Roof It Forward Case Study: Chimney Cricket Problems
This Cartersville customer called me with a reoccurring leak around his chimney. When I inspected the roof, I immediately noticed the problem and I cringed! The previous contractor had built the chimney directly in the middle of a valley, AND there was no chimney cricket behind the chimney. A chimney cricket is a built up ridge line that is built up the middle of the back-side of a chimney. It exists to create valleys to channel the water that is running down the roof towards the chimney to flow around the chimney instead of splashing against it.
New Chimney Cricket
Georgia Code says that any chimney that is at least 18" wide must have a chimney cricket build behind it to channel water away from the chimney flashing. Well, not only did this 48" wide chimney not have a cricket, but there's this huge valley channeling all of the roof's water directly toward the chimney flashing. Not only this, but because of the way the chimney was positioned within the valley, we wouldn't have to only build a cricket on the back of the chimney, but we'd have to build another cricket on the side of the chimney as well! I've seen a lot of chimney issues in my time. But this is a perfect recipe for a leaking roof and rotten decking!
Because of the way the chimney was positioned within the valley, the double chimney cricket was the only way to go. I was really concerned that this wouldn't come together very nice, simply due to the orientation of the chimney. I made the owner aware that this might not come together to look exactly natural, and that even though we could get the exact shingle that's on the house now, the match isn't going to be exact due to weathering and aging of his existing roof. But the customer understood that this is really the only way to fix what is basically the architect's design flaw that is causing a major leak into their home. The customer agreed to let us take our best shot at it. So we tore out the valley and surrounding shingles, built the double cricket, installed an ice and water shield barrier, installed new step and counter flashing on the chimney and then reinstalled matching shingles. I have to say, I'm very satisfied with how this turned out! And better yet, the customer thinks it looks great and the leak is stopped. Mission accomplished!