What is a Cricket in Roofing? (Design, Framing, & Requirements)

Roof Cricket (Blog Cover)

roof cricket is a structure that diverts water around the chimney. It’s typically built as a double triangle, so water splits down each side of it instead of crashing into the chimney’s flat wall.

Not all properties require a cricket; however, they are mandated for chimneys over 30 inches wide. Most properties can benefit from a roof cricket whether or not their chimney meets the requirements. Ultimately, crickets divert water from your chimney and prevent leaks.

Purpose of Roof Crickets

Roof crickets prevent water from pooling behind the chimney, which can cause leaks and require costly repairs. Remember that water pooling is the top cause of premature roof failures. As a result, sitting water is terrible for any part of the roof, especially near the chimney.

Chimney Cricket

A cricket diverts water from the chimney’s flat wall, preventing degradation and protecting against roof leaks.

What are Roof Crickets Made Of?

Roof crickets can be made from all types of roofing materials and typically match the material used for a roof replacement. However, sometimes the cricket material differs from the roof material (i.e., a metal roof cricket on an asphalt roof).

Roof Cricket Framing

Find the center of the roof cricket by measuring the span and dividing it by two. Most drainage crickets are a quarter of an inch per slope. Check out the video below for more detailed instructions on framing your roof cricket.

Roof Cricket Design Guidelines for 2022

Adhere to the following design guidelines for your roofing cricket:

  • Panel slope doubles the surface slope
  • Proper length-to-width ratio (varies by surface slope)
  • Cricket functionality as determined by valley slope
  • Valley slope is independent of cricket slope

Other Chimney Cricket Considerations

Anytime you perform a roof replacement or new roof installation, many factors emerge that can derail or enhance the process. However, what all property owners can agree on is that the prevention of leaks is paramount to their roofing structure. 

Below are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about roof and chimney crickets in 2022. Of course, you should always consult with your roofing contractor before investing funds in any project. If you are a roofing contractor, you’ll better understand how to implement roof crickets properly.

Are Crickets a Roofing Requirement in 2022?

The International Building Code (IBC) introduced a code in 2012 that requires chimneys over 30 inches wide to install a cricket perpendicular to the roof’s slope. As a result, if your chimney is over 30 inches, it is a requirement. Conversely, if your chimney is under 30 inches, a cricket is not required.

How Much Do Roof Crickets Cost?

Roof cricket installation costs between $3,000 and $6,000. However, the precise cost of roof crickets depends on the materials and labor, just like other roofing projects. In some cases, cricket installation may be part of your roof replacement fee.

What is a Dead Valley Roof Cricket?

A dead valley is a design defect requiring alternative drainage methods. In some cases, the drainage method may involve a roof cricket which accounts for the phrase “dead valley roof cricket.”

What are Flat Roof Crickets?

For flat roofs, crickets are typically made from insulation which is common with all types of commercial roofing. The flat roof cricket design is often diamond-shaped, whether a quarter diamond, a half diamond, or a full diamond.

Do You Need a Roof Cricket Between Two Gables?

A gable is the part of the wall between the edges of intersecting roof pitches. When the overhang of two gables touches each other, it will resemble AA. This dynamic creates a flat valley between the gables, requiring a cricket to prevent water ponding.

Why is it Called a “Roof Cricket”?

Conflicting theories exist about the name’s origin; however, the suggestion that it came from Disney’s Pinnochio movie is refuted by most. The reality is that, like with many terms used to define roofing structures, the name doesn’t have a verifiable origin.

Final Thoughts on a Cricket in Roofing

Even if your chimney size does not mandate a roof cricket, you should still consider installing one. Chimney crickets introduce many benefits for your entire roofing structure and property. In addition, your property’s chimney is vulnerable, and cricket installation can mitigate potential complications, particularly from water leaks.