What is a cricket?
A cricket is a double triangle structure located on a roof behind the chimney. Below is a typical cricket.
What does a cricket do?
A cricket continues the slope (and thus flow of water) of the roof down. It prevents water from pooling behind the chimney. Below is an image of a chimney that is 4 feet wide without a cricket. Water has been pooling behind the chimney for years. You can see in the other image the wall paneling above the fireplace inside the home. Notice the cracked and curling paneling. This is from years of moisture making its way down the wall.
Does my chimney need a cricket?
If your chimney is 30 inches or wider, it needs a cricket. This building code went into effect in 2012. If your home was built prior to 2012, your chimney may not have one. That doesn’t mean it was built wrong. It just wasn’t code at that time. If your chimney is 30 inches or wider, it is a good idea to add a cricket and prevent costly roof leaks from pooling water.
How do I add a cricket?
Any roofing company and most general contractors will be able to add a cricket to your chimney. There are many options for materials that can be used, but a material that matches the existing roof is best. Keep in mind if your roof does not have a cricket, and you get a new roof, code will require one to be added. Check with your insurance company, as the addition of a cricket is often covered by your homeowner’s insurance.