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Roof Cricket and Why You Need to Know What it Is

There is a lot that goes into making a roof and protecting the home that is underneath.  More than the average homeowner knows about.  The chimney is an important part of the home (for those with a fireplace) and it needs protecting.  One way to do this is with a roof cricket.  What is a roof cricket?  It is a sloped backing that is built on to the chimney to allow water to run down the roof.  Without it, water would pool on the roof and wear away the shingles and masonry.

Lets take a look at why you need to know about roof crickets, how they work, is it required, the cost, inspecting the chimney and roof, and other maintenance.

Why You Need to Know About Roof Crickets

As mentioned above, chimneys are a very important part of the roof and they need to be protected, along with the roof itself.  Roofs are expensive to repair and you want it to last as long as possible. Also, you want the water to be pushed off the roof appropriately so it doesn’t get backed up and cause problems inside the home. Roof crickets also have other names: chimney saddles or chimney diverters.

Here is a picture of a roof cricket at the bottom of the chimney:

Roof cricket
Thanks to Arrow Property Inspection for the use of this image

How the Roof Cricket Works

The roofer builds the roof cricket on the back side of the chimney. Then, usually the same materials that are on the roof, for example asphalt shingles is then added to the top. Sometimes metal flashing is added on top or another material, depending on the budget of the homeowner.  The roofer makes the roof cricket at an angle and part of the building and installation process for the chimney flashing system. The roof cricket is at a slope and needs to be high enough that the water doesn’t reach the peak of it.

To do this, the roof cricket must be set at a higher plane than the rest of the roof.

Here is an example of a roof cricket on the back of the chimney and made of the shingle. It blends in with the roof.

Roof cricket
Thanks to Arrow Property Inspection for the use of this image

Is a Roof Cricket Required

A roof cricket is not required on every roof with a chimney. In fact, it depends on building codes. Up.codes for the state of Florida says,

1503.6 Crickets and Saddles

A cricket or saddle shall be installed on the ridge side of any chimney or penetration greater than 30 inches (762 mm) wide as measured perpendicular to the slope. Cricket or saddle coverings shall be sheet metal or of the same material as the roof covering.

Every state may be different so you will need to look up the requirements.

In case you are interested in the process of building a roof cricket, here is a great video:

Cost of a Roof Cricket

This is a time you want to pay a professional to do this as making sure that the roof cricket is built properly is important. Additionally, you usually can’t find these at a local hardware store as a person who is NOT trained should not be putting it in. Instead, paying a roofer to do this is essential. The roofer will construct the roof cricket and make sure that it fits as each home has one that is custom made to fit the back of the chimney.

So how much should it cost? The price can vary but many roofers charge about $100 or more for the roof cricket and then add labor on top of that for the time it takes for installation.  Don’t forget that adding in flashing and shingles will make it cost more as well. Thinking about reflashing the chimney? Sometimes the roof cricket will be part of the price.

In case you want to reflash the chimney, here is some information: Usually you have a choice of aluminum, copper, or steel for the material for the flashing. The most used is aluminum, but the one that lasts the longest is the copper. Check out this blog about the pros and cons for each.

Inspecting the Chimney and Roof

Inspecting the chimney at least once a year is important, as there are often leaks near the chimney unless the materials are all in place and doing their job.  Summer is a great time to do maintenance and you can get the chimney ready for the fall and winter months when you will be using it. However, you want to inspect more than the chimney.  Not sure where to start?  There is a roof inspection checklist you can follow that will help you.

In addition, looking inside the home is important to see if you have any water stained ceilings. If you do, it can be due to water getting into the home from the roof or other issues.  It is important to have a professional check it out to determine the cause.

Here is an example of what happens to a chimney that does not have a roof cricket. The water gets in and rots the wood, thus causing structural damage and water damage to the home.

Missing roof cricket
Thanks to Ocoee Home Inspections for sharing their image

Other Maintenance

After bad storms, take a look at the gutters to make sure they are clean. If they are, the water will flow through the downspouts properly and out into the yard. Check in the yard to make sure it drains well.  If not, you may need to think about installing a drainage system.

Being in Florida, it is always a good time to check the HVAC.  The last thing you want is it to go out during the hottest months. The coastal areas see the HVAC unit lose some years so here are some ideas for what to check.

As summer is upon us, the rains will increase here in Florida and the temperatures will start to soar.  Don’t forget there are summer maintenance ideas inside and outside the home .

When to Call a Professional

Call a professional if you want to have a roof cricket added to your chimney, you have leaks on the roof, or you find any issues in your roof inspection checklist.  Remember, hiring a professional is worth your time and money to have it done right.  Also, it is dangerous for people who are not trained to be on the roof.

