Our offers 5% off on senior Veteran Discount

Our offers 5% off on senior Veteran Discount

Get In Touch
(412) 353-5660

What Is A Roof Cricket and Why Do You Need Them?

Posted on : June 21, 2024

What Is A Roof Cricket and Why Do You Need Them?

Roof crickets are typically used around chimneys and are one of the most underrated but valuable parts of your roof. However, despite their importance, not all building codes in the U.S. require a cricket on a roof. As a home or building owner, you might not know what a roof cricket is or if you need one, but we’re here to provide all the information you need.

At McClellands Contracting and Roofing, our goal is to educate homeowners about their homes. Understanding each part of your roofing system helps you make informed decisions and maintain your home's durability and lifespan.

What Is A Roof Cricket? 

A roof cricket is a small raised area on a roof that is shaped like a triangle or diamond. Roofers build crickets to help water flow around obstacles like chimneys. This stops water from pooling behind the chimney and prevents leaks and damage.

Roof cricket designs can vary; Some are steep while others are more gradual. The shape depends on the roof and the obstacle.

Roof crickets can be found on any roof type, including pitched and flat roofs. A flat roof cricket is usually very low and subtle.

In general, if you have big obstacles on your roof, you need a roof cricket.

Why Is A Roof Cricket An Important Part Of Your Roof? 

A roof cricket is an important part of your roof because it helps water flow away from certain areas. The main job of a roof cricket is to stop water from pooling. Without it, water might collect and cause leaks or damage. A well-designed roof cricket sends water to the gutters, keeping your roof dry and safe. A flat roof cricket helps direct water to drains.

While roof cricket design varies, they all serve the same purpose: to keep your roof in good shape by managing water flow.

What Are The Different Types Of Roof Crickets?

There are a few types of roof crickets available, and all of them solve the same problem by channeling the water from different areas of the roof. 

Roof Crickets

#1 Steep Roof Cricket

Crickets for steep roofs are typically made of wood and covered with the same material as the rest of the roof, such as metal or shingles. You'll find these behind chimneys or other large protrusions sticking out of the roof. 

#2 Flat Or Low-Sloped Roof Crickets

Flat roof crickets are different as they're made with sloped insulation rather than wood. These crickets are shaped like triangles or diamonds. Crickets on flat roofs are especially important because flat roofs can collect water. A good roof cricket design prevents water from pooling.

#3 Corner Crickets

You'll find corner crickets on flat roofs near walls. They have one slope that directs water away from the corner area where it might collect. They're an important part of flat roof systems, keeping corners dry and leak-free.

#4 Crickets Between Drains

These crickets are shaped like diamonds. They're used on flat roofs to guide water to drains located in the middle of the roof. Think of them as highways on your roof, directing water away and preventing pooling. 

How To Install A Roof Cricket: Is It A DIY Project?

To install cricket on your roof, you must have proper roofing skills, experience, safety gear, and materials. If you have all of this, you still need to follow certain steps to install a cricket on the roof. 

Here is a brief breakdown of how to install a roof cricket behind a chimney on a pitched roof:

Step 1: Measure the Area Behind the Chimney

Measure the Area Behind the Chimney

Use a tape measure to find the width and length behind your chimney. Measure from the chimney to the roof peak and the chimney's width, and write down these numbers. They will help you make the right size cricket.

Step 2: Cut Wood Frames

Make a triangular frame with wood using the measurements from step one. Cut boards for the sides and bottom and nail them together to form a triangle. This frame creates the sloped shape of the cricket. Make sure it fits snugly behind the chimney.

Step 3: Add Plywood Sheathing

Cover the frame with plywood. Cut the plywood to fit the cricket shape and nail it down firmly. This creates a solid surface for the roofing material. Make sure there are no gaps or loose edges in the plywood.

Step 4: Install a Waterproof Membrane

Cover the wooden frame with a waterproof layer. This could be tar paper or a roofing membrane. Staple it down securely and overlap the edges to prevent leaks. This important step keeps water from getting under the cricket and causing damage.

Step 5: Cover with Roofing Material

Use the same roofing material as on the rest of your roof to cover the cricket. This could be shingles, metal, or tiles. Start at the bottom and work up and overlap pieces to shed water. Finally, seal around the edges where it meets the chimney.

Any roof-related project, including roof cricket installation or replacement, is not a DIY task. Hiring a professional always mitigates the risk of incorrect installation and minimizes the safety risks. Professionals have the right experience and can handle your project with ease and reliability. 

Why Is It Important To Match The Slope Of Crickets With The Slope Of Roofs?

Matching the slope of the cricket with the roof slope is important as the primary role of a roof cricket is to divert water. 

When building a cricket on a roof, the slopes of the cricket and the roof should match for these reasons:

1. Water Flow: A matching slope helps water run off smoothly.

2. Appearance: It looks better when the cricket blends with the roof.

3. Strength: A well-matched cricket is more stable.

4. Leak Prevention: Proper slopes reduce the risk of water pooling.

When designing a roof cricket, always consider the main roof's slope. 

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Roof Cricket?

Installing a chimney cricket can cost you anywhere between $300 and $1,000. The actual cost can differ depending on the size and complexity of your roof. A simple cricket on a small roof might cost less compared to a bigger or more complex one. Remember, prices can also vary in different areas. It's best to get quotes from local roofers for the most accurate estimate.

What is Building Code R903?

Building Code R903.2.2 is a guideline mentioned in the 2015 International Residential Code (IRC). According to this code, you need to install a cricket or saddle on your roof in certain cases. This is required when you have a chimney or something else sticking out of your roof that is wider than 30 inches when measured perpendicular to the roof slope. 

This rule helps prevent water from pooling behind chimneys or other large roof objects. It's an important part of keeping your roof in good shape.

You might also like: Everything You Need To Know About Replacing Your Roof

Call McClellands Contracting and Roofing For Roof Repair and Replacement In Pittsburgh, PA

If you are looking for roof replacement services in Pittsburgh, PA, or the nearby areas, we are here to assist you! At McClellands Contracting and Roofing, we understand that your roof plays a crucial role in the overall structure of your home. We adhere to industry best practices and use quality materials in every project. 

We are among the best-rated roofing contractors in Pennsylvania and we hope to be your trusted partner for all your roofing needs. For a free quote or more information, feel free to call us today at (412) 353-5660.

Schedule A Consultation

Footer Form

By submitting, you allow McClellands Contracting and Roofing LLC to contact you by phone, email, or text for more information. You can opt-out at any time. We will never share your personal information with third parties. Standard message/data rates may apply, and your consent is not tied to making a purchase.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Instant Quote Icon


Get a quote for your roof in under a minute!