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What is The Rake of a Roof?


Many people think that a roof is made up form a single sheet of roofing material covering the whole roof. But the reality is far different, a roof is a combination of various complex roofing elements and features. Gaining knowledge about the anatomy of your roof can help you make a well-informed decision.

There are a lot of specialized terms associated with a roof and only a professional roofing Company understands them all. however, there’s one part of the roof that’s worth understanding, and that’s the rake of the roof. Today we are going to fully explain what a roof rake is and why knowing about it is important.

Defining the Rake of a Roof

Any gabled roof has a rake of a roof, commonly known as a roof rake (not to be confused with the tool also named a roof rake). It is specifically the exposed portion of a gabled roof that rises from the sloped sides of the roof’s eaves to the ridge. It is usually made from a variety of roofing materials and covers the top edge of a roof.

Common possibilities are PVC or concrete, pine, cedar, and smartboard. The builder will choose a type of board that complements the design and trim of the house, or they may choose to cover it in metal to match the roof’s metalwork.

Functions of a Rake

The rake of a roof serves many important functions, ensuring that your home always remains protected.

  1. Deflecting Elements

The primary function of the roof rake is to divert various elements such as rainwater, snow, and debris away from the roof. thereby, playing a pivotal role in strengthening the structural integrity of the roof. As snow or rainwater falls on the roof, the rake diverts it away from the roof’s underlying materials. This prevents your roof from a wide range of moisture related damages such as mold & moss growth or rot.

  • Structural Support

It’s critical to distribute the weight of the roofing materials and the elements equally in order to maintain a strong and stable roofing structure. A roof’s rake is a major factor in achieving this equilibrium. Roofers ensure that the rake distributes the weight equally across its surface by supplying the proper amount of slope. This matters for a number of reasons.

Initially, equidistant weight distribution aids in avoiding any focal areas of tension on the roof. Improper distribution of the roof’s weight may result in weak points or possible damage zones.

Secondly, appropriate water diversion decreases the additional load on the roof during rainy conditions. A roof may sustain damage from a shallow inclination or uneven roofing materials.

Beyond Gabled Roofs

While the rake is most commonly associated with gable roofs, it’s not exclusive to this style. Other roof designs with angled edges meeting a horizontal overhang can also feature rakes. For instance, some hip roofs, which have sloping sides all around, may have a rake along their inclined edges. Regardless of the roof style, the rake’s functions remain consistent, providing deflection and support.

Rake vs Roof Rake

Most people get confused between the roof rake and rake. Both of them sound the same but there’s a big difference between them.

  1. Rake (roof component)

This refers to the slanted edge of a roof, specifically on a gable roof. It extends from the eaves (the horizontal overhang) all the way up to the ridge (the peak) of the roof.  There’s also a board installed along this sloped edge called a “rake board” which provides structural support and can be decorative.

  • Roof Rake (tool)

This is the long-handled tool with a flat surface used to remove snow safely from a roof.


The roof’s rake, its slanted edge, isn’t just aesthetic. It deflects rain, snow, and debris, safeguarding the underlayment and structure. It also provides crucial support, acting like a roof’s backbone. So next time you look up, appreciate the rake – a silent guardian of your home’s security and style.

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