What is a Roof Cricket?

What is a Roof Cricket

What is a Roof Cricket? A roof cricket, also known as a saddle, is a ridge-like structure designed to divert water on a roof around the high side of a large penetration, such as a chimney, skylight, or equipment curb.

Let’s dissect a roof cricket’s concept, design, and benefits.

Key Takeaways

Key TakeawayBrief Explanation
Importance of Roof CricketsRoof crickets are essential for preventing water damage, enhancing roof longevity, and meeting building codes.
Cost ImpactWhile adding a cost, roof crickets offer long-term savings by reducing repairs and prolonging roof life.
Flashing and CricketsFlashing is crucial around roof crickets for water tightness and preventing leaks, enhancing the cricket’s effectiveness.
Materials for CricketsCrickets are made from shingles, metal, or rubber, often matching the main roof for efficiency and style.

Defining a Roof Cricket

A roof cricket is found behind chimneys or at the junction of two sloping roof sections; crickets are crucial in preventing water accumulation and potential damage.

Construction and Design

  • Shape and Placement: Crickets are triangular or peaked structures strategically placed to channel water away.
  • Materials Used: They are constructed from the same materials as the roof itself, ensuring durability and coherence.
  • Integration with Roofing Elements: Proper integration with shingles, flashing, and other roofing elements is vital for effectiveness.

Roofing Materials Used for Crickets

Roof crickets are made from different materials, often matching the main roof. Common materials include:

  1. Shingles: If the main roof has shingles, crickets are usually covered with the same type. This ensures a uniform look and seamless water flow.
  2. Metal: Metal is durable, especially for flat or low-slope roofs. It’s great for directing water and is long-lasting.
  3. Rubber or Membrane: Rubber or membrane materials are often used for commercial buildings or flat roofs. These provide a waterproof seal and are flexible.

The material choice depends on the roof type and the specific needs of the building. It’s important to use materials that blend with the main roof, ensuring functionality and aesthetics.

roof cricket

Importance of Roof Crickets

Preventing Water Damage

  • Water Diversion: Roof crickets are strategically designed to divert water from critical areas such as chimneys and roof valleys. By channeling water effectively, they minimize the risk of water pooling and stagnation.
  • Protecting Roof Integrity: Crickets help maintain the roof’s structural integrity by preventing water accumulation. This is crucial in avoiding leaks that can lead to water damage not just on the roof but also in the underlying structures, including ceilings and interior walls.

Enhancing Roof Longevity

  • Reduction of Wear and Tear: Regular exposure to water and moisture can significantly deteriorate roofing materials. Roof crickets reduce this exposure by ensuring efficient water flow and minimizing wear and tear.
  • Long-Term Cost Savings: By enhancing the overall durability of the roof, crickets contribute to long-term cost savings. A well-maintained roof with effective water management will require fewer repairs and delay the need for a full replacement.

Compliance with Building Codes

  • Building Code Requirements: In many regions, installing roof crickets is not just a recommendation but a requirement, particularly for larger or steeper roofs. This ensures that all structures meet a standard level of safety and functionality regarding water management.
  • Varying Regulations: The specifics of these building codes can vary depending on the region, the size of the roof, the pitch of the roof, and other factors. Compliance with these codes is essential not only for the structural integrity of the building but also for legal adherence.

Roof crickets are a very important component in maintaining the health and longevity of a roof.

Their role in preventing water damage, enhancing the roofing system’s lifespan, and ensuring compliance with building codes makes them indispensable in modern roofing architecture.

When Do You Need a Roof Cricket?

  • Behind Chimneys: It is mandated that any chimney over 30 inches wide must have a cricket installed. (International Building Code)
  • On Large or Steep Roofs: For roofs with a significant slope or size, crickets help manage water flow more effectively.
  • In Areas with Heavy Rainfall: Crickets are particularly important for water management in regions prone to heavy rain.

Installation and Maintenance

  1. Professional Installation: It’s advisable to have crickets installed by roofing professionals to ensure proper design and integration.
  2. Regular Maintenance: Like other roofing elements, they require regular inspections and maintenance to function optimally.

How Flashing Works with Roof Crickets

Flashing is a key part of making roof crickets effective. It’s a metal sheet that’s installed around the base of the cricket, especially near areas like chimneys or places where the roof has openings. 

The main job of flashing is to stop water from getting under the roof. It acts like a shield, directing water away and keeping the area underneath dry.

Good flashing is really important when you have a roof cricket. It makes sure that the cricket can do its job in moving water off the roof efficiently. This is especially vital during heavy rains. 

The flashing must also fit in well with the rest of the roof so it doesn’t stand out or cause problems. When done right, this combination of flashing and cricket helps prevent leaks, which can be expensive and troublesome. 

Plus, it helps your roof last longer, saving you money and hassle in the long run.

Cost Implications of Installing a Roof Cricket

Installing a roof cricket does have an impact on the overall cost of roofing. While it represents an additional expense, the long-term benefits often outweigh this initial cost. 

A roof cricket enhances water management, significantly reducing the risk of costly water damage and leaks. This preventative measure can lead to substantial savings by prolonging the roof’s lifespan and minimizing the need for frequent repairs.

Investing in a roof cricket is a proactive step towards ensuring the durability and efficiency of your roofing system, potentially saving you money in the long run.


A roof cricket is more than just a structural component; it’s an essential feature for water management and roof protection. 

Its importance in preventing water damage and prolonging the life of a roof cannot be understated. 

Whether building a new structure or maintaining an existing one, cricket is key to a healthy roofing system, considering the role of a roof.

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