Conclusion

As you can see, a roof cricket is important for keeping water out of the chimney, and allowing water to be diverted down the sides of the roof.  Without it, there can be leaks. We will look at the roof and chimney area as part of our inspection in the Boca Raton area. Think you might need our services?  Leave us a reply below!I

Leaking Kitchen Sink Drain: How to Fix It

We use the kitchen sink all the time from putting water in a pot to washing dishes and hands to throwing away food particles. It is always in use. Noticing that the kitchen sink drain is leaking can be frustrating and instantly you are thinking, how much will this cost me.

Do you see water and are wondering why do I see a leaking kitchen sink drain? There are 7 different areas you can check and try before calling a professional. Those are: under the drain for a leak, the faucet, a loose connection under the sink, clogged P-trap, damaged O- ring, washers that are worn out, or a corroded valve seat.

Let’s take a look at why knowing the reason the kitchen sink drain is leaking is important, how to find the reasons why it is leaking, other maintenance, and when to call a professional.

You Need to Know Why Fixing a Leaking Kitchen Sink Drain is Important

As mentioned above, the kitchen is a popular place in the home. The sink in the kitchen is always in use so a homeowner will usually notice if there is an issue such as a leak. You want to get this fixed right away before there is expensive and possibly irreparrable damage. This is one of many reasons why it is important to fix it right away so you can continue to utilize the kitchen and the sink.

Reasons Why You May Have a Leaking Kitchen Sink Drain

Worn out Putty on the Drain

This often is too thin or worn out and needs replacing. If you put the stopper or drain cover in the drain and fill the sink with water, then add a few drops of food coloring. This will allow you to see where the leak could be coming from. Then, take the drain or stopper out and look under the sink with a flashlight to see if there is a leak.

How to fix it: Replace the putty. If you need to replace the sink drain, that will be difficult and you may need a professional to help.

Leak at the Faucet

You may notice puddles around the faucet when the sink is turned on. If you do, this may be where the leak is. If you don’t see water by the faucet, then check underneath the sink.

How to fix it: Usually this means that you have gaskets that are worn out or failed washers. These can be easily replaced.

Loose water supply connection

Loose Water Supply Connection

If it is a constant leak, it could be an issue in the water supply as sometimes it can spring a leak. There are two water supply connections and you may not notice water leaking unless you look under the sink and the cabinet is soaking or there are wet objects.

How to fix it: Replace the gasket or tighten the connections and coupling nuts

The P trap is clogged

The P-Trap is Clogged

The P trap is under the sink and is curved at the bottom. It prevents the gases from coming up and out of the drain. Over time, debris that goes into the sink will fill this up and cause it to leak. Since it is under the sink, it is often difficult to know right away that this has a leak.

How to fix it: Clean out the P-trap or replace it if there is corrosion from metal parts. There is a P trap also in the bathroom sink. If either one becomes dry, then the sewer gases can escape. It is important to keep it unclogged so this doesn’t happen. Did you notice that there is no P trap and it is an S trap instead? If yes, then you need to contact a plumber and switch it out for you!

O-Ring Wears Out

The O-ring holds the stem of the faucet on and can wear out, thus causing leaking to occur near the handle.

How to fix it: Replacing the O-ring should fix the problem.

Worn Out Washer Can Cause a Leaking Kitchen Sink Drain

Most common reason for a sink to leak. The washers push against the valve seat every time the faucet turns on, thus wearing it out quickly.

How to fix it: Replace the washers

Corroding of the Valve Seat

This is the part that connects the spout and faucet and it can corrode because of water at the valve seat and spring a leak.

How to fix it: clean the valve seat regularly.

Interested in fixing the kitchen sink drain on your own? Here is a video on how to do that. If it is too much for you, reach out to a professional

Other Maintenance

Dishwasher Hose

While you are under the sink, make sure your dishwasher drain hose is not too long. If it is, tie it as a high loop. It needs to be higher than the water level of the dishwasher to prevent water from back flowing into the dishwasher.

Garbage Disposal

The garbage disposal can last 10-15 years if you are using it properly and only putting items that are biodegradable in there. Non-food items, nuts, citrus etc. all go in the trashcan and stay out of the garbage disposal. You may find that when you are under the sink there is water coming from the garbage disposal. This would be due to worn out gaskets, loose screws or drain line connections.

Check the Water

It is a good time to check the water to make sure it isn’t cloudy and doesn’t smell. If it is, it could be due to having a well, sediment, or water in the lines. Sometimes even a change in temperature can cause this.

When to Call a Professional

Call a professional if you are not sure why the kitchen sink drain is leaking. It can be a number of reasons and may be difficult to figure out. Also, they are trained to help you in diagnosis and also in replacement, if needed.

Conclusion

The kitchen is a well-used part of the home and you want everything to be working correctly. We will look at the kitchen sink during our home inspections in Boca Raton and surrounding areas. Think you might need our services? Comment below!