Roof Crickets

October 4, 2022

A roof cricket is a small roof area constructed to divert water from a horizontal intersection of a roof. It is often referred to as a saddle. It can be made of sheet metal or of the same material as the roof covering. For residential roofs, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends crickets be installed when:

  • A large volume of water, snow, ice, or debris is expected
  • The chimney is more than 24 inches wide
  • The roof slope is 6:12 (27 degrees) or greater

In the NRCA roofing manual, they recommend that if you have a roof penetration that is two feet or wider across, and it’s going to get in the way of water draining, you should put a cricket behind it. For metal roofing, a cricket will be constructed from metal. If they are wider than 18 inches, the NRCA recommends wood framing be installed at the underside to support the cricket. It is also recommended to fabricate crickets in a shop, rather than on the jobsite, to better control the quality. 

Common problems with roof crickets:

  • Not built wide enough
  • Not built with enough pitch to shed water around the penetration
    • The slope of the cricket should be the same or slightly more than the slope of the roof
    • The steeper the slope, the taller and longer the cricket should be
  • Built with non-compatible materials, such as dissimilar metals
    • Galvanic corrosion can occur
  • Field fabricated crickets may be flawed
    • More apt to have weak points and pinholes resulting in leaks

Prefabricated crickets by ATAS:

  • Manufactured in .050 aluminum which allows them to be installed without a wooden cricket platform underneath
  • If fabrication can’t be done using a 4’ x 10’ sheet, then they’ll be manufactured in .080 aluminum, and will be welded