How Gutters Are Attached To A House

Aluminum gutters are attached to the home either with the spike (long nail) and ferrule method or with a hidden hanger with screw anchoring method. Some plastic gutters and half-round gutters may use a bracket attached to the fascia board.


Bracket Hanger, Spike Ferrule Hanger
The Spike and Ferrule method involves a metal cylinder or tube that is placed inside the gutter to strengthen it and 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. Spike-and-ferrule hangers tend to pull out of the wood over time. This can cause the gutters to sag.

For the spike to hold the gutter securely, the spike must be driven into solid wood. In normal modern construction the roof system consists of a 2x4 truss system, which creates the pitch of the roof and supports the roof decking. These trusses are generally spaced every 24 inches. The fascia board is the trim board the gutter sits on and is attached to the tail ends of the trusses. Using the spike and ferrule method of gutter attachment, the spike is driven through the gutter, through the fascia trim board and into the solid 2x4 wood truss. If the installer missed the 2x4 when driving the gutter spike, the spike is simply floating in air once it passes through the fascia board and has nothing to grip to. No matter how many times the spike is hammered back in, with only air to grip - it will soon pull out again. While the spike and ferrule method was the standard for years, most gutter installation companies have changed to some form of the hidden hanger with screw anchoring method.

Hidden Brackets interlock into the gutter and are then attached to the roof under the shingles for superior strength. This is a better option than the spike and ferrule because it offers a cleaner look. It is usually more expensive but the added strength is well worth the investment. There are several ways in which a bracket can be used:

  •  The inside hanger method where straps spanning the gutter width are mounted inside the gutter. Screws or nails go through the strap from inside the gutter and into the fascia board.

  •  The outside hanger method where hangers are mounted to the fascia board behind the gutters. The gutters themselves sit inside the hangers.

  •  The strap hanger method where the straps holding the gutters are nailed under the shingles into the roof sheathing.


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