While a roof may seem like nothing more than a simple shield against the elements, it’s actually a complex piece of construction. In essence, the structure is a sort of system, composed of all sorts of different facets designed to divert water from sensitive areas and prevent it from leaking into a home’s interior. One of the most important facets of a well-constructed roof, the “cricket” is essential for preventing water from migrating into a home. Read on to learn why this feature matters so much.
What Exactly Is it?
Also known as a saddle, a cricket is a ridge structure installed on a rooftop to divert water around the highest side of chimneys or the transition area from one rooftop area to another. In most instances, the cricket will have the same pitch as the rest of the roof, but this isn’t always the case. While larger crickets are often covered with the same roofing materials as the rest of the roof; smaller crickets are usually covered with galvanized steel flashing.
Although the cricket is considerably smaller than the other components of a roofing system, it is no less important. Construction professionals and roofing experts should never overlook a cricket since it is fundamental to keeping a home dry and free of mold and rot. In almost every instance, roofing crickets are an integral part of any sound architectural scheme.
Roof Cricket Installation
Whether it’s part of a re-roofing project or weather-related repair job, cricket installation will generally cost from $150 to $500. With that said, this price estimate can fluctuate based on the roofing company, the material used, installation difficulty, and any accessibility issues that complicate the process.
Installing a cricket requires extensive experience and industry know-how; it is not a DIY-friendly project. Nail placement and other minor issues can significantly impact the effectiveness of the cricket, and by extension, the entire roof.
Does Every Roof Need a Cricket?
Both the International Residential Code and the National Fire Protection Association call for the installation of crickets on the high side of any chimneys wider than 30 inches. While these are essentially the only code regulations for crickets, there are other situations where these roofing structures should be considered.
When chimneys are constructed on areas of the roof that must contend with a lot of flowing rainwater, a cricket can be critical for protecting the roofline from leaks. Whether it’s rain or snow — significant moisture can make installing a cricket a good idea. If you’ve ever had a roof leak at the base of your chimney, it’s probably best to consider installing a cricket to help protect your chimney and roof from suffering another water leak in the future.
What Are Some Other Advantages?
Besides diverting water away from the chimney, a cricket can protect a home in other ways. Without a well-positioned cricket, leaves, sticks and other debris can build up at the base of a chimney. Over time, this debris can mold and rot, causing the roof at your chimney’s base to wear out prematurely. Without a cricket, water can also pool up at the base of your chimney and freeze during the winter, putting pressure on sensitive portions of your roof.
A Serious Issue
Water penetration can prematurely reduce the life of your chimney, your roof and your home. It can also result in thousands of dollars in repair costs, especially if mold develops throughout your house.
One place that can be especially vulnerable to leaks is the area at the base of your chimney. If your chimney is positioned at the bottom of a slope on your rooftop, this area can represent a point of weakness. Without a cricket, water can repeatedly migrate beneath the flashing and promote a slow but steady leak. Over time, this can lead to extensive damage long before it is noticed and repaired. One way to protect your chimney and roof is by hiring a reputable local roofing contractor to install a chimney cricket.
A locally owned company, A to Z Roofing is your one-stop source for affordable and reputable roofing services. For nearly three decades, we have been repairing and replacing roofs throughout Colorado using only first-rate products installed by skilled technicians who prioritize safety and customer satisfaction.
If your home’s roof has seen better days due to aging or harsh weather, we can help. A to Z has worked hard to develop a widespread reputation as one of the region’s leading roofing contractors by providing expert workmanship and honest customer service. Contact our attentive team to learn more and obtain a free estimate!