When your chimney is located on a downward slope of your roof, you most likely are experiencing water pooling around the base of your exterior chimney where it meets the roof. Similarly, your chimney may have a width of over 30 inches, which can also cause water to accumulate around the chimney’s base. This water accumulation can be dangerous to your masonry chimney as it can seep into the bricks and mortar and cause serious damage and deterioration. Water leaking down your chimney walls is another possibility. At Owens Chimney Systems, we know how to solve this problem by building and installing a chimney cricket as part of a customized flashing system to protect your chimney from water penetration. We would like to tell you more about what a chimney cricket is and its important job of preventing water from entering your chimney.
What is a Chimney Cricket?
According to the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI), a chimney cricket is a small peaked roof which is installed on the back side of your chimney to deflect water and debris from your chimney. Made from galvanized steel, stainless steel, or aluminum, a chimney cricket can be excellent protection against water infiltration of your chimney.
How Does a Chimney Cricket Protect My Chimney from Water Penetration?
Shaped like a triangle or other shape with angled sides, a chimney cricket has a ridge on its top, and when water meets the cricket, the water automatically flows down the angled sides and away from your chimney. For an example of its importance, think about your roof and chimney in the winter. When the temperatures drop below freezing and it snows, the water from melting snow flowing down your roof eventually refreezes, and if you have a problem with water accumulating around your chimney, you could end up with that water freezing behind your chimney, which causes an ice dam. An ice dam is a large amount of ice that prevents water from flowing down the roof and possibly causes water penetration into your chimney and roof. A chimney cricket would prevent an ice dam from occurring because it will direct water around the chimney and keep it from pooling around the chimney’s base.
Why Would I Need a Chimney Cricket Installed?
If your chimney is located on a downward slope, you most likely will need to include a chimney cricket in your flashing system to prevent water from accumulating around your chimney base. Also, if your chimney has a width of 30 inches or more, you should definitely have a chimney cricket installed on the backside of your chimney. In fact, some local building codes require a cricket installation on chimneys having a width over 30 inches.
Why is it So Important to Prevent Water Penetration?
Water leaks are the biggest enemy of your masonry chimney because of the amount of damage and deterioration it can cause to the bricks, mortar, chimney flue, and the interior of your home. Protecting your chimney with properly installed flashing including a cricket can save you from expensive repairs caused by water penetration.
If you have any further questions about the importance of a chimney cricket, contact Owens Chimney Systems today. We can discuss our flashing and cricket installation process that helps you keep water out of your chimney.