Your chimney is one of the largest penetrations that come through your roof. Because of its size, it needs the proper roofing materials installed around it to ensure water doesn’t come into your home. 

But having the right materials isn’t the only thing it needs to stay leak-free. Your chimney also needs a cricket installed behind it. 

No, I’m not talking about the long-legged insects you see hopping around the yard and hear chirping at night. I’m talking about a structure that helps water flow down your roof correctly, especially around your chimney. 

But what is it? Why do you need it? Does it affect the cost of your roof replacement? By the end of this article, you’ll know all the answers to these questions. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided the residents of Nashville and surrounding areas with roof repairs, replacements, maintenance, and more since 1990. We provide you and anyone who works with us a rare experience in the roofing industry based on trust, education, and high-quality craftsmanship. That’s why the people who call us usually become customers for life. 

We’ve seen a lot over the years, including what happens if a roof doesn’t have a cricket in the right spot. To help you understand why a roof cricket is crucial to your roof, we’re going to give you all the information every homeowner needs to know about them. 

What is a roof cricket?

As water comes down your roof, it needs to be able to get to your gutters. If water doesn’t have a proper path down your roof, it goes somewhere it shouldn’t and leads to a roof leak. 

A roof cricket helps avoid this problem around a chimney. But what exactly is a roof cricket? 

what is a roof cricket

A roof cricket is a double triangle structure built behind a chimney to properly divert water around it. As water comes down your roof, it hits the cricket and splits down each side instead of hitting the flat wall of your chimney. 

If you don’t have a cricket, water pools behind your chimney on a surface that isn’t meant to have sitting water. This will ultimately lead to a leak and could be costly to repair the damage. 

Why do you need a roof cricket?

Remember, you need a cricket behind your chimney to allow water to continue flowing properly down your roof. While this is extremely important, installing crickets is actually a building code. 

Starting in 2012, the IBC (International Building Code) made it a code that chimneys over 30 inches wide must have a cricket installed perpendicular to the slope of the roof. If you have an older roof, you might not have a cricket installed. 

But when it’s time to replace your roof, a cricket needs to be installed to ensure your roof is up to code. If you’re getting your roof replaced through homeowners insurance and have a code upgrade coverage policy, your insurance company will pay to have your cricket installed. 

What kind of roofing materials are crickets made of?

Your roofing materials are what make up your roof. When getting a roof cricket, you’ll have to decide what kind of roofing material to use for the actual structure. 

While you can match it to the roofing materials you’re using for a replacement, it can also be made out of other types of materials. For example, your roof cricket can be made out of the same type of shingles used for your asphalt roof replacement, or you can upgrade it to metal or a piece of membrane. 

metal roof cricket

The type of material you choose should be based on your budget and the look you want. If you’re on a tighter budget and the type of material doesn’t matter to you, I recommend matching it to the materials being used for your roof replacement. 

Does a cricket impact the cost of your roof?  

There are a lot of factors that impact the cost of your roof. But does a roof cricket affect the price? 

Yes, installing a roof cricket is always going to impact the cost of your roof replacement. Not only does the size and materials used to make the cricket impact the cost, but so does the labor and time it takes to build it on your roof. 

If anything takes time and manpower, it’ll factor into the final price of your new roof. Knowing what factors into the cost of your roof replacement is crucial to understanding your investment. 

To learn more about the price factors that impact your roof investment, check out this article on the 9 factors that impact the cost of your new roof

What you need to know about roof flashing

Now you know what a roof cricket is, why you would need one, and more. Remember, it’s code to have one if you have a chimney that’s over 30 inches wide. 

But a roof cricket isn’t the only thing you need around your chimney to ensure water doesn’t get in. Your chimney (and other crucial areas of your roof) also needs roof flashing installed around it.  

Flashing is a crucial material that every roof needs to have. That’s why you need to know the 3 main things every homeowner should know about roof flashing. Because of its importance, we already broke it down for you. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has served the Nashville area since 1990. We take pride in everything we do, from customer service to our high-quality workmanship. That’s why we’re proud to provide a lifetime warranty to our customers. 

To learn why roof flashing is such a crucial part of your roof, check out this article on  3 Things to Know About Roof Flashing (Purpose, Replacement, Maintenance).

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