Do I replace my gutters?
I am replacing my roof. The gutters seem to be in good shape but have nails securing them to my house and have pulled away. I know the new gutters are secured with screws. Can I buy some simply screw to secure my existing gutters better. To make matters a bit worse, there is basically no soffit, so the gutters sit flush to the exterior wall. One guy wants to remove the gutters, put up 2x6’s and then put on new gutters – basically extending the roof 2 inches and keeping the gutters further away from the house. It sounds like the right thing to do – but that house has made it 30 years so far – so do I spend the money?
I most likely would not spend the money.
You can purchase screw kits to replace the spikes currently securing your gutters. I think about $8.00 here in the north east at Ace hardware. Package of 8 I think. That includes the sleeves the screws go through.
When you get the screws
Be sure to put the screws not just through the fascia be sure that they hit the rafter tails, more than likely the original nails did NOT hit the rafters. So adding screws and replacing with screws may be in order.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Like housedoc said, try to make sure they go into something more solid than just the fascia. Majority of the times we see the spikes loose is because they are simply driven into the fascia with no regard to trying to hit anything solid. These are generally the ones falling out because the fascia boards have no holding power. Get a good solid bite on the rafter tails and, even using just the spikes, they are a real bear to get out again.
Yes spikes are much to hard to remove. I've seen lots of damage on gutters do to improper technique when removing spikes. Even when the spikes were not in rafter tails. I'd opt for square drive screws. They work great, and they allow you to remove your gutter more easily, without damage should the need arise. Much more user friendly for a homeowner.
The type of gutter securing products that you currently have on, per your description, are called Spike and Ferrule.
A long pole barn type nail with a hollow tube that spans the inner gutter dimension.
The Spike digs so abruptly into the facia board that it cracks the wood. Over time, with the weight of debris and water and snow and ice buid up, the gutter saggs, creating more stress on the wooden fascia board.
When the accumulated debris clears itself out, either by nature or melting or by someone actually cleaning the gutter troughs, the gutter will lift back up slightly to its original position, almost.
Repeat that cycle year in and year out and the Spike and Ferrule system no longer has a good solid wood fascia board to maintain its holding power.
You need to use a regular, and preferably a heavy duty, K-Style Gutter Hanger Bracket.
Similar version as the one shown in this link will do just fine.
Remove the Spike and Ferrules, one at a time and install this type of bracket, preferably at the location of the rafter tails, for more structural support.
You can use screws, but a spiral; shank aluminum nail will hold much better with additional back-out resistance and holding power.
See this link here for an example of the spiral shank nails.
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