The roof plays a vital role when protecting your home from the elements. Amidst the various components that contribute to a robust and efficient roofing system, one element often overlooked is the roofing cricket. A roofing cricket, also known as a saddle or a diverter, is a triangular structure placed on the high side of a sloped roof to ensure water will run around a penetration instead of pooling. To ensure proper drainage, a roofing cricket can be placed near chimneys, skylights, or roof curbs.

Roofing crickets serve as a critical feature that helps prevent leaks, extends the life of your chimney, and ensures optimal drainage. In this article, we will explore the purpose and significance of a roofing cricket, discussing why it is needed when necessary and the different materials used in its construction. Understanding the importance of this often underrated roofing component can significantly enhance the performance and longevity of your roof.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a solid grasp of what a roof cricket is and why it should not be underestimated when it comes to maintaining a resilient and long-lasting roof.

Why is a Roofing Cricket Needed?

A roofing cricket is primarily needed to divert water from critical areas, such as chimneys, where water accumulation can lead to leaks and subsequent damage. Without a cricket, water can pool around the base of the chimney, causing deterioration, rot, and the potential for moisture to leak into your home. By installing a properly designed and constructed roofing cricket, you create a barrier that redirects water away from vulnerable spots, protecting your chimney and the overall integrity of your roof.

When Do You Need a Roofing Cricket?

A roofing cricket is typically necessary in situations where the width of the chimney exceeds a specific measurement, usually 30 inches or more. Kentucky building code specifically says, “A cricket or saddle shall be installed on the ridge side of any chimney or penetration greater than 30 inches (762 mm) wide as measured perpendicular to the slope. Cricket or saddle coverings shall be sheet metal or of the same material as the roof covering.”

This measurement can vary based on local building codes and the specific requirements of your region. However, consulting with a professional roofer or adhering to local regulations is important to determine whether cricket is needed for your chimney. Roof crickets may also be necessary in areas with high precipitation or where the roof’s slope creates a potential water flow issue around the chimney.

Extending the Life of Your Chimney & Preventing Chimney Leaks

One of the primary functions of a roofing cricket is to prevent leaks around the chimney. The cricket acts as a ridge-like structure installed on the upslope side of the chimney, effectively diverting water around it. By providing a sloping surface, the cricket ensures that rainwater flows away from the chimney, minimizing the risk of water infiltration and subsequent leakage into your home. Additionally, the presence of cricket helps prolong the lifespan of your chimney by reducing the potential for water-related damage, such as brick or mortar deterioration.

Types of Materials Used for Roofing Crickets

After you decide your roof needs a cricket, you’ll need to decide what material your roofing cricket should be made of. You can match your roofing cricket to the roofing materials you use in your replacement or select something else. Roofing crickets can be made of shingles, metal, or a piece of membrane.

Shingles: This is cost-effective and ensures a cohesive look. If you are working within a budget and the appearance is not a big concern, this material may be the best fit for your home.

Metal: Metal crickets, often made of aluminum or copper, are known for their durability and resistance to corrosion. They provide excellent protection against moisture and can be customized to match the existing roof materials and flashing.

Synthetic Materials: Synthetic materials such as PVC or composite products are gaining popularity due to their durability, low maintenance requirements, and resistance to moisture damage.

The suitable material for your cricket depends on your aesthetic preferences and budget. Be sure to ask your roofing contractor for pictures of finished roofing crickets, so you can get an idea of what it may look like on your roof.

Does a Roofing Cricket Impact the Cost of Your Roof?

Many factors go into the overall cost of your roof. Will a roofing cricket impact the cost of your roof?

Yes, installing a roofing cricket will increase your roof replacement cost. The size, materials, location, and installation time will contribute to the overall cost. Get bids from a few reputable Kentucky roofing companies for a precise cost estimate.

When considering the cost of a roofing cricket, it’s important to consider the prevention it provides. View a roofing cricket as an investment in your roof’s long-term health and durability. While the upfront cost of installing a cricket may add to the overall expense of your roofing project, its ability to prevent leaks and protect your chimney can save you significant amounts of money in future repairs. The cost of repairing water damage and the masonry cost of repairing damaged stone in your chimney (if you have a brick or stone chimney) caused by a lack of proper drainage around the chimney can far exceed the expense of installing a cricket initially.

Find Out if Your Home Needs a Roofing Cricket

A roofing cricket protects your chimney and prevents leaks that could damage your home. By effectively diverting water away from vulnerable areas, a cricket safeguards the structural integrity of your roof and extends the life of your chimney. Whether you opt for a metal, wood, or synthetic material cricket, ensuring its proper design and installation is essential. Investing in this often-overlooked roofing component significantly enhances your roof’s performance and protects your home from costly water damage.

Consulting with a professional roofer is key to determining if and when a roofing cricket is needed for your specific situation.

If you think your roof may need its cricket replaced or a new cricket installed, contact us today for a free evaluation. We’ll give you our honest opinion based on replacing over 10,000 roofs and serving the Central Kentucky community since 2003.

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