Synthetic Fiber Thatch

Natural Thatch achieved with Synthetic Material

Country Thatch & Decking have identified that our clients are not always aware that there is an alternative to natural thatch and whilst we have deep seated roots with natural thatch, we also see the need, advantages and benefit to our clients of using synthetic thatch in South Africa. After doing some investigation, we found that the best synthetic thatch is manufactured and produced in our very own country by a company called Fiber Roofing.  We were so impressed by this product overall that we have become an accredited installer of this product ourselves.

FiberThatch

FiberThatch was developed as early as 1996 by a thatching company known as Redruth Thatching (est. 1976).  Whilst projects have been completed in South Africa, the majority of the work undertaken for synthetic thatch roofs using FiberThatch has been overseas and to date there is an impressive list of successfully completed projects using this proudly South African product and not a single tile that has been placed has had to be replaced since 2002.

FiberThatch was originally developed using PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride Synthetic) because of its low combustibility, however, since the international ban on heavy metal additives and all the problems associated with Poly Vinyl Chloride in the world in light of the ecological impact on nature and the environment, Fiber Roofing decided to discontinue their PVC product range in 2007 and only manufacture and market FiberThatch Polyolefin products. Polyolefin is far more ecologically friendly and does not contain any questionable additives as it is essentially a plastic. The closest comparison would be the clear plastic that plastic cold drink bottles are made from.

The main ingredient in the FiberThatch blend uses HDPE (high-density polyethylene material), which is 100% recyclable, non toxic, safe, U/V stable and color-fast. It is maintenance and pest free and is visually stunning.  (NO PVC IS USED)

Wind

One of the major advantages that polyolefin have over PVC is that Polyolefin’s extruded monofilaments retain muscle memory, Should a monofilament be bent by whatever external influence it will return to its original straight extruded form, The composition of the product is based on monofilaments (thin individual polyolefin strands) ± 1800 per tile, bound in a polyurethane (rubber) reinforced backing strip. Due to the nature of the thin individual strands the wind can’t grip the tile as a hole but rather blows through the strands and therefore this product has proven to work excellently in high risk cyclone prone areas around the world.

Fire

These polypropylene based synthetic products were also tested for fire spread by Roediger Agencies, an independent test laboratory in South Africa, and the products achieved a Class B rating tested to the UL94 specifications for fire spread.

All synthetic thatch is only cosmetic. Natural Thatch is between 6 inches to 8 inches (150mm to 200mm) thick and fire is a real problem but the synthetic thatch layer is at the most ½ inch to 1inch (12.5mm to 25mm) thick. (The “thick look” on custom thatch is created by a “broom like piece” fitted only on the eve of the roof.) This thin layer creates no real danger for fire because the Synthetic Thatch is fitted on top of a sub roof. Sub roofs can be sheet metal (Colour Bond, IBR or Corrugated Iron), a concrete roof or Roof ply (Marine or exterior shutter ply) that has been waterproofed. It is important to know that the type of sub roof determines the fire requirements and regulations applicable. The thin synthetic cosmetic layer does not affect the fire qualities of the roof. A Fire rating on synthetic thatch is therefore irrelevant.

 

Product Data

  • Polyolefin FiberThatch is manufactured in tile format.
  • The extruded strands are packed and brushed in jigs to imitate that real thatch look!
  • A reinforced polyurethane binding strip is used to glue the simulated thatch particles in one tile.
  • The tile can also be stapled, nailed or screwed through the polyurethane strip to timber battens or onto a metal sub roof.

Physical Properties of Polyolefin Material

  • Elongation 420.9% - ASTM D638.98 Test method.
  • Tensile strength 21.7 N/mm² - ASTM D638:98 Test method.
  • Tensile modulus 1056.2 N/mm² - ASTM D638:98 Test method.
  • Shore D hardness (median) 64 - ASTM D2240:00 Test method.
  • Izod impact strength 139.60 J/m - ASTM D256:97 Test method.
  • Flexural strength 23.0 N/mm² - ASTM D790:98 Test method.
  • Flexural modulus 796.8 N/mm² - ASTM D790:98 Test method.
  • Density, average 1.01 g/cm³ - ASTM D792:98 Test method.
  • Water absorption 0.019 % - ASTM D570:95 Test method.
  • Compressive strength 23.5 N/mm² - ASTM D695:96 Test method.
  • Vicat Softening point 124C - ASTM D 1525:96 Test method.

