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What Are Roof Crickets & Why Do You Need Them?

Posted on March 17, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 5 Min.

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Roof Cricket

If the area around your chimney or along intersections in your roof is leaking, you need to install a roof cricket. A roof cricket is a perfect solution to stop water from leaking through your chimney or skylight. In addition, it diverts the water to the drainage system, keeping the area around your chimney dry and leak-free. To learn more about roof crickets, read this blog post till the end. 

What Is A Roof Cricket? 

A roof cricket is one of the most important components of a roofing system. It helps direct water away from the intersections or protrusions on a roof and prevents it from seeping under the roofing material. It is generally installed behind the chimney.

Since water runs down a roof and typically ponds around protrusions such as chimneys or skylights, it will penetrate the roofing material and seep into the roof deck if crickets aren’t installed. This makes the roof decking fragile and prone to damage. To eliminate water ponding around chimneys and intersections alike, a half-diamond or double-triangular-shaped cricket is installed. This prevents the water from reaching these critical joints, diverting it to the gutter system. 

Roof cricket
Roof cricket

Why Do You Need A Roof Cricket?

As mentioned before, a roof cricket is one of the most important components of a roofing system. It diverts rainwater to the gutters and thus prevents it from entering the joints around a chimney or skylight. More benefits of installing roof crickets are as follows: 

Prevent Water Damage

Any water that leaks through the roofing material decreases the lifespan of a roofing system.

Additionally, if this water damage is unaddressed the chances for mold and mildew growth increase along with rot, which further deteriorates the roofing material. 

Protect The Chimney

A chimney plays a crucial role in regulating your home’s interior temperature and is an integral part of your roof’s structure. However, water leaks in a chimney can cause significant damage to both the chimney and the roof deck. Without a chimney cricket, water enters a chimney through gaps where the chimney protrudes out of the roof, causing the chimney liner to deteriorate, leading to cracks, gaps, and other forms of damage. 

Over time, this compromises the integrity of the chimney, leading to costly repairs or even a replacement. Additionally, trapped moisture from the leaks can lead to mold growth, which can be hazardous to your health. Installing a roof cricket can help prevent water from accumulating and redirect it to the gutters, reducing the risk of chimney leaks and related damage.

Extend The Roof’s Lifespan

A damaged roof has a shorter lifespan, and if the damage is located around a chimney it shortens the lifespan of both the chimney and the roof deck. By installing a roof cricket you can increase the lifespan of the roofing material and any components it’s protecting, saving you money on repair costs. 

What Are Roof Crickets Made Of? 

To increase the efficiency and lifespan of your roof, you must install roof crickets, or what others call a chimney cricket, that is made of heavy materials. Quality chimney crickets protect the roofing structure from water leaks and damage. 

Roof Cricket Materials

There are many materials available on the market that roof crickets are made of, but you should choose one that complements your roof’s aesthetic and matches its designated lifespan. For instance, you should choose a metal roof cricket if you have a metal roof installed, as it will blend seamlessly with the rest of your roof. 

Additionally, roof crickets can be made of wood and PVC depending on the type of roof you have and the aesthetic appeal you’re looking for. Roof crickets made of wood are usually covered with a thick layer of shingles and metal flashing to prevent the wood from rotting. Overall, installing a roof cricket that functions well with your current roofing system is recommended. 

Factors To Consider When Installing A Roof Cricket

We recommended that homeowners consider the following factors while installing a roof cricket on their roof. 

Slope Of The Roof

Roof crickets can be installed on both flat and pitched roofs, but when installing a roof cricket on a pitched roof, considering its slope becomes a special consideration. The slope of a roof is a measure of its vertical rise to its horizontal run. For example, a 4/12 slope means that for every 12 inches horizontally, the roof rises 4 inches vertically. 

Chimney Size And Shape

The size of the roof cricket on a roof will depend on the chimney’s size and shape. If the chimney is irregular in shape, the contractor will need to customize the cricket’s size to fit it in place.

For a large chimney, you’ll need to install a larger cricket to accommodate the size and divert water away to the gutter system properly. As water can seep into a roof through the tiniest hole, covering the intersectional joints properly may require additional material to extend the chimney cricket. Hence, a chimney’s size and shape are crucial factors to consider when installing a cricket on a roof

Roofing Materials & Weather Conditions

Roofing materials vary in their durability, longevity, and weather resistance. Installing a roofing cricket that’s not compatible with the rest of the materials on your roof won’t benefit you. Instead, it could become damaged before the other roofing material does, which will lead to a reduced level of efficiency for the roof cricket.  

You should also consider weather conditions in your area when installing a roof cricket. For instance, roof crickets in snowy regions work better on a roof with a steep slope as it helps to easily divert water into the gutters. If a home received frequent strong wind gusts, the roof cricket should also be fastened securely onto the home to ensure it doesn’t blow off in the wind. 

What Should Be The Slope Of A Roof Cricket? 

The minimum roof cricket slope should be at least 1/4 inch per foot to ensure proper water drainage. The exact slope may depend on factors such as the size and pitch of the adjacent roof sections, as well as local building codes and climate considerations. 

It’s important to consult a professional contractor or engineer to determine the appropriate slope for a roof cricket for a specific roofing project. Additionally, proper installation of the cricket, including flashing and sealing, is crucial to ensure its effectiveness in diverting water away from the roof. 

Maintain A Roof Cricket With A Few Simple Steps

A roof cricket requires timely maintenance in order to function efficiently. 

Inspect Your Roof Cricket Frequently – By inspecting your roof cricket, you can detect any persisting issues and promptly repair them. 

Clean Your Roof Cricket – Like with the rest of your roofing system, cleaning a roof cricket will keep it in good condition and maintain its level of performance for a long time. If you notice any debris on the cricket, make sure to clear it to prevent water from ponding. 

Promptly Repair Any Damage – Regular inspection and cleaning of your roof cricket will help you detect any issues that may need repair. Ensure you hire a professional contractor who will make repairs that will last.

Hire Professionals For Your Roofing Project Today. 

If you have a roof cricket that requires repair, or you’re looking to install one, call A. Fricker Roofing & Waterproofing today, at (918) 402-7167. Our team has years of experience handling roofing projects of all types, including roof repair, replacement, and installation. So, give us a call today and see how we can help you protect your home for years to come.  

Roof Cricket