer. Thatching is an art (I can't do it, but it's fascinating to watch the thatchers at work), and willow would be much harder to do this with properly. If not densely packed then rather than running off, the water will run through, which will, I suspect, leave it damp and therefore rot it much faster.

 

I think the fundamental problem may be that it isn't possible to fake the look of thatch without actually thatching.

 

Alec

Edited by agg221
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4 minutes ago, agg221 said:

 

I think the fundamental problem may be that it isn't possible to fake the look of thatch without actually thatching.

 

Alec

Totally agree ..  I thought it was a foolish idea but needed somebody to confirm that  : ) 

 

the water will definitely run thro  - as  the layer will be too thin .. 

 

I will look for an alternative then 

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You mention that you are not in the UK. Whereabouts are you? I wondered what the equivalent local vernacular construction material on ancient buildings might be? Is there anything useful you can borrow from?

 

Alec

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15 minutes ago, agg221 said:

You mention that you are not in the UK. Whereabouts are you? I wondered what the equivalent local vernacular construction material on ancient buildings might be? Is there anything useful you can borrow from?

 

Alec

Our farm is located in Eastern Europe ( Moldova )    and  (reed) thatched roofs was something very common half a century ago however  these days you would rarely see any  and chances to find a local (skilled) company / people to thatch a roof is next to nothing or at least  is not an easy task 

 

Edited by Smilegr8

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30 minutes ago, Smilegr8 said:

if seasoned then won't be an issue ?

It defo won't grow from cuttings that are not pushed into soil. 

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