Colours

  • Any colour on the RAL colour chart is available in the Polyolefin FiberReed. (ihttp://www.themeter.net/ral_e.htm)
  • Colour pigments all register above 6 on the Gray scale.
  • Suitably stabilized for all outdoor conditions.
  • Accelerated exposure and weathering test available to date (equivalent 10 years natural exposure.) Polyolefin FiberThatch shows no deterioration whatsoever.
  • Colour fastness to 3000 hours of UV exposure (accelerated weathering)
  • No colour change - ASTM G53 Test method.

Recycling

Polypropylene that is used to extrude to manufacture FiberReed and FiberPalm is fully recyclable. FiberThatch currently ad 20% of their own first generation recycled material to the virgin polymer used for the extrusion process.


FIBER THATCH VERSUS NATURAL THATCH

Our Fiber Thatch achieves the luxury, atmosphere, charm and nostalgia of a natural thatch roof without the disadvantages normally associated with natural thatched roofs.

FIBER THATCH

NATURAL THATCH

Life expectancy Physical fatigue of material because of different weather conditions does not occur. A Fiber Thatch roof will last more than 50 years. Life expectancy will vary between 2 and 30 years, depending on climatic conditions and global location.
Maintenance Totally maintenance free. No additional maintenance cost. Regular cost-intensive maintenance by specialized highly skilled tradesmen will be required.
Color Fiber Thatch is U.V. Protected. Fading of color will be so slight that it will not be noticeable. As the natural material decomposes the color will change to a dull gray/brown color.
Fire – Fiber Thatch: PVC and Polyolefin FR Fiber Thatch is fire protected and the risk of flying sparks does not exist. An open fireplace is allowed. Natural materials involve a high risk of fire. Even the best fire retardant treatment cannot solve the problem.
Insurance Premiums are the same as that of most conventional roof types. There will be a surcharge. The surcharge can be as high as 100% or insurance can even be refused.
Rodents, birds, insects Will not frequent a Fiber Thatch roof. Bird damage and damage caused by rodents is costly to repair. Preventive measures against insects, is costly have a low success rate.
Mould, rot and decay Not susceptible to mould, rot or decay. Natural Thatch is a fertile ground for moss and decay that is the cause of mould, rot and decay.
Allergies and bacteria A synthetic (plastic) material. Not susceptible. People being allergic to various Natural Thatch materials are well-documented. Bacterial growth on natural material also a problem.

FIBER THATCH

NATURAL THATCH

Storm damage Easily repaired. Fiber Thatch is supplied in a D.I.Y. tile, which is simply replaced or placed back in position. Highly paid skilled tradesman or artisans are usually needed to repair storm damage.
Danger during storms It is a soft material and no danger exists that a tile might hurt passers by. Depending on the material used, damage to other property or to passers by might be a reality.
Wind resistance Will pass winds in excess of 180k.p.h. The behavior of natural thatch not recorded. No tests conducted.
Installation Installation cost is low, as no specialized craftsmen are needed. The installation process is quick.Visit www.fiberthatchguide.com Skilled tradesmen and artisans are needed. Remuneration is dictated by the availability of tradesman and artisans. Thatching is a time consuming process.
Transport costs A fully packed 20ft. container packed with Fiber Thatch material cover a roof area of 2100 m²!!!NB! Fiber Thatch material can only be shipped in 20ft containers due to shipping weight restrictions. Natural thatch packed in a 40ft. container can cover a maximum of 300m². Transport cost will be nearly 12 times more!
Mobility No special equipment needed to move Fiber Thatch. All material packed in boxes designed to maximize container space. Weight per box is only 35kg !! Natural thatch materials are usually in loose bundles, or even if palletized special equipment is usually needed to handle.
Availability of material Manufactured in a factory. No seasonal shortages occur. Natural materials depend on nature to provide. Seasonable shortages, droughts, etc. will play a roll. Supply and demand very influential.
Code Meets the requirements and codes of most countries in the world. Special codes apply in most countries regarding the use of natural thatch.
Roof pitch Can be installed on a pitch as low as 25 degrees. A minimum pitch of 45 degrees is recommended. The steep pitch means extended walls and more roofing material. Higher costs.

