A palapa (a Spanish word of Mayan origin, meaning “pulpous leaf”) is an open-sided dwelling with a thatched roof made of dried palm leaves. It is very useful in hot weather and, therefore, very common in Mexican beaches, such as in Acapulco. It is perhaps one of the most important architectural contributions of Philippine culture to Mexican West cultures. Palapas are also common in Honduras and other Central American countries.
BAJA THATCH –Mexico (3-5 Yrs. Lifespan)
Traditional style – handwoven in central Mexico. Does very well in windy areas as the weave permits air circulation. Staples easily to wooden framed structures. We use a standard double-layer for our structures to get that thick, plush look, however if you prefer a single-layer instead, that is an option as well. Staple it (don’t tie it) onto your structure. To calculate the sizing, plan so it hangs over the edge of your palapa a few inches. A double-layer has a 3 1/2 years in most California climates, and 5+ years in desert or dry climates like those in Nevada, while a single layer usually has about one third of that life-span.
Mexican thatch panels were originally called “rain capes.” These garments were woven from palm leaves and worn to protect ancient cultures from the elements of climate.
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FIJI THATCH –Mexico (8-10 Yrs. Lifespan)
Our “Fiji” thatch is the highest quality, Grade-A commercial palm. It has the longest life-span, to keep your palapa looking great for longer.
4″ to 6″ extra thick palm from Mexico’s central/coastal land – 8 to 10 year life span, in most climates – inherently 79.99% waterproof, panels measure 2′ high by 2 1/2′ wide. These panels can be secured to structures in several ways: stapled, nailed, or tied to your structures.
AFRICAN REED THATCH –South Africa (8-10 Yrs. Lifespan)Long lasting…made in South Africa. Each panel is 17″ high x 31″ wide. Reed panels come complete with clips to easily attach to a steel frame. Or remove and apply panel to a wooden structure with screws, staples, or nails. Some people prefer the African Reed because it has a clean look. It’s a natural eco-friendly roof, giving 100% UV protection. It can keep you up to 10* C cooler in summer. It’s quick and easy to install!. The African thatch panels, when properly installed, is able to withstand high winds and harsh climates.
SYNTHETIC THATCH –Asia and Canada (20-50 Yrs. Lifespan Depending on the type)
We have a few varieties of synthetic thatch. Synthetic Thatch is a great alternative to natural thatch because it is long-wearing. Many synthetic thatches are covered by a limited manufacturer’s warranty up to 50 years. Depending on your needs and desires, synthetic thatch can be a great option for you. This product is made from 100% recyclable, high-density polyethylene. These tiles are 31″ long by 22″ high. The tiles work best with an offset of 6 inches when overlapping and are designed to be installed on a solid roof.
Hose down thatch at least once a month to maintain it neat and clean.
Good thatch will not require frequent maintenance
Establish early on what condition the thatch is in – then appropriate work (if necessary).
A thatch which looks thin is not necessarily a bad thatch
The life of a thatch can be extended significantly by a timely and appropriate repair.
Do not move around on your thatch unnecessarily. Do not allow others to do so
Do not allow standing on the ridges or the use of ridges as working platforms
All roofs, whether or not they are made of grass, are home to insects. Have your palapa fumigated once a year.
**All types of our thatch can be fire-treated to Class-A or Class-B standards, necessary for interior and exterior commercial installations. We also offer fire-retardant for those who do not need it certified to Class-A or B ratings, but would like the added protection of having their thatch fire treated. Fire-treatment tends to add an extra year or two of longevity to the thatch, though is not guaranteed to do so. It is recommended that you re-treat your thatch every two years for full protection.
IMPORTANT PLEASE READ:
Palm leaves can leach a natural runoff when first exposed to rain. This runoff will spot the round and can be washed off with soap, a mild beach and water. To avoid spotting, the thatch should be thoroughly hosed down. This may be repeated a couple of times, until the excess residue is removed. Very rarely (almost never), light spotting of the palm material can occur. This is a normal and harmless mold and can be left alone with no ill-effect to the palm or can be partially removed by lightly spraying it with a mold-removing agent, then completely hosing it off with water.