Code requirements for dead valleys?

I have a hail claim (insurance paid) house - USAA - & they have one dead valley where two valleys meet for around a 3’ horizontal section & another area where for around 12", a heavy dose of cement was put @ the bottom of the valley where it meets a stucco wall.

My issue is that in talking to the adjuster (inside adjuster; I wasn’t there when the inspection was performed as the client contacted me post)… in talking to the adjuster, they won’t pay for these changes unless it’s required by code.

Does anyone have any idea where in BOCA or Southern Standard or any other code guide that I can find documentation on where a cricket or dead valley is required? (I mention cricket because I have another house - AllState - that has a 60" wide chimney, bricked, without one & IIRC, these are required for all chimneys 30" & wider; has been code since around '82 or so).

Thanks, y’all.


You should be able to reference NRCA or SMACNA guidelines for acceptable roofing and flashing practices.

Also, I would tend to think that this is an upgrade, not required to be covered by insurance, since the original construction was already in place.

I think if you post that same question on the forum, in their exteriors sub-forum, you will find some inspectors who could pull up the codes as a reference for you.

I have been on that forum for over a year, so reference my name in thew post if you like, to establish a bit of referable credibility if you wish.

You may even want to ask the question on forum in the General section sub-forum, which is for cat adjusters.


Thank you, Ed. I will go after those options as soon as I get back (about to leave for a family function).

Even though it’s ‘existing construction’, that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t have been done the first time.

I’ll post photos later on as well… not using my ‘work’ computer @ the moment.

I also have a 3rd house with an existing cricket but it’s in craptacular condition… needs to be replaced & the adjustment didn’t compensate for this @ all.


Yeah… great, J. Now can you point me towards actual code documentation that would apply to Texas? The NRCA handbook won’t help much if it’s not building code applied.

Here’s the first area:

& The stucco section, a proposed remedy detailed:

The metal section would continue as one fully sautered component around the corner & down the slope, but I can’t really show that on this one photo…

This next photo is from a different house - chimney with no cricket (home built around 11 years ago). The adjuster tells me he’s pretty sure the client has $ 5K allowed for “code compliance” & this would also apply for stuff like cedar shake shingles which, in our market, get removed in favor of decking & shingles.

Finally, this last house has a generically craptacular cricket that’s in serious need of replacement (along with a lot of trim issues).

Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of this bunged up cricket from an angle, but the center piece is gapped on each side where it lays over & it’s about one inches worth of a fishmouth on each side @ the center of the layover. Also, the edges @ the trim have rusting. The trim on this chimney (in a lot of areas of the house, not just the cricket) need replacement, however you’d think that insurance should pay for the trim R & R (remove existing & @ least labor to put the same piece back on, if not replace with new).

So, anyone have opinions to share?



In the first picture it is pretty obvious that this should have been an epdm area to start with(IMO).
In the second could you build a sloped valley that starts up about a foot from the original area(where your red line is on the sloped roof) and run the plywood out to the corner, basically you will still have a dead valley but it will slope a little bit to the corner and not be a flat 15" section.
Here in AK I am pretty sure if a chase is larger than 28" you need a cricket. You could build a wooden frame and then have your local sheet metal shop fabricate a cricket out of stainless steel or copper depending on the application. Copper would be a lot easier to work with as it is more plyable and easier to solder.

Hope these ideas help.


Keith / RoofBoy, I don’t really follow you on the ideas for the 2nd photo.

As for whether it needs the cricket or not for the final shot, that’s not a problem (as is the construction; I have pricing for all the required work on these three0. My primary concern is finding documentation ONLINE or in some other printed resource that shows these are issues related to code, not merely NRCA guidelines (because building code for the local municipality would supercede NRCA guidelines).


In the second photo on the left side of the valley area. I would come up about 5 to 6 shingles and start the plywood there running it to the corner. You still will have a dead valley area but it will slope. You still will need to cut the stucco and add metal but it will be on a sloped area and not flat.
I was running a job and I had to build crickets behind all chases that were bigger than 28". That is AK but I don’t know about other states.



I understand that you were putting in crickets for those situations… but what was the code requirement based on & where can I find actual physical documentaiton of this requirement??

Much thanks for your input.

Did you try that Home Inspector Forum yet?

Those guys seem to be able to pull code references out of a magic hat for all sorts of predicaments.


The GAF Pro Field Guide has specs for crickets but they are pretty general. (p. 286-287) Honestly I always did the crap by eye myself, if you’re that worried about minimum requirements I’d give the local bldg inspector a ring and ask. As far as those other pics you showed, I’d say you have a handle on it. I’d use copper for both areas.

Ed, I finally registered & posted on NACHI today (yesterday, I had a customer visit in the AM & right after that, I took Monday off & we did Sea World with the kids).

Tar, field guides from mfg’s don’t really help. I may have to place a call to the building inspector’s office or go down there if I can’t get this sorted out somewhat soon.