Diverting Water From Rooftop Curbs: An Overview Of Crickets

Posted on: 15 April 2015

Having a sound and secure roof is the first step in preventing water intrusions. Most roofs only last, on average, half of their expected lifespan, and are one of the main causes of water intrusion, which makes up approximately 40% of all building-related problems. Rooftop curbs and the intersection where the chimney and the roof meet are some of the more vulnerable parts of a roof. Roofing crickets can secure these areas to divert water away.

A Look at Cricket Designs

Roofing crickets are most commonly installed in conjunction with two-way tapered systems and are in the shape of a diamond or a triangle. Crickets typically slope upwards from the lowest points on the roofing structure, and their design is compromised of two elements: the slope and the configuration. Most roofing contractors recommend that the crickets have twice the slope of the adjacent roof field, so any residual water left on the roof can dissipate within 48 hours.

The configuration of the crickets will depend on the slope of the roof and the material. Understanding the importance of installing the proper configuration can help prevent many problems related to water intrusions, as the configuration is primarily responsible for the effectiveness of the cricket's drainage properties. The length to width ratio of crickets should be 3 to 1 when the slope of the roof is 1/8 or 1/4 with a material slope of 1/4 or 1/2 respectively. If the slope of the roof and the slope of the material is the same, the length to width ratio of the cricket should be closer to 4 to 1. 

Location Affects Ideal Material

The type of material the cricket is constructed from will depend on the location of installation. Generally speaking, if the cricket is relatively small, most roofing contractors recommend using sheet metal and flashing cement. Larger crickets responsible for a larger workload are typically first constructed as part of the roofing frame. Afterwards, the cricket is covered with wood sheathing and asphalt shingles for a more aesthetically pleasing and stable structure. 

Maintaining Roofing Crickets

Overall, if the roofing crickets were installed properly, they require very little maintenance and repair; however, you should still be diligent in inspecting the roofing crickets regularly to make sure that they are in good condition. Repairing roofing crickets will be much easier and cost-efficient than having to deal with water intrusion problems. To maintain the roofing crickets:

  • have roof inspected at least twice a year by a professional. The professional should check for leak and for any tears in the cricket. It is also important to check whether water is being effectively diverted and not pooling at the joints.
  • remove dirt and debris that may be sitting at the intersection of the crickets and the chimneys or rooftop curbs. Dead leaves, dirt and other particles can affect the condition of the roofing crickets, and cause permanent or irreparable damage.
  • install a waterproof membrane over the sides and edges of the roofing cricket.
  • ensure the cricket is properly fastened and secured. 

Conclusion

Roofing crickets are relatively easy to install, and can have a huge impact on the lifespan of your roof. Crickets are effective in diverting water from the roof to prevent it from pooling and to prevent water intrusion problems that could permanently damage and compromise the integrity of the interior architectural structure of your home. If you do not have roofing crickets installed yet, speak with a roofing contractor to determine whether crickets can help enhance the performance of your roof and the type of design and configuration that is most appropriate for your roof. 

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