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What Is The Rake Of A Roof?

Published on Monday June 27, 2022

Many homeowners think of their roof as a singular piece of material, when actually it’s a highly complex combination of many different features and elements. Learning the anatomy of your roof can help you know how to better maintain it as a homeowner, and it can help you determine when you need to call in a professional to resolve a problem.

There are a lot of specialized terms for the various aspects of your roof, but oftentimes, only professional roofers understand what they mean. Hips, ridges, dormers, valleys, and rakes all refer to a specific area of the roof.

What is the Rake of a Roof?

So, what is the rake edge of a roof? Simply put, this is part of a gabled roof. The rake of a roof is the exposed area of a gabled roof, usually extending from an eave to the ridge of the roof where the roof slopes. The rake of a roof is designed to cover the upper edge of the roof. 

Manufacturers make a roof rake out of a variety of roofing materials to serve different roofing preferences. It can be made of PVC, cedar, pine, concrete, or even smartboard just to name a few options. Typically, a builder will choose what kind of base to match the home’s style. They may clad the roof rake with metal if they need to match a metal roof.

Purpose of the Rake of a Roof

The main purpose of the rake edge on a roof is to provide a moisture barrier for your home’s roofing system. They are also designed to prevent insects, pests, and animals from getting into your roof and causing damage. The rake of a roof protects any gaps and crevices in the rest of your roofing system to help keep it protected from moisture infiltration and insect infestations, as well as all of the damages these things can create.

The Rake of a Roof vs. Roof Rake

Now you have some clarity on what the rake edge is, it’s helpful to clarify what a rake of a roof is not. For example, there is a big difference between the rake of a roof and a roof rake. 

As described already, the rake of a roof is the exposed portion on the edge of a gable roof, extending from the eave to the ridge on the sloped side of the roof. It covers the top edge to protect the integrity of your roof.

A roof rake is a tool used to remove snow from the roof of a home. It is not a part of your roof’s anatomy at all. 

Types of Rake Edges for Roofs 

A roof rake can be designed in different ways. It is often exposed — as you’ll see on cottages and most sheds — and it becomes part of the roof and home design. It can also be a closed rake which means it is closed in by the rake boarding and soffit to create a simple design. You can also have an overhanging and extended rake, which is wider with a more intricate soffit. 

As mentioned before, manufacturers can make the rake of a roof out of a variety of materials. This is to help them match the style of the home and roof. 

Issues to Look out for with the Rake of a Roof

As with any aspect of your roof, the rake of a roof is susceptible to certain issues and common roofing problems. Here are a few maintenance issues you should keep an eye on to ensure the rake of your roof is always in the best shape possible:

  • Moisture and humidity damage during wet seasons
  • Ice dams in the winter
  • Leaks
  • Insect or animal nests or infiltration
  • Rot, mold, and decay

How to Maintain the Rake of a Roof

The best way to keep the rake of your roof (and the entire rest of your roof) in good condition is to keep it clean and get an annual roof inspection from a professional roofing contractor. You can’t always tell if there is any developing damage to your roof when you’re looking at it from the ground or even inspecting the interior of the attic on your own. Sometimes you need a trained, professional eye to catch developing issues and fix them before they become serious problems.

When to Call a Professional for Help

Always reach out to a professional roofing contractor when you run into issues with the rake of your roof — or when you encounter any roof-related problem. Catching problems early on is the best way to prevent catastrophic (and costly) roofing jobs. Long Roofing is experienced in all home improvement projects, including keeping your roof sound and healthy. If you’re looking for high-quality roof replacements, the experts at Long Roofing can get the job done. Find your closest Long Roofing location today.

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