What is a cricket in roofing
A cricket is a type of roofing feature that is designed to divert water and snow away from a vulnerable area of a roof. It is often used in areas where two roof slopes meet, such as at a chimney, and is designed to protect the intersection from water damage. A cricket is typically built up from the same material as the roof, such as asphalt shingles, metal, or slate. It is constructed with a higher slope than the rest of the roof, allowing water and snow to be carried away from the vulnerable area.
The purpose of a cricket in roofing
The purpose of a cricket in roofing is to divert water and snow away from vulnerable areas of a roof, such as where two roof slopes meet, and to prevent water from pooling and causing damage. A cricket is typically constructed from the same material as the roof, and is built with a higher slope than the surrounding roof to improve drainage. By directing water away from vulnerable areas, such as chimneys or other roof penetrations, a cricket can help to prevent leaks, water damage, and other problems that can compromise the integrity of the roof and the underlying structure. In short, the purpose of a cricket is to protect the roof and the building from water damage and to extend the lifespan of the roof.
The benefits of having a cricket in roofing
- Improved drainage: A cricket is designed to divert water and snow away from vulnerable areas of a roof, such as where two roof slopes meet, and to prevent water from pooling and causing damage. By improving drainage, a cricket can help to prevent leaks and water damage that can compromise the integrity of the roof and the underlying structure.
- Increased lifespan of the roof: By protecting vulnerable areas of the roof from water damage and other problems, a cricket can help to extend the lifespan of the roof. This can save homeowners money in the long run by reducing the need for repairs and replacement.
- Enhanced energy efficiency: A cricket can also help to enhance the energy efficiency of a building by preventing air leaks and reducing the amount of heat lost through the roof. This can help to lower energy costs and improve the comfort of the building’s occupants.
- Improved safety: By preventing water from pooling on the roof, a cricket can help to reduce the risk of slips and falls, especially during wet or icy conditions.
The drawbacks of not having a cricket in roofing
- Water damage: Without a cricket to divert water away from vulnerable areas of the roof, such as where two roof slopes meet, water can pool and seep into the roof, causing water damage, rot, and mold growth.
- Structural damage: Over time, water damage can compromise the integrity of the roof and the underlying structure, leading to costly repairs or even roof collapse.
- Energy loss: Without a cricket to prevent air leaks and reduce the amount of heat lost through the roof, energy costs can increase due to increased heating and cooling demands.
- Safety risks: Pooled water on a roof can create slip and fall hazards, especially during wet or icy conditions.
- Reduced lifespan of the roof: Without proper drainage, a roof can deteriorate more quickly, leading to a shorter lifespan and the need for more frequent repairs or replacement.
How to install a cricket in roofing
Installing a cricket in roofing typically involves the following steps:
- Assess the roof: Determine the best location for the cricket, taking into account the roof’s slope and the location of any roof penetrations, such as chimneys or vents.
- Measure and cut the materials: Measure and cut the materials for the cricket, which are typically the same as the roofing material used on the rest of the roof. This may include asphalt shingles, metal, or slate.
- Install the underlayment: Install a layer of underlayment, such as felt paper or synthetic roofing material, over the area where the cricket will be installed.
- Build the cricket: Build the cricket by framing it with lumber or metal, creating a sloped surface that will divert water away from the vulnerable area. The cricket should be installed with a slope of at least 1/4 inch per foot to ensure proper drainage.
- Install the roofing material: Install the roofing material over the cricket, using the same technique as used on the rest of the roof.
- Seal the edges: Seal the edges of the cricket with roofing cement or a similar material to prevent water from seeping under the roofing material.
- Inspect and maintain: Inspect the cricket periodically to ensure that it is functioning properly and free of damage, and perform any necessary maintenance or repairs.
It is recommended to hire a professional roofing contractor for the installation of a cricket, as improper installation can lead to water damage and other problems.
How to maintain a cricket in roofing
Maintaining a cricket in roofing is important to ensure that it continues to function properly and protect the roof from water damage. Here are some tips on how to maintain a cricket in roofing:
- Inspect regularly: Inspect the cricket regularly, at least once a year, to look for any signs of damage or wear, such as cracks or missing shingles. Also, check for any signs of water damage, such as water stains on the ceiling or walls inside the building.
- Clean debris: Keep the cricket free of debris, such as leaves and twigs, which can clog the drainage and cause water to pool on the roof.
- Check flashing: Check the flashing around the cricket to ensure that it is properly sealed and not deteriorating. Damaged flashing can allow water to seep into the roof.
- Repair damage: Repair any damage or wear to the cricket promptly to prevent water from seeping into the roof. This may involve replacing missing shingles, patching cracks, or repairing damaged flashing.
- Keep gutters clean: Keep gutters and downspouts clean and free of debris to ensure that water is properly directed away from the roof and the cricket.
- Trim overhanging trees: Trim any overhanging trees near the roof to prevent branches from damaging the cricket and to prevent leaves and twigs from accumulating on the roof.
- Hire a professional: Consider hiring a professional roofing contractor to inspect and maintain the cricket, especially if you are not comfortable working on the roof yourself.
By following these maintenance tips, you can help to ensure that the cricket continues to protect your roof from water damage and other problems for many years to come.