A rake board gives your roof the finished look you want to really enhance the curbside appeal of your home and serves as an added defense against moisture. In an effort to educate local homeowners, we’ve put together a “roofing terms” explained piece dedicated entirely to rake boards and the rake of your roof.
So, what is a roof rake? Roof rakes aren’t the same as the rake you use to remove snow from the roof. Roof rakes aren’t exactly on the roof either. This roofing term describes the exposed outer portion of a gable roof that extends from the eave to the ridge. The rake can be flat with no overhang or it can hang over the roof gable end like an eave. You can close in this overhang or leave it open. Overhanging exposed, overhanging and boxed in, and abbreviated or extended are the three most common types of roof rakes. Roof leaks can be common along this area of the roof, especially in colder climates where ice dams are more common. Although roofing companies in Charlotte, NC don’t experience ice dams as often as other parts of the country, it’s still important your local contractor is aware of this sensitive area on your roof and installs the appropriate drip edge or rake board in this area.
What’s a rake board?
A rake board covers the top edge of your siding. It would also cover the soffit if there’s an overhang on the end of the gable. The purpose of the rake board is simply to prevent water from running behind the siding to prevent any leaky roof damage. Rake boards vary in size and are, generally, made with wood. Some residential homeowners choose to have the rake board wrapped with metal for a more finished look. The type of roofing material your builder uses will depend on the style of trim and fascia on the rest of the home or building. Rake boards are commonly installed on brick homes to cover the exposed top edge of the brick.
People also call rake boards, fascia boards.
Rake boards, although primarily aesthetic, serve as an added defense against moisture entering your home or roofing system. Given their purpose, the most common problem in this area of the roof is moisture itself. It’s important to check for cracked, damaged, or rotting rake boards around your home. Another common problem in this area is pest damage. Animals and insects seek out gaps or missing pieces of soffit and fascia around a home. Gaps or crevices in your roofing system can be used by pests as an entrance into your attic space so it’s very important to have these roof repairs done as soon as possible.
Drip Edge on Roof Rakes
Drip edges are metal sheets, usually shaped like an “L,” installed at the edge of the roof. The purpose is to reinforce the water barrier at the edge of your roof. Drip edge directs water away from the fascia and into the gutter. Without a drip edge, water can end up underneath the shingle and can cause water damage to other roofing areas. Drip edges are not an alternative to roof rakes, but rather an added protection, preventing excess water from clinging to the rake board and causing decay. Most building codes across North America require drip edge installation to prevent water damage.
Click here to check out other common roofing terms on our Roofing Terms & FAQ’s page.