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What is a Rake on a Roof

what is a rake on a roof

It is a term used by roofers to refer to a hand tool used for clearing debris from roofs. The rake usually has a rectangular metal bar and several angled nails or tines attached to it.

Besides roofs, roofers rakes can also be used for cleaning out gutters and removing dead vegetation from the exterior of buildings.

People use rakes to clear leaves and other waste material from roofs after it has been raining.

Rakes can also be used to scrape off small sections of a roof that have been damaged due to hail or debris from other storms.

Roofers will often keep a rake at their trucks, because they may need to clear a roof during a storm.

What is a Roof Rake?

It is a metal framework attached to the gable end of your home. It’s used to aid in removing accumulated ice and snow from your roof.

A roof rake can be made out of wood or aluminum, but aluminum is less likely to rot away due to the elements over time.

A basic design for a metal roof rake is two pieces of aluminum that are attached at a right angle.

The top piece is about 1ft. longer than the bottom piece, and it has a hook on the end to help you grab onto ice or snow.

This metal part attaches to a long wooden or aluminum pole that can be anywhere from 10-20 ft.

If your roof is taller than 20 feet, it might be prudent to get an aluminum or fiberglass extension.

The idea is that you hook the rake onto the snow and ice and pull it off of your roof.

This can be exhausting, even with an extension, but if you have a lot of snow on your roof this process may save your life.

A foot of snow weighs around 20 pounds per square foot, and that can add up quickly. You may have to get a ladder and climb onto your roof to do the rest of the job by hand.

Woman Snow Raking Roof

What type of rakes do you need for your roofs and gutters?

Your roof, whether it is a flat roof or sloping roof, will have gutters.

These gutters are there to collect the excess water that falls upon your roof and direct it down into the gutter below them.

It is this gutter that then carries the water away from your home.

If you are having new work done on your roof, or even if you are cleaning your own, then you will need to know about the different types of rakes that are available.

Modern materials used in roofs mean that more and more homes are having flat or low-pitched roofs installed on top of them.

However, whatever the type of roofing material, gutters will always be required to channel the water away from your home to prevent too much moisture building up around it.

Gutter rakes should be fitted in order that they sit parallel to the slope of the guttering, thus allowing rainwater to enter them easily and preventing problems with clogging up.

When you are having work done on your gutters, ensure that you choose the correct type of rake for the work that is to be done.

Different rakes will suit different angles and contours, thus it makes sense to buy a rake that is going to fit best into your gutter – this will result in a great finish, which will keep your home looking beautiful for years to come.

To help you to identify what type of rake you need, there are a couple of ways that you can use.

  • Firstly, look at the angle on your gutter – is it flat or does it slope in any way?
    • If the latter then choose one of the various styles of flat rakes that are available; they will fit perfectly into these types of gutters.
    • If your roof is flat, then choose one of the straight rakes that are available.
  • Secondly, look at the way in which the gutter curves – if it curves inwards, towards your home, then consider getting an inside curve rake to help remove debris from within these gutters.
    • However, if your gutters curve outwards away from your home, then an outside curve rake is the most suitable option.

There are two main types of rake: flat and counter-curve (also known as inside and outside curves).

1. Flat rakes will sit parallel to a straight gutter

2. Counter-curve or inside curve rakes will fit the gutter curvature.

Whether you are looking to keep your gutters clear or doing some new guttering work, choosing the correct rake is essential for achieving good results.

man removing snow from roof


It is a simple tool that can keep your roof and gutters clean. Aside from that, it is also cheap and easy to use.

Make sure that you choose the correct rake for your home, whether it is a flat or counter-curve.

Use these tips to guide you through what style of rake will be best suited to your guttering needs.

With this knowledge under your belt, getting work done on gutters should become simple!

However, if you are looking for something more modern or with a bit of elegance, there are some people who would recommend the gutter cleaning services over traditional raking any day of the week.