Reeds: advantages, disadvantages and manufacturing technology

An ancient roofing material with a rich history, reeds present a special set of benefits and difficulties for contemporary building. Crafted from organic materials like straw or water reeds, they are praised for their rustic style and eco-friendliness. For centuries, reeds have been utilized in many parts of the world, especially in areas where the availability of natural resources dictates the materials used for construction.

The sustainability of reeds is one of their main benefits. Reeds are an environmentally friendly roofing material option because they are renewable and biodegradable, in contrast to synthetic materials. They usually require very little processing during production, which lowers the manufacturing and transportation carbon footprints. This is in line with current efforts to use green architecture and sustainable building techniques.

Nevertheless, reeds have a fair share of drawbacks. The most important of these is their adaptability to various climates. Reeds are very effective in temperate climates, where they offer sufficient insulation and resistance to water, but they may wither more quickly in more abrasive conditions. Heavy downpours, intense heat waves, or extended wetness exposure can hasten their deterioration, necessitating routine upkeep and replacement.

The reed roofing manufacturing technology requires expert craftsmanship. The procedure usually starts with gathering mature reeds or straw, which is then dried and bundled into manageable lengths. After that, these bundles are fastened to a framework made of wooden rods or battens, creating an overlapping, dense layer that encourages water runoff. To guarantee weather resistance and structural integrity, the entire installation must be done precisely.

Fashionable ecology: what will please the roof from reeds?

One of the most well-known and reliable roofing materials that has been utilized for a long time in Russia is kamysh. It is pure, flexible, natural, and ecologically friendly—ideal for use as a coating on both big and small buildings. However, there are a lot of construction options available to you, ranging from terraces and arbors to country homes:

Nowadays, it’s very trendy to decorate restaurants, cottages, tourist complexes, mini-hotels, and campsites with reed roofs. Geographically speaking, Poland is where one can typically find such a coating as its primary flavor, particularly on garden arbors.

With reeds, one can easily create lovely lucacions (a headache for roofers), cautiously guard all the curves of intricately shaped structures, and generally create a stylish, one-of-a-kind look for the home. Simultaneously, the natural reed roofing cools on hot summer days and remarkably retains heat during the cold. Furthermore, nothing is audible beneath it throughout the city:

However, equipping a large roof is far more difficult than it is for arbors. minimal considering a totally distinct coverage region and level of architectural complexity. Ultimately, there are a lot of extra components, typically more than two slopes, and modern country building generally loves pretentiousness. However, such roofs fully satiate the creative imagination of contemporary designers and architects. As long as the rafter system and safety regulations permit, they can be set up in any way.

What makes this natural material so superior, then? Water reed stems don’t even swell after a lot of rain; they don’t harbor bacteria or trigger moisture-resistant allergies. Raindrops land on such a roof with ease, never piercing through and never creating an issue. Compare this to the same metal tile, which is fairly scratchable and has been fighting corrosion throughout the slope for more than a year. Additionally, the reed roof is far easier to maintain than natural tiles.

She also does a remarkable job of shielding the attic area from sudden temperature swings. Incidentally, the reed roof addresses the primary issue with the attic, which is heat. After all, heat rises with all objects, and metal roofs conduct heat perfectly. Furthermore, insulation that is fairly thick is not always effective in preventing it. Hence, the subcutaneous room’s microclimate won’t be any different from that of a typical residential area thanks to the reeds covering the roof.

The fact that it deters birds and rodents is another benefit, even though the reeds are naturally occurring. And all because the reed bundles are arranged too tightly, making it impossible for rodents to navigate between them and make their own holes and movements within. However, birds cannot also pull stems for their nests from such sturdy structures.

Then, given his many benefits, why did you probably decline such a coating? The truth is that the reed roof was not treated with anything, particularly anti-piren, when slate and galvanized iron were introduced as roofing materials. Furthermore, her fire safety was a serious issue. These days, the completed roof is additionally impregnated with protective compositions (we’ll explain how precisely), which produces the desired effects.

Kamyshovaya roof design: frame and types of coatings

Hiring professionals to install the roof is quite common, as you can be assured of the end product’s quality. But keep in mind that hiring them will cost more than using more contemporary materials for roofing. Ultimately, there aren’t many of these employees, and they require a lot of training. Alternatively, you could practice on a small object, read more about this subject, and follow our step-by-step instructions until you are able to handle this task on your own. Furthermore, the look of such a roof won’t be negatively impacted by inexperience.

In most cases, a reed roof can be built without a precise or intricate project because minor mistakes won’t be apparent. Furthermore, serious misses can be easily fixed by pulling up wire and adding new sheaves. However, you should be aware of the main points because the reeds are not the easiest material to work with and it is not ideal for him to fall on someone’s head during a failed attempt. But overall, this plan will be sufficient for you to begin working:

Minimum and maximum angle of slope of slopes

We proceed further. Certain regulations stipulate that a roof’s minimum inclination for reeds is 35 degrees; however, some businesses lower this to 25 degrees because of innovative installation techniques. But don’t depend on such audacious actions. The truth is that this material is still susceptible to some degree of water damage, and the likelihood of stagnant zones increases with decreasing slope angle. and the shorter its lifespan of use.

Pay attention to the following signs: if your roof has auditory windows, it should have at least 30 degrees of them; if not, 45 degrees is preferable. Additionally, if your building is located in a hilly or chilly area, the slope needs to be completed to a maximum of fifty degrees.

