A chimney cricket — not to be confused with Jiminy Cricket of Disney fame—is, according to Wikipedia, “a ridge structure designed to divert water on a roof around the side of a chimney.” We’ve already discussed previously how water is your chimney’s mortal enemy. A chimney cricket’s true beauty is in its design. Its sole purpose in life is to prevent water from pooling up on your roof around the chimney. This prolongs your chimney’s service life and decreases the likelihood of water damage (particularly in the area where the chimney and roof meet).


A chimney cricket, for all intents and purposes, is like a mini roof section installed behind your chimney. The gable roof design keeps the water from pooling behind and around the chimney, eventually resulting in a leak. In order to construct a chimney cricket, the sections of your roofing materials (shingles, metal, wood shakes, etc.) within at least a 3-4 foot area of your chimney must be removed (we’re careful not to damage the materials so they can be put back into place upon the completion of the job). Once these materials have been removed, a support frame for the cricket must be constructed and attached to both your chimney and the roof so as to prevent things from moving over time). A plywood frame is then cut to size and attached to the support frame so as to provide a surface to which we can attach the roofing materials (after all, you want it to blend in with the rest of the roof). With the support frame and cricket base now in place, we can reattach the roofing materials that were removed in the beginning stages of the project.


This is a common question. Many homeowners mistakenly believe that the inherent pitch of the roof will cause the water to run off and that a cricket is just superfluous. This thought process is highly flawed. Depending on your particular roof layout and the location of your chimney in relation to the intersecting roof sections, water puddling up around the chimney can be a real problem. This water could not only damage your chimney but could also create a need for roof repairs as well. Handfuls of homeowners attempt to fix roof leaks around their chimneys with a bucket of roofing tar, thinking that by some miracle this will fully rectify the situation. However, this does nothing more than mask the problem, postponing much needed repairs until a later date. If you’re in the market to sell your home, excessive amounts of roofing tar can serve as a huge red flag for any potential homebuyers.

If you’ve noticed water accumulating around your chimney or if you’ve noticed a leak around your chimney inside your home, it’s time to take care of that leaky chimney. Give the certified chimney service professionals at Old Smokey’s Fireplace & Chimney a call today! We’ll be looking forward to hearing from you!