Reeds are weaved and used in basket making. However they can also be used for roofing. These are traditional roofing materials in some cultures of the world communities. The reed roofs are done in restaurants or homes in coastal towns. They offer moderate temperatures in houses in hot areas. They are light in weight therefore the roof structure is not very elaborate. The working of reed roof is done as in the roofing tiles with an underlay below.
The reeds used for roofing should be dry. The underlay is usually done with iron sheets or bituminous felt. This are nailed or strapped to the structure. It is important to have an underlay to prevent rain dripping through. The reeds can also be laid over other roof coves for aesthetics. They are weaved and cut into piece of two feet by two feet square. The underlay should have fire proofing properties. This is because dry reeds can catch fire easily.
The reed roof is commenced by building the structure. The pitch should not be less than forty degrees. This is when an underlay will not be used. This will ensure that the rain water is shed off and drained to a fall. The roof without an under lay has the rafters spaced at two feet. The side that is weaved together is the one that is tied on the upper side. They are laid from the eaves side upwards. At the ridge part, a ridge cap is used to cover it.
Reeds are laid with an overlap of six inches below each other. strapping is used to fasten them. The timber structure is first completed. After this a felt or underlay is fixed to the structure. Laying of roof covers starts and overlaps maintained. A shears is used to cut the reeds into a starlight line at the ends. A ceiling maybe fixed but usually the roof space is left open. Roof gutters and fascia boards may also be fixed if desired.