Here are some of our more frequently asked questions by our customers. Should you have your own question, please contact us.
Q: What exactly does your product DO?
A: Supercote is a fire retardant which also helps against fungus, bacteria, storm and bird damage. It has a UV protector in that help against the sun. If the thatch does catch fire it will only smoulder and not flame, giving you more that enough time to put it out or phone the fire department. You will have some damage but at least the whole thatch will not have burned down to the ground. Supercote actually doubles the life of your thatch.
Q: Do you apply it inside & outside. How do you apply it?
A: Yes, we apply Supercote inside and outside unless otherwise specified. For instance, if it is a house and you are living in it we prefer to spray outside only. We then give you 5% discount. In any case, only 10% gets sprayed inside and 90% gets sprayed outside.
Supercote is a white milky substance that we spray onto the thatch with a high pressured spray gun at 200 bars.
Q: How do you work out your price?
A: It depends on how big your thatch is, measured on floor area from edge of thatch to edge of thatch. It also depends on where you live and if we have to travel far or sleep over. We have prices on various sizes. For example if a lapa is less than 60m² it will cost more than a lapa that is 80m² or 90m². If we price a house or a very big lapa that is over 100m² we can negotiate the price.
Q: Will my thatch go dark or does Supercote help to keep it yellow?
A: No, the thatch will still go dark but it will take longer.
Q: How often must I have my thatch fire protected?
A: We give you a 5 (five) year guarantee on the fire protection (Bird damage is not guaranteed) as most municipalities/ insurance companies compel you to do it every 5 years. But we have thatches that have stood for 10 years or more without re-spraying. It depends on the weather conditions where you live.
Q: It rained last night. Can you still spray my roof?
A: Yes, the roof can be wet. Our product is water based so we can spray onto a wet roof but we cannot spray while it is physically raining or about to rain.
Q: What if it starts to rain while you are spraying?
A: The roof needs at least an hour to dry. If it rains within an hour, we will have to go back and do touch ups. It also takes three (3) days for the thatch to cure.
Q: My lapa is build onto my house, will your product help?
A: Yes, because the thatch will only smoulder you will not have flames and heat that will damage your building. You will need to get a Rational Design Certificate (Fire Design) if your thatch is build within 4, 5m from your house and boundary for insurance purposes. We can provide this document as well as an Engineers’ Certificate (if required) at a nominal fee, as our Manager is authorized to do both.
Q: Will I need a lightning mast?
A: If you spray your roof with Supercote you do not need a lightning mast, but it all depends on your Insurance Company. Some of them require that you fire protect and put up a lightning mast. One thing you should remember is that a lightning mast will not help if your thatch catches alight by maybe a braai fire or arson. Just phone your Insurance and find out what they require.
Q: Do I need plans for putting up a lapa?
A: Yes, any thatch structures do require plans to be drawn up. Your municipality will require a Rational Design Certificate (Fire Design) for any thatch structure. An Engineers Certificate (for the structure) will also be needed if the roof span is more than 6m diameter to get your plans approved. We can provide all the above service at an extra nominal fee.
Q: What is a “Rational Design Certificate” and “Letter of Appointment” and when do I need one?
A: A Rational Design Certificate and Letter of Appointment is a 5 page document that is signed by our Fire Engineer. This certificate you will need when your lapa is bigger than 20m² or within 4,5m from your boundary or a building. This document has all the National Building Regulations rules on that are applicable to a thatch roof as well as our test results. We can provide it at an extra fee (below the standard rate). You will need it for Municipal and Insurance purposes.
Q: Will your product help against leaks? Will it seal the grass?
A: No, Supercote will not make your roof waterproof as the thatch needs to breath. Any leaks must be fixed by your thatcher before we can do the fire protection.
Q: I do not know how big my roof is. I am also not sure if it needs a brush & dress or repairs. Can someone come and see me?
A: We do not usually come out to measure roofs for fire protection. As we measure on floor area from edge of thatch to edge of thatch, it is easy to walk it off or use a measuring tape. We will send someone to come and check the condition of your thatch to see if you need repairs or a brush and dress. Give me all your details and I will get some one to contact and make an appointment.