Is your lapa safe?

Inspect Your Lapa To Make Sure It Is Safe

lapas and thatched roofs

A while back a client asked me to inspect his thatch Lapa which appeared to have serious defects.  He had moved into his new home in February 2018. He later realised that his lapa may be structurally unsound and unsafe.

The defects were not noted in the seller’s disclosure nor was the lapa on the approved plans for the property! Armed with my inspection report he decided to approach the seller to demand recompense.

Many homeowners know very little about the Lapas they have around their swimming pools and in their gardens!

The thatched roof

Obviously, the thatched roof is the most important part of the lapa because it keeps you dry! But did you know that thatch roofs should have a roof slope of 45˚ or more to perform properly?

At 45° water will run off from the thatch with minimum penetration into the thatch. At a pitch of less than 45° the thatch will decay rapidly. Furthermore, the thatch will absorb the water increasing the weight on the support structure!

What about the thickness of the thatch?

This is where many Lapas have shortcomings! Well-compacted thatch should be at least 175mm thick! Also, the thatch thickness should not be more than 250mm! Individual stalks of grass are difficult to pull out in well-compacted thatch.

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