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roof cricket

Unveiling Roof Crickets: Essential Protection for Your Home and Business

February , 2024 | 9 min. read

By Cassie Findley

metal roof with brick chimney

Ever noticed water pooling around your chimney after a heavy rainstorm and wondered why?

Architecture is complex, from the tallest building in the world, The Burj Khalifa, to your single-story childhood home. What makes these buildings different exactly? Besides their height, uses, and location, not much. They both have a foundation, four walls, windows, and a roof. They’re more similar than they are different, and let it be known that your single-story on Kenilworth Avenue is just as complex as The Burj.

How so? For many different reasons, really, with your roof being the main one. While you may think that your roof is constructed with a slat of wood that’s plastered with shingles and attached to your home, several different components are intricately designed and placed, each serving a specific, calculated purpose.

Take the roof cricket on your old home, for example. No, not the pesky little chirping bug you named “Justin Timber-Crickett” as your homage to NSYNC in 2002, but the triangular-shaped apparatus behind your chimney. This little cricket provides roofing solutions for water diversion at a critical point on a roof.

Maybe, you’re not even sure what that is in the first place, which is not a bad thing!

We got you! We’re the experts here at RoofCrafters, and while we’re expected to know the ins and outs of roofing components and terminologies, homeowners and business owners like you are not, and it’s our pleasure to teach you the roof cricket essentials!

That being said, if you’re interested in learning more about one of the most integral components of your roof, you’ve come to the right place. By the end of this article, you’ll understand the importance of roof crickets. You'll learn the different types of crickets used on residential and commercial roofs if your home requires them, and why they’re worth investing in. So, let’s get started!

Exploring Roof Crickets: Your Roof's Unsung Hero


So, what exactly is a roof cricket? A roof cricket, sometimes known as a roof saddle, is a ridge-like structure that’s installed around the chimney and is used for roof water management. By helping divert water away from areas that are susceptible to pooling or ponding water.

ponding water on a flat roof off the back of a home

Usually, the cricket has the same slope as the rest of the roof, however, depending on the size of the obstruction or penetration, the pitch can vary. 

mod-bit in a dead valley or cricket area on a roof with shingles

While the anatomy of your roof is complex and the cricket isn’t as widely known as shingles or flashing, it’s one of the most important components. Preventing roof damage is its number one job! Without it, your property could easily be affected by water damage, rot, and dangerous mold.

The Two Main Types of Roof Crickets Explained


There are two types of roofing crickets, which are known as standard flat roof crickets and steep slope roofing crickets. Both provide custom roofing solutions to mitigate pooling water.


tapered insulation on a flat roof

  • Standard flat roofing crickets: this type of cricket is primarily used in flat roofing systems. They are installed at the roof’s edge at regular intervals to aid in the channeling of water away from the building. 

copper cricket being installed on a turret roof

  • Steep slope roofing crickets: this type of cricket is used in areas that create a blockage of water. The purpose of a steep slope cricket is to help prevent or mitigate water from leaking into the home or building through walls, dead valleys, or large roof penetrations.  


tapered cricket insulation over steel deck

On a low-slope roof, crickets are usually built with rigid insulation, which is then covered by the roofing system itself. They’re built in a triangular or diamond-like pattern and are usually double the slope of the roof itself.


On a steep slope roof, crickets are primarily wooden framed structures covered by metal, asphalt shingles, or the roofing material of choice. They’re incognito, mostly. Again, they’re constructed in a triangular pattern and are placed behind chimneys, skylights, and HVAC systems. 

brick chimney on a synthetic slate roof-1

The most common material that crickets are made out of is metal, which includes copper and/or galvanized steel. Remember, the purpose of crickets is to divert water away from the home or building, so we wouldn’t want them to rust or corrode. So, copper and galvanized steel are really good options.

Of course, we can recruit the help of our trusty flashings, which will get placed on the cricket penetration and act as a double defense against water seepage.

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Does Your Roof Need a Cricket? Understanding Requirements


Alright, so does every homeowner need roof crickets? According to ICC Digital Codes, “Chimney crickets are required when the chimney width parallel to the ridgeline is more than 30 inches (762 mm), provided the chimney does not intersect the ridgeline."

chimney coming through a roof with a shoddy repair on the shingles

The cricket diverts the flow of water from the roof around the chimney. Flashing is required between the cricket and the chimney, as it is in other roof-chimney intersections. This will help by enhancing roof longevity and provide you with roofing compliance.

covered chimney with roof cricket

Building codes for cricket regulations aren’t all that extensive folks, but there are plenty of situations where they should be considered. Say your chimney is constructed on an area of your roof that sees a lot of unfavorable weather, such as rain or snow.

Roof leak causing interior insulation and sheetrock damage

If you’re not required by code to have crickets installed, it’s still worth considering to protect your chimney and roof from an unforeseen leak. Any homeowner who’s ever leaked at the base of their chimney knows just how unforgiving it can be.

poor roof maintenance shown on a beautiful home

Did I mention that roof crickets can protect your home from more than just water? It’s true, that a well-positioned cricket can help mitigate debris such as leaves, sticks, and moss from building up on the base of the chimney. Not only is this helpful when it comes to meeting roofing standards but it helps with maintenance efforts and increasing the lifespan of your roof too!  

Commercial vs. Residential: Roof Crickets for Every Building


You ask all of the right questions! Yes indeed, commercial buildings need crickets, too. As most of us can see when we take a trip to the mall, or visit our friend’s apartment complex, it’s noticeable that the roofs on these buildings are flat.

Ponding water on a flat roof

However, they’re not entirely flat. Flat roofs are built with a slight pitch to keep water from pooling, but over time, buildings can shift or sag with age. Sorta like us humans! This allows water to pool in places it wasn’t when it was installed.

water pooled on roof-1

That’s where commercial roofing crickets come in! These crickets are placed along the walls and in front of the curbs and are installed at a slant. This placement helps direct the water into the drains and away from at-risk areas, ensuring that the mall or your friend’s apartment complex can remain operational (and dry) for years to come!

Should I Invest In Roof Crickets for My Home or Business?


As you now know, installing roof crickets can help the roof of your home or business by diverting water away from vulnerable areas. By choosing the right roof cricket we can mitigate pooling water and can increase the lifespan of your roof.

If you’re building a new home or even undergoing a roof replacement soon, roof crickets are worth looking into if you’re keen on adding roof safety enhancements. You'll also save money on future leaks and simplify your roof maintenance routine. The same goes for you business owners out there! If you’re tired of water damage, roof sagging, and mold, adding crickets to your roofing system will certainly help

If you’re still on the fence about roof crickets, getting in touch with a local roofing contractor is your best bet. They’re trained and skilled to help you select the right roof cricket option that fits your budget. If you’re struggling to find the best contractor for the job, be sure to download  our “Top 10 Checklist." It has questions you want to ask your potential roofing contractor while you are interviewing roofers.

image call to action, download the top 10 checklist

If you are still asking "How do I know if my roof needs a cricket?" or "Can roof crickets improve my roof’s lifespan?" Our family of experts at RoofCrafters is here to help.  When it comes to your upcoming roof replacement we can help decide what type of cricket installation your roof needs. Whether that be your family home or commercial business. In the meantime, continue learning about the different components of your roof and read our article, "The Anatomy of a Roof”.

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Cassie Findley

My name is Cassie, and I’m the Content Manager here at RoofCrafters. I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, and made my way out to Florida post-college graduation. I’m incredibly passionate about writing and creating valuable content that helps others with the collaboration of my marketing team. When I’m not working, I enjoy shopping (a little too much), spending time at the beach, and reading!