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What Is A Roof Cricket? Do You Really Need It?

Posted on January 11, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 8 Min.

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What Is A Roof Cricket? Do You Really Need It?

Did you recently come across the word roof cricket? It may come up when you call a roof inspector to check for leaks, and they reveal that you need a new chimney cricket. A roof cricket is a tiny peak that redirects water away from the leak-prone areas of your roof, such as chimneys and dead valleys. 

If you want to learn what a roof cricket is and whether you need one, this blog will be a helpful resource for you. At Epic Exteriors Roofing, we help homeowners learn more about the roofing industry, so they can make more informed decisions about their homes.

You’ll get the following information from this blog:

  • What is a roof cricket?
  • Is it necessary for your home?
  • The importance of chimney crickets.
  • Roof cricket designs and materials.
  • Requirements for building a cricket on a roof.
  • How much does a roof cricket cost?

Let’s start by understanding the basics of roof crickets.

What Is A Roof Cricket?

Roof Cricket
Roof Cricket

A roof cricket is a small but highly useful part of a roof that is designed to protect your home from water damage. A cricket is a small peaked structure that is built on the leeward or backside side of a roof accessory, like a chimney, skylight, or vent.

  • The origin of the name for a roof cricket is not entirely clear, but it is speculated that it may have been derived from the resemblance of the peaked structure to a cricket’s back. Another theory is that the name comes from the cricket-like chirping sound that water can make as it flows over the peaked structure.
  • The function of a roof cricket is to deflect water around the bumps and protrusions along your roof to prevent water from pooling around this area and causing leaks. Crickets divert the water into the roof valleys and down to the gutters. This protects your home from structural damage, mold, algae, and roof failure.

But what happens if you don’t have it? Isn’t the metal flashing on your roof enough? Let’s find out the answers to these questions and take a closer look at the functions and importance of roof cricket.

Is A Roof Cricket Necessary For Your Home?

When it comes to protecting your home from water damage, every detail counts – and that includes the often-overlooked roof cricket. While metal flashing is an important part of a roofing system, it’s not a substitute for a cricket structure. 

  • Flashing is designed to seal the edges of the roofing materials around the leak-prone areas of the roof, but it doesn’t always necessarily divert water away from those areas. 
  • A roof cricket, on the other hand, is specifically sloped to guide water around the high and low points of a roof rather than allowing it to collect and cause trouble.
  • Without this vital structure in place, water can collect around the low-lying areas of the roof, slowly damaging the shingles and slipping behind them. When a strong gust of wind comes along it can easily reach the inner layers of the roof.
  • It’s also worth mentioning that roof crickets not only serve a functional purpose but also enhance the aesthetic appeal of a roof. They are designed to blend seamlessly with the rest of your roofing system, which gives the home a clean and polished look.

Roof crickets became a necessity when the 2012 IBC (International Building Code) stated that a chimney cricket is mandatory when the length of the chimney is over 30 inches. However, if you have an older roof, you may not know about it, and thus, it might be the right time to get a proper chimney cricket. But why is this cricket structure more critical for a chimney than any other roofing component? Here’s what you need to know:

Why Are Chimney Crickets So Important?

 Chimney Crickets
Chimney Crickets

Chimney crickets play a crucial role in protecting the back of a chimney and creating a harmonious look around it. That’s because chimneys have an entirely different vertical profile and composition. They are also the longest part of your house and go all the way from the ground floor up to the roof and above. This is why it becomes more critical to cover it at a perfect angle using a cricket structure. 

Other than a chimney cricket, there are many other types of crickets you can find at several other locations along a roof:

  • Dead valley roof cricket
  • Skylight cricket
  • Roof cricket between two gables
  • Flat roof crickets

There are multiple designs and materials to build roof crickets, and your choice depends entirely on your taste and budget. Here are some of the most appealing and effective designs for pitched roofs.

Most Popular Roof Cricket Designs

Roof crickets are sloped in the same direction as the main roof so that water is channeled in the right direction. The choice of design depends on the location in which the cricket will be built. 

Peaked Roof Cricket

This is the most traditional and recognizable design, featuring a peaked shape that slopes in the opposite direction as the main roof. It is often used on chimneys and skylights and effectively diverts water away from projections.

Saddle Design

This design features a peaked shape that is wider than it is tall. It’s often used on protuberances that are wider than they are tall, such as dormers and bay windows. This design effectively diverts water around the protrusion and also provides a more aesthetically appealing look.

Wall Cricket

This design is used when a roof feature is small and extends above the roofline, for example, a tubular skylight. A wall cricket resembles a low wall that’s built around the feature and also provides structural support to it.

Custom Pattern

This design is done to meet the specific needs of the homeowner, and it can be customized to match the architectural style of your roof, house, or surrounding landscape. A reliable and experienced roofing contractor will take you through the best creative options for your home. They will also explain which material is suitable to build roof crickets based on your local weather conditions.

The material chosen plays a big role in maintaining aesthetic appeal and enhancing the durability of the roof cricket. So, let’s learn what roof crickets are made of, so you can pick the best material.

