Does Your Chimney Have a Cricket? Or Need One?
When we talk about chimney crickets, we’re not talking about little bugs that stow away in your chimney. Rather, we’re talking about a very important part of a chimney system, a part that helps keep damaging water away from a chimney’s base. Oliver Twist Chimney & Fireplace of Huntington Beach, CA, would like to tell you a little about chimney crickets and help you determine if your chimney needs one.
What is a chimney cricket?
A chimney cricket is a little peaked structure that raises off the roof and forms a center ridge. It abuts the chimney on the up side of a sloped roof. The purpose of a cricket is to deflect water from rain and melting snow away from the chimney. It’s also an excellent way to keep ice dams from forming around the chimney’s base.
Typically, chimney crickets are made of stainless steel, galvanized steel or aluminum. When built correctly, the cricket will be covered with the same kind of roofing material as the rest of the roof for an aesthetic blend.
Why is a cricket important?
Water is the #1 enemy of chimneys. When water is allowed to pool in the area where a sloped roof meets the chimney, it can lead to a variety of problems, including:
- Water damage to the roof
- Damaged chimney flashing
- Damage to the unseen masonry of the chimney below the roof line
- Rotting in attics and adjacent building materials of the home
- Increased chance of a dangerous mold outbreak
Who needs a chimney cricket?
Any chimney that protrudes from a lower side of a sloped roof can benefit from a chimney cricket. Chimney flashing, which seals the gap between the chimney and roof, is a first line of defense against water. A chimney cricket is a powerful second line of defense.
In some jurisdictions, crickets are required for chimneys that are wider than 30 inches. But even if these components aren’t required where you live, it’s worth considering adding one to your chimney system.
Detecting chimney water damage
Of course, the base of a chimney is just one area where water damage can occur. Water can penetrate the bricks and mortar through cracks and decayed areas. It can flow into interior areas of the chimney when concrete chimney crowns are cracked or split open.
Operating a chimney without a chimney cap provides a clear path for water to run right into the flue. Once inside, it can damage the flue liner and leave your home vulnerable to dangerous combustion gases and fires.
The best way to learn about chimney damage is through a professional inspection. Your inspector can spot obvious signs of damage and malfunction, and he or she can also uncover damage in hidden areas of the chimney system that you may not be aware of.
Chimney crickets and everything else your chimney needs
Oliver Twist is family-owned and family-operated. We’ve served Orange and Los Angeles counties since 1987, providing expert chimney repair, inspection and chimney sweeping services. And we can build you a fine chimney cricket.
Speak with a chimney expert today by calling (714) 843-9944. You can also get in touch through our handy contact form.