Author Topic: Has anyone used Kawali and Cogan Grass  (Read 3406 times)

Offline Manly4eva

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Has anyone used Kawali and Cogan Grass
« on: March 10, 2014, 12:02:39 PM »
Hi I noticed in an old post some photos of a timber house containing kawali mats inside for the walls.Has anyone used this product much and what has been the results?IE; mold,anay,bok bok...My wife and I are a few years off building but we are wanting a natural style house as it will be a beachfront property.Our plan is a raise concrete slab,about 3 feet off the ground to help prevent all the critters from eating us and the house.The wall will be concrete up to the window sills with the kawali mat inside and out as the rest of the walls.The wet ares will be tiled hardie board/gyprock..Our roof, cogan grass as i hear it is more durable than nipa.My thoughts are the money we save by using the natural products as opposed to concrete and blocks could be put toward proper maintenance of the kawali and cogan and possible replacement at a later date.Although concrete will stop the anay,we really want a more traditional looking house.I have seen a few kawali houses here and they are in poor condition,but these are owned by locals with no money or thought to preventive maintenance. Any and all thoughts appreciated..negative or positive welcome...

P.S If the original poster of the photos is still in contact with the owner of the house in the photos,do you know if he has had any problems with the kawali??
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Offline fred

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Re: Has anyone used Kawali and Cogan Grass
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2014, 05:21:08 PM »
The two biggest problem with cogon grass is birds!! They steal a bit every day for nesting materials.. Fine net only work for so long..Eventually they get in and remove your roof.. The other worry is fire.. I use Cogon to start our rubbish burn.. It goes up in flames better than any other fire starter I know!! Its also expensive.. Some collectors want 3 pesos for a 2 inch thick bundle..
We chose Nipa in the end but special ordered double frond.. Our roof is 6 years old now and its fine.. I reckon we will get another 7/8 years out of it.. The important thing with a nipa roof is the roof pitch.. The steeper the better as rain can have a fast track down.. Secondly netting.. Either nipa or Cogon make sure you have a tight fitting NEW fishing net over the whole roof.
Nipa where we are is about 3 Peso`s a tile.

Sawali and other such type of product do not suffer with termites as there is no pith from the bamboo for them to eat.. No problem whatsoever..

Offline Manly4eva

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Re: Has anyone used Kawali and Cogan Grass
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2014, 08:36:21 PM »
Hi Fred thanks for the advice on the Nipa.That's was our first choice till another expat steered me towards the cogan grass....I have never heard of it before.As for the rest of your roof what timber are you using for the roof frame and did you get it treated?I have heard so many different types of wood to use.I have even been told coco lumber if treated with motor oil is fine.But i am skeptical...I have read many web pages about timbers used here and treatments for anay, but first hand experience from people that have it in their home or know someone is better than any website..Any advice on the best timbers for roofing from all users would be great.
1/What did you use?
2/ how did you treat it?
3/ How old is it now?
4/Have you had any problems?

Thanks for any help..Ron..
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Offline FMSINC

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Re: Has anyone used Kawali and Cogan Grass
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2014, 11:17:56 AM »
For our house we used steel truss and purlins

We then welded small rebars to the puling and painted it all Dark Brown

After that we tied Nipa to the rebar with fishing line

The Nipa was then covered with long span metal roofing just buy long screws after 12 years the Nipa looks as good as new.

I did this as at the time there was no insulation available in our area.

The Nipa is a good insulator and keeps he house cool it also looks good and gives the ceiling a natural look many locals have copied the idea as it is much cooler then just  a tin roof

I would stay away from local wood no mater what kind you use it will get infested there is some imported available now that will stand up to the termites and rot but it cost 4 times more the the steel purlins would

Good Luck

Tom /Roxas City

Offline fred

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Re: Has anyone used Kawali and Cogan Grass
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2014, 03:03:45 PM »
Our roof frame is a bit unusual.. Bamboo..A Bok bok favorite when its still green..
We treated it with clear woodsaver.. We still had to replace about 3 or 4 pieces though.. Once it has seasoned for long enough they no longer touch it..

Mahogany is very susceptible to termite attack but 3/4 coats of used oil works well but not very pretty on exposed timber..
Gemilina is a semi hardwood white timber that if available in your area is about the best stuff to use as in my experience the termites dont seem to like it very much..
There`s a very powerful pesticide here called BRODAN.. Its mixed with water and kills EVERYTHING! You can usually buy it from local agrivet stores.
I used some the other day on an untreated Kubu made from Mahogany trees infected with wood borers.. I brushed on 3 coats.. 2 days later,everything was dead..Killed 4 large TOKU (lizards) and no more Bok bok dust.. Use with great care..Its a nasty toxin that works!!

Offline BingColin

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Re: Has anyone used Kawali and Cogan Grass
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2014, 09:51:45 AM »
Fred, I am a little surprised that you say that Mahogany is suseptable to termites. We have just moved a big stack of well seasoned mahogany and found termite tracks between the planks but none had eaten into it. Is it because it had been seasoned for several years?

Offline wildbill

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Re: Has anyone used Kawali and Cogan Grass
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2014, 08:31:36 PM »
Thanks Colin.because I was a Bit worried.because we just planted lots of mahogany trees.to be used later.as we need them.

Offline fred

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Re: Has anyone used Kawali and Cogan Grass
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2014, 09:07:37 PM »
Fred, I am a little surprised that you say that Mahogany is suseptable to termites. We have just moved a big stack of well seasoned mahogany and found termite tracks between the planks but none had eaten into it. Is it because it had been seasoned for several years?

Possibly Colin..  Cant say for certain but I suspect it may be true.
The Kubu over my fish pond is all mahogany and every morning the pond was always full of dust until I treated the timber with Brodan 2 weeks ago.. Its full of holes now.
I know for a fact that if I coat it with clean or used engine oil once every couple of months for about a year the termites wont touch it.. Problem I have is I dont want to contaminate my Koi pond.

Offline wildbill

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Re: Has anyone used Kawali and Cogan Grass
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2014, 11:55:48 AM »
when I was a Boy growing up in the USA.we always cut our own trees for fencing.we left in lay on the grown for awhile to skin off the bark.then we made a large VAT.from steal Drums.we put one part Diesel fuel and four parts burnt motor oil.we have tried just used oil.it wont last for many years .to keep out the termites.later the oil,resides,then the termites eat.Just a note to those thinking to use only motor oil. ;D