What is a Cricket in Roofing and What Size You Should Install?

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Any part of the roof with joint or obstruction is prone to leakage, and it includes chimney, skylight, or vent pipe. For chimney that’s located underneath the roofing peak, there is a chance that rain and snow to seep into the juncture between the chimney and the roof.

This issue can be prevented by installing roof cricket, but what is a cricket in roofing, anyway? Read about it further below.

What You Need to Know about Chimney Cricket Roofing

Cricket is sometimes also referred as saddle. So, what is a cricket in roofing actually? It is the part of the roof that covers chimney edge at the back.

What is a Cricket in Roofing

The purpose of it is to divert water from high areas such as chimney or the joint between two roofing system, by forcing water to flow around instead of going inside. It is common to install cricket with similar pitch as the roof, but it is not always required to be so.

You might wonder, why is it called a roof cricket? The name, in fact, is derived from a joke that comes from an old Disney animation movie over 75 years ago. Disney released animation movie “Pinocchio” in 1940, where there was a character of grasshopper called Jiminy Cricket or Talking Cricket.

Jiminy sounds a lot like chimney when pronounced – therefore chimney cricket. Since then, this construction terminology has been widely used across North America.

There are different materials that can be used to create cricket, but metal is the most common one due to its durable quality. Aside from material, roof cricket requirements also include its dimensions, which can be seen as in the following:

  1. For 12-12 roof slope: you’d need cricket’s height to be 1/2 of chimney width. Divide the chimney width by two or multiple it by 0.50.
  2. For 8-12 roof slope: you’d need cricket’s height to be 1/3 of chimney width. Divide the chimney width by three or multiple it by 0.33.
  3. For 6-12 roof slope: you’d need cricket’s height to be 1/4 of chimney width. Divide the chimney width by 4 or multiple it by 0.25.
  4. For 4-12 roof slope, you’d need cricket’s height to be 1/6 of chimney width. Divide the chimney width by 6 or multiple it by 0.06.
  5. For 3-12 roof slope: you’d need cricket’s height to be 1/8 of chimney width. Divide the chimney width by 8 or multiple it by 0.0125.

As the chimney is usually made in custom to match with style and design of each roofing system, roof cricket installation cost can be quite pricey. The average cost of 30-inch chimney is about $400-$500, including the materials and the labor costs.

Repairing a cricket that’s already existed or installing new one on an existing roof may charge you even more, because the labor work is considered more intensive.

Chimney is such a spot with trouble potential, that’s why besides installing cricket, you also need to annually inspect it. Now you know ‘what is a cricket in roofing’. You can discuss it more conveniently with professional roofer or qualified company to install it.