What is the Rake of a Roof?

What is the Rake of a Roof?

There is a wide range of specialized terms for the parts of a roof that are used mostly by professional roofers: ridges and valleys, hips and hipped edges, abutments, and dormers, just to name a few. For the purposes of most homeowners, knowing all of these terms isn’t typically necessary. Outside of the occasional need to clear leaves from rain gutters or apply a coat of paint to soffits, it’s enough just to know that the roof is intact and protecting the home. There’s one part of a roof, however, that’s worth fully understanding for any homeowner, and that’s the rake of the roof — so what is it, exactly? 

Defining the Rake of a Roof 

The rake of a roof or a roof rake — not to be confused with the tool also called a roof rake — is a part of any gabled roof. Specifically, it’s the exposed part of a gabled roof that extends from an eave to the ridge of the roof’s sloped sides. It covers the top edge of a roof and is typically cut from a variety of roofing materials. 

Concrete or PVC, cedar, pine, and smartboard are all common candidates. The builder will pick a kind of board based on matching the home’s style and trim, or they might clad it in metal to match a metal roof. 

Different Types of Roof Rakes 

Roof rakes can sometimes be exposed, such as often seen on cottages or sheds, where the eave’s framing and rafters are left open by design. More common is a closed rake, boxed in by the rake boarding and the soffit (its bottom surface), which is typically about six inches wide and simple in design. An overhanging extended rake is wider and might have a more intricately designed soffit.  

Possible Problems with the Rake of a Roof 

The reason it’s a good idea to be familiar with this term is that the rake of a roof can be vulnerable to specific problems that can become expensive inconveniences or even outright compromise the integrity of the roof. 

Rake boards protect a home and its roofing system from moisture. Rain, snow, and general humidity can cause damage to a roof, and a roof rake can be particularly vulnerable to the formation of ice dams in the wake of a snowstorm, which can lead to leakage. Proper maintenance of the area of a rake in the wake of precipitation of any kind is key to a roof’s overall health. 

Rake boards also defend the home from pests. Insects and animals like to nest in the shelter of roof openings, and they can damage the roof or infiltrate the house’s attic in the process. An unaddressed pest infestation can lead to extensive damage, and the rake of a roof is a crucial initial line of defense. 

Because of the importance of this little-thought-of part of a gabled roof, it’s best for any homeowner who’s looking into roofing repair or replacement to seek out the kind of professionals who will pay attention to key details like the right choice of rake boards.  

Contact the Experts at Thompson Creek Windows Today 

Rely on the experts at Thompson Creek for the highest standards in roof installation and replacements. With over 40 years of experience in providing dependable solutions using the highest quality materials, we’re always happy to help you find the best roofing for your home. Contact us today for a free consultation.