Hidden Hangers are the modern equipment used for mounting and/or hanging gutters. They are basically a gutter bracket that clips to the inside of the gutter and screws directly into the fascia board with a steel threaded screw. The name “hidden hanger” comes from the fact that you can’t see the brackets from the ground because they no longer pierce the gutter face like traditional gutter spikes did.
Hidden hangers are rated to not come loose for a long time. Up to 20-30 years depending on the brand. In most situations they will even outlast the fascia board that the gutters are mounted to. Once you replace the rotted wood you will still be able to re-use the same brackets to rehang the gutter and possibly get another 10 or more years out of them.
Gutter spikes were the old way to mount and hang gutters to the wall. They were basically a big nail that went through the gutter and into the fascia board which is behind the gutter. The problem with these big nails is that the hole they create in the wood eventually wears out to the point that they’ll keep coming loose faster and faster. Basically what we are saying is that gutter spikes come loose easily and once they start pulling loose, it only gets worse and worse.
If you were to pull a nail out of it’s hole then re-nail it into the same hole, it would go in much easier the second time than the first time. It’s the same thing for gutter spikes. Once a gutter spike pulls loose it needs to be re-nailed into the same hole. By the third or fourth time you are re-nailing the same spike it is basically just gliding in and out of the hole with no resistance. That is because the nail is no longer biting the wood.
It’s easy to figure out if your gutters have gutter spikes or not. Simply look up at your gutters and see if you can see nail heads every 2 feet. (see the above photo for example) If you can see spikes sticking out like in the photo, then you have gutter spikes and they are coming loose.
CLICK HERE for more information regarding Replacing Gutter Spikes with Gutter Screws.
CLICK HERE for more information regarding Tapping In Loose Gutter Spikes.
One of our most common gutter repairs at My Gutter Pro, is to re-secure loose gutters. There are many stages of a loose gutter but they can all be rectified by installing new hidden hangers. When gutters have gutter spikes through them we normally leave those in place. That is because if we were to pull out the gutter spikes there would be a hole in the front and the back of the gutter. Water would leak from those holes when it rains hard enough.
There are many many reasons you should have loose gutter re-secured. The most important is the safety of your fascia board and making sure that no water is able to contact that wood. Water will cause the wood to rot and eventually fall off of the home. Keeping the gutters nice and tight to the house is the first step in preventing this from ever happening.
There are many stages of gutters that are loose. Anything from one or two loose brackets up to a gutter that is falling off of the wall with one bracket holding it up all count as loose gutters. If you can see the gutter sagging, hanging, or a gap behind the gutter than the gutter is loose and needs to be re-secured.
Gutter spikes that continuously pull loose even after being tapped back in are a sign of one of two things. Either the nail hole is too wore out or the fascia board itself is too soft from water damage.
Fascia Boards are the boards that the gutters are mounted to. They are basically trim boards that are primed to withstand the elements. They typically last about 15-25 years under normal wear and tear. (much less if exposed to water)
It’s not always easy to tell if it’s the fascia board that is actually pulling loose rather than the gutters. We included some photos that show what it looks like when the fascia boards are coming loose and/or rotten.
Fascia board can come loose regardless if they are rotted or not. For example if the installer used screws that were too short, or even nails, they often come loose after a few years and start to fall off of the house.
In the photos below we have classic examples of gutters with water damaged fascia board. The first tell tale sign is the cracks all through the fascia board on the left photo. If you were to nail a gutter spike through this board, it would just split. The next major clue is the multiple holes in the back of the gutter near the gutter spikes. The extra holes mean that somebody tried to pull the gutter spike out and re-nail it into a better spot. But that spot didn’t hold so they nailed it into a better spot, and so on and so on…..
The photo on the right has some moss growing directly on the fascia board which is another dead clue that the board is water damaged.
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