Should my gutters be installed with gutter screws or nails?
The simple answer is Gutter screws! If your gutter installer wants to use gutter spike and ferrule method to hang your gutters, do yourself a favor and get another installer.
Common sense and the over whelming evidence proves nail spikes do not work. Most of you are familiar with these large nails working loose and need pounded back in place each Fall when you are up there cleaning the gutters.
The spike and ferrule method involves a metal tube that is placed inside the gutter for strength and to keep it from bending. The spike is driven through the face of the gutter at the top, through the ferrule and into the wood fascia board.
Why do they become loose every year? As the temperature changes from hot to cold, your gutters will expand and contract.
As the gutter warms up, it will expand laterally, but the spikes will try to keep it from expanding.
This force puts a large amount of pressure on the spike and over a period of time will force them out. The longer the gutter run, the more noticeable this problem is.
Once the spikes have been pulled out, they have lost their ability to hold, so no matter how many times you hammer them back in, they will get loose again.
A bulging or sagging gutter is a good indication that you have loose spikes. As it sags, it accumulates water in this low spot. This increases the weight in the gutter and intensifies the problem. as nails work loose, the gutter sags and tries to pull away from the house.
A far superior installation is to use hidden hangers with screws that screw into the fascia board. The wood grip screws should be a minimum of # 10 x 1.5 inches long stainless steel or have a corrosion resistant coating such as cadmium, zinc or black ruspert capable of withstanding a 1000 hour salt spray test.
Make sure the screws have a hex head. They are very easy to install and remove with a 1/4 inch magnetic tip nut driver. Never use flat head phillips screws. They get clogged with dirt and can be very difficult to remove.
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