What Are Roof Crickets Made Of?

A roof cricket is typically made of the same materials as the roof itself. However, if you have a specific theme and purpose in mind, you can customize or choose a different material for your roof crickets.

Asphalt Shingles

If you have an asphalt roof, then you can choose asphalt shingles to cover your roofing crickets. The structure will be made of mini, rafter-like beams, followed by an ice and water shield and shingle layer.

Metal Crickets

Metal crickets are a popular option for chimneys and skylights, and for good reason. Metals like galvanized steel, aluminum, and copper are highly durable and resistant to fire and insects. Additionally, metals can be painted to match the color of the main roof, making them visually appealing.

Wood, Clay & Slate 

Clay tile cricket
Clay tile cricket

If you are looking for an invisible and seamless appearance, roof crickets can be covered by the same material as your roof regardless if the material is wood shakes, clay tiles, or slate slabs. However, skylight crickets are factory-made and are attached to its frame. So you need to ask your roofing contractor for a matching shade.


PVC or TPO roof crickets are a synthetic option. These are some lightweight but sturdy options that are flexible and easy to work with. They may be visible on the roof, but their watertight and insulative nature makes them a great choice.

It’s always best to consult with a professional roofer to determine the best material for your roof cricket. A professional will be able to take into account the specific needs of your home, the climate, and your budget. 

Note: If you are wondering how to build a roof cricket yourself, it’s essential to understand that building a cricket on a roof requires utmost precision and impeccable knowledge of roofing. In some states, it may be necessary to hire a licensed roofing contractor for the job. Here are some prerequisites for building a roof cricket.

Roof Cricket Requirements

When you look for a reliable roofing contractor, the first thing is to ensure they are from around the same area as you. Research online and read their reviews to shortlist the best ones in the area. After that, schedule a consultation and ask whether they provide a free quote for their services. During the consultation, you can also ask about their license, references, and experience in installing roof crickets.

Here’s a list of roofing tools and safety gear that are required to build a cricket on a roof.

Roofing Gear:

  • Roofing nails or screws
  • Roofing cement
  • Wooden beams
  • Shingles
  • Ice and water shield
  • Roof Flashing material
  • Roofing jacks
  • Hammer
  • Scaffolding

Safety Gear:

  • Hard hat
  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves
  • Non-slip shoes
  • Safety harness
  • Roofing ladder
  • Eye protection
  • Cable suspension
  • Roofing foam pads

It’s important to note that this is just a general list and the specific gear required may vary depending on the roofing materials, roof cricket design, the roof structure, and local building codes.

In addition to the basic tools and requirements, some more specialized and expensive tools may be required for installing a roof cricket that may not be readily available to the average homeowner. 

Here is a list of some of these tools:

  • Roofing Snips: These specialized cutting tools are used to cut metal flashing and other roofing materials.
  • Power Drill: A power drill is often required to attach the cricket to the roof deck.
  • Roofing Torch: A roofing torch may be required to melt roofing cement or tar and to weld the roofing membranes together.
  • Air Compressor: An air compressor may be required to power roofing tools such as nailing guns or staplers.
  • Level: A roofing level is used to ensure that the cricket is installed at the proper pitch and correct level to divert water in the right direction.
  • Pliers: Roofing pliers are used for gripping and bending metal flashing, and for installing roofing nails or screws.

Buying everything (roofing materials, safety gear, and tools) will increase the overall cost of your project, making it an expensive ordeal. Consider instead hiring a professional service that will be much more cost-effective. 

So, how much does a roof cricket cost? Here’s an overview of the average expense.

How Much Does A Roof Cricket Cost?

Typically, crickets are installed as part of a roof repair or a replacement project. During a roof repair project, installing a cricket can range from $700 to $1,000. If it’s not a part of a repair project, building a new roof cricket may cost between $150 and $500. In the case of a roof replacement project, the overall cost is usually between $5,000 and $9,000. 

The cost of a roof cricket can vary greatly depending on several factors, including the size of the roof protuberance, the material used for the cricket, the complexity of the roof’s structure, and the local labor cost.

At Epic Exteriors Roofing, we provide free estimates and roof inspections to all homeowners in New Jersey. If you are looking for a fair and flawless roof repair and cricket installation service, we can help you.

Do You Want To Fortify Your Home With Roof Crickets?

At Epic Exteriors Roofing, we understand the importance of a secure and long-lasting roof. The weather in the South and Central Jersey area can go stormy, so we’re here to make sure your home is protected at all times. As part of the New Jersey community, we are dedicated to providing you with the highest quality workmanship and customer service. 

We believe that our clients deserve the best, and that’s why we only use the finest materials and tools for every roofing project. Whether you need a roof cricket installation service or a complete roof replacement, we’re here to make the process as seamless and stress-free as possible. Epic Exteriors Roofing has helped hundreds of homeowners improve their homes over the years, and we look forward to helping you too.

Call us at (609)-342-9829 for a free consultation and discuss your requirements with one of our experts. Our honest and knowledgeable team can explain all about your roof components and make you feel confident about your decision to choose us.

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