What is a Rake on a Roof and Explanation about It

“What is a rake on a roof,” actually? Many roofing terminologies are hard to understand because they are not commonly used in everyday conversations unless you are a roofer, builder, or constructor. You may find several terms related to the roofing topics such as decking, drip edge, eave, underlayment, and so many more.

The rake is a critical section of the roof you might be familiar with. While it often serves an aesthetic role, rake boards play a functional part too, such as preventing moisture from penetrating the roofing system or your home, and ensuring structural integrity.

Find out more about the roof’s rake boards below.

See also : Choose 5 Main Low Sloped Roof Options

What is a Rake on a Roof

It is the extended outer part of the gable roof that extends from the eave to the ridge, with a drip edge installed on it. This covers the top edge of the roof and is crucial for proper water drainage.

In fact, the rake is a term used to refer to the sloped sides at the end of the gable, so it is not exactly on the roof. The rake may overhang at the tip of the gable, as seen in a gabled roof that extends beyond the wall, or it may not overhang and lie flat, depending on the design.

What is a Rake on a Roof

It is either left open or closed with fascia or soffit. The rake is often designed in such an intricate way. The size and materials vary, but it is commonly made from wood materials. It depends on the builders, as they often have different fascia or trim styles to match the rest of the buildings. Some homeowners may choose to wrap the rake boards with metal to achieve a more polished look.

See Also : How to Install Drip Edge on Shed Roof

The purpose of installing a rake board is to prevent roof damage from running or leaking water behind the siding. Moisture is the most common problem, given the purpose of the rake itself.

It is necessary to conduct regular maintenance, including frequent checks for any damaged, cracked, or rotting rake boards installed on your house. This is especially important for removing snow from the roof in colder climates to prevent damage.

Pest damage is another problem that is often found in this area. The gaps inside the boards or the missing parts of the fascia or soffit might be used as a nest for insects and animals.

Roof Rake Detail

After knowing rake on a roof in general, you may want to understand the further details. Read the following characteristics below to learn about them:


There are various types of roof rakes, typically including extended or abbreviated, exposed overhanging and boxed, and overhanging exposes. These types are chosen based on the architectural style of the building and the specific needs of the roof.

Cottages homes or sheds are usually used exposed rakes instead of closed rakes. The overhanging exposes and extended types are usually wider than the boxed-in types with more intricate details.


Depending on the surface that needs to be covered, the rake board sizes also vary in width. The exposed top edge is usually covered by one 2-inch-sized rake board. The larger sizes are available in one 4-inch or one 6-inch. The length of the rake differs according to the length of the gable’s sides.


Rake boards consist of several cuts of different materials such as concrete board, PVC board, smartboard, or wooden materials like pine and cedar. The type of rake board depends on the fascia and trim style used by the builder for the rest of the building.

How to Install Drip Edge on Rake of Roof

Now that you’re getting the hang of what a rake on a roof and the details of it, you might as well learn how to install drip edge on the boards. This is the step-by-step guide for you to follow.

Read also: Quick Manual on Gutter Apron vs Drip Edge

How to Install Drip Edge on Rake of Roof

  1. Check what type of drip edge you’re using. Different drip edge type requires different installation process.
  2. Start to set the drip edges on the eaves. Place and align it down so the water won’t run through it.
  3. Secure the drip edge using roofing nails in a way that the shingles will cover the nails. You may nail every 12 or 16 inches between each nail.

Each part of the roofing components needs different steps of installation. You also have to do the installation parts in sequence, the roof deck first, the underlayment, and then the drip edges.

Also See : How to Install Drip Edge on Shed Roof with Ease

A detailed explanation about a rake on a roof, its purpose, characteristics, and other information may help you install every section of the roof properly.

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RoofLast is an experienced author and roofing expert. With years of practical experience in the field authored several informative articles on various aspects of roofing, including installation, maintenance, and repair