If someone asks you if you have a cricket on your roof, your first inclination may very well be that you really have no idea what a cricket might be doing on your roof but you do not believe so…
However, you may actually have one and not even realize it!!
Many times people have chimneys that fall within the angle of their roofline either along the roofline itself or smack dab in the middle of their roof.
When the chimney is placed in these areas, it is a prime target for water to bash the back of the chimney as it is gliding down the roof and somehow find its way into the house.
Even seemingly properly flashed chimneys can fall victim to this flow of water as water does not need to have that big of an area to squeeze through and gradually work its way into your home.
A cricket, or a water diverter as some often refer to it, is a little hump that is built into the roof directly in back of the chimney and shingled over as the rest of the roof system would be.
Once the cricket is in place, any water that heads towards the back of the chimney will easily be “diverted” around the chimney and allowed to continue its path off the roof.
If a cricket is not there, a chimney that is indeed 100% water tight on its backside, can gradually lose its water tight effectiveness as it is beaten up with water crashing up against it over a period of time.
A cricket will help preserve the chimney’s flashing and allow it not to have its normal life expedited by the constant streams of water that are natural by-products of precipitation events.
Although a cricket, in my opinion, should be built when the roof is constructed in the area where the chimney would be going, this is far from the case.
We deal with quite a number of calls from frustrated homeowners every year that have water staining near the chimney, are confident in the chimney’s flashing, and are absolutely bewildered as to why the water is coming into their home.
After a brief conversation with some pictures, the light bulb often goes off and the concept of the cricket and its benefits immediately is recognized.
Though the sound of a chirping “cricket” on a late summer evening may be peaceful or annoying depending on who you ask, the absence of a cricket behind your chimney can lead to something that almost everyone can agree is TRULY annoying – water penetrating into the interior of your home!!