The design of the roof pie

Let us now examine the designs of roof pie made from natural materials like reed, straw, and the like:

Within an open system They constitute a complete roof pie in and of themselves, and there are no grounds for sheaves. This historic-styled version of the rafter system is more common in public spaces like eateries and small hotels. The reeds do not have a support beneath them, so one of the drawbacks is that their particles may gradually enter the room and annoy the visitors. Another is that the design is rather complicated and unattractive. Indeed, it won’t be hard for the robbers to enter the room through such a roof.

As a result, the Closed design—in which the reeds are arranged on a continuous crate—is now more frequently utilized. Although the process will be simpler, this option will require a little bit more building materials than the open design. Since every sheaf will be stacked on a continuous base here, maintaining the roof’s uniform layer will be simple.

Plywood that is 10–12 mm thick is ideal as a foundation. However, waterproofing material should be applied to it from the street side. Additionally, self-tapping screws are embedded in the plywood, to which the wire is subsequently fastened. The sheaves will be securely held in place by the wire. Because of this, work on such a roof is completed faster even though it has more layers. Additionally, the design itself seems more dependable and secure, which is crucial if this is your first experience working with an uncommon roofing material.

An even base can also be made from an old slate or former roof. The most important step is to attach a second wooden crate to the coating. Then, if the roof is fairly dependable, any errors or flaws in its construction or installation should essentially have no impact on its functionality.

How to prepare roofing material yourself?

We’ll respond right away by saying that not all plant species are appropriate for roofing. The only material that can be used is water reed, which is long-lasting, robust, and moisture-resistant. In Latin, it is called Phirgmites australis.

Furthermore, not everyone is aware that Kamysh must go through a drawn-out selection and processing process before reaching the roof. For instance, all stems need to be arranged according to standards like voidness, flexibility, and strength. Businesses also understand why it is inappropriate to use releases of salt water and where to find high-quality material.

It’s likely that you will find blanks for your roof on sale in the following form:

  • Sheaves usually made of stems 0.2 cm in diameter and up to 2 meters long.
  • Mats more used for the manufacture of walls than for the roof. They are also great for organizing wells and arbors. They are delivered 15 cm thick and will cost 2 times cheaper than ordinary sheaves
  • Shields used for roofs of residential buildings and arbors. For the first, they are more suitable for 30-35 mm thick, for the second-15-20 mm.

For instance, Youngsun Reed Limited, a Chinese business, is a current supplier to Europe. However, if you choose to independently cover the roof with straw bales, you can follow these tried-and-true guidelines:

If you want to save and get reeds yourself, then adhere to such recommendations. You need to take the reeds not old, but not young, preferably not dry. If you doubt the choice of the thickness of the stems of reeds, then let"s say: the most neat beautiful roofs are obtained from a thin reed. They are obtained more tightly on the roof, and therefore thermal insulating and waterproofing qualities in such a coating are the best. In total, the length of the stems is from 1.5 m to 2.5 m, and the diameter is 5-6 mm. The collected reeds need to be thoroughly dried, and you can knit sheaves.

You will all need a small machine to make mats yourself, by the way. For this:

  • Step 1. Make a frame and crossbar in the form of dense branches of wood from the boards.
  • Step 2. Now you need to take a rope or wire 2 times more than the height from the ground to the crossbar.
  • Step 3. In this case, fold each of the segments of the rope in half and tie it in a strong knot.
  • Step 4. Tie one end of the rope to the upper crossbar, and leave the second on the ground.
  • Step 5. At the end, fasten pieces of racks or shuttles. These ropes you need up to 5 pieces.

Pick up the reeds and place them on the lower nodes now. Secure the first bale and wrap the free end with a vertical rope shuttle. Fix every other one as well. It turns out that knitted panels are actually specially designed panels that are now much easier to lay on the roof.

Advantages Reeds provide natural insulation, are environmentally friendly, and have a rustic aesthetic.
Disadvantages They require skilled installation, can be susceptible to pests and decay, and may need regular maintenance.
Manufacturing Technology Reeds are harvested, dried, and bundled into layers that are then fixed onto roofs with a supporting structure, often requiring expertise in thatching techniques.

With several clear benefits, reeds have become a viable and environmentally friendly roofing material option. Their superior insulation qualities can help lower energy costs by keeping homes warmer in the winter and colder in the summer. Reeds are also strong and lightweight, which allows them to be installed on a variety of roof types without sacrificing structural integrity.

But reeds have disadvantages as well. Their vulnerability to fire is one of the primary issues, necessitating appropriate fireproofing measures during installation. Compared to other roofing materials, reeds may also require more frequent replacement and treatment to ward off pests and decay.

The process used in the production of reed roofs requires exacting craftsmanship. Reeds are first picked and dried to the ideal moisture content. After that, they are stacked and bunched onto a framework made of wooden rods or battens to produce a surface that is tightly woven and strong at the same time. In order to improve weather resistance and durability, the last step frequently involves applying a protective layer or treatment.

To sum up, reed roofing provides a special combination of environmental sustainability, visual appeal, and natural insulation. Its advantages in energy efficiency and durability make it an appealing option for eco-conscious homeowners looking for a unique and environmentally friendly roofing solution, even though it requires careful maintenance and fire safety considerations.

With an emphasis on reeds, "Exploring Reeds: Benefits, Drawbacks, and Production Techniques" explores the world of roofing materials. This article explores the benefits and drawbacks of utilizing reeds for roofing, stressing both their inherent insulating qualities and environmental friendliness in addition to drawbacks like maintenance requirements and durability. It also looks at how reed roofing is made, both traditionally and contemporary, providing insight into the methods used to gather, prepare, and install these materials. This article provides information about the suitability of reeds for different roofing applications, regardless of whether you’re thinking about them for their sustainability or their practicality.

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Alexandra Fedorova

Journalist, author of articles on construction and repair. I will help you understand the complex issues related to the choice and installation of the roof.

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