 

Guarantees / Warranties

FiberThatch provides a 20 year limited warranty for their product.

As an accredited installer, Country Thatch & Decking provides a 10 year warranty on workmanship

Installation

FiberThatch Tiles can be fitted to any type of sub roof.

The photos show an application to Marine Ply or Exterior Shutter Ply.

The roof ply must be waterproofed. The Fiber tiles are then stapled to the Ply board. On a new construction, for the interior finish, various ceiling finishes can be used. Possibilities are Cape Reed, Alang Alang, Thatch Grass or Palm. The natural Marine-ply or Exterior Shutter ply as well as the Cape Reed Ceiling Boards also give a beautiful finish.

The ply board and waterproofing provide excellent insulation. No additional insulation is required.

Synthetic Thatch Roofs

From left to right:

1. Timber strips or battens are screwed down on top of the thatch.

2. Marine or Roof Ply is screwed down onto the strips.

3. A waterproofing membrane is laid down onto the Marine or Roof Ply.

4. Fiber Tiles are stapled on.

When considering to convert a conventional thatch roof to FiberThatch it’s important to know that the roof needs to first be clad with corrugated sheeting or chroma deck sheeting or alternatively with marine-ply or shutter-ply sheeting to waterproof the existing thatch 100% and to provide a firm base for the FiberThatch to be installed on.

Cape Reed Ceiling Boards

Cape Reed ceiling boards provide a natural looking internal finish to many different types of roofing. This product is often used together with Fiber Roofing’s different synthetic thatch systems.

The standard boards measure 1220mm x 2440mm the boards are made up using Masonite boards covered on the one side with natural “Cape Reed” (Thamnochortus Insignis). Each Reed particle is manually glued onto the board.

Cape Reed Ceiling-boards are also available in an exterior shutter-ply board version that provides a sturdy surface to apply external roof covering onto. The standard exterior shutter-ply board used for the Cape Reed Ceiling board version is 12mm in thickness.


Supplier and Manufacturer

You can get further details on the manufacturer and supplier of FiberThatch at www.Fiberthatch.com

 

 

Some of the major projects completed using FiberThatch

Fregate Island Private Seychelles ± 10000 m²

La Digue island Lodge La Digue Island ± 600 m²

Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie La Digue Island ± 4500m²

Crown Beach Resort Cook Islands ± 2300 m²

Le Meridien Fisherman’s Cove Mahe Island ± 1200 m²

Sunset Beach Hotel Mahe Island ± 1500 m²

Le Relax Hotels Mahe Island ± 200 m²

Allamanda Retreat Australia ± 250 m²

Indigo Beach Resort Saudi Arabia ± 4600 m²

Kat Project Obhur Saudi Arabia ± 2900 m²

Abdul Latif Jameel House Saudi Arabia ± 2400 m²

Ocean Park Summit Hong Kong ± 1200 m²

Mount Hartman Bay Grenada, West Indies ± 200 m²

Dublin Zoo Ireland ± 600m²

Hanover Zoo Germany ± 2200 m²

Chester Zoo United Kingdom ± 500 m²

Burger Zoo Netherlands ± 300 m²

Quilalea Azura Mozambique ± 240 m²

Paramount Pictures “The Hobbit” New Zealand ± 800 m²

La Reserve Hotel Praslin Island ± 1200 m²

Cap Lazare Mahe Island ± 400 m²

Magic Reeve Bungalows Raratonga ± 1400 m²

Roncari House Puerto Rico ± 800 m²

Harrington House Constantia South Africa ± 540 m²

Ras Recidance Camps Bay South Africa ± 300m²

Business Hunt Botswana ± 250 m²

Montego bay Resort Jamaica ± 2460 m²

Contact us now to get a free quotation and a special Discount

Call +27 (0)83-442-0860 for immediate assistance

 
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