Looking up from your porch to see a leaning loose gutter hovering over your head can create a particularly irritating flavor of anxiety, especially if it happens around the rainy season.
After all, rain gutters are there for a very important reason. They divert water away from the foundation of your house and into a safer spot to dispose of this water.
A fault rain gutter system is an open invitation for rot and damage that’ll take that much more effort and money to fix. It also negatively impacts the lifetime and even of your property.
So, how to fix loose gutter nails? Is it something that you can do yourself?
In this article, we’ll dive into three different ways you can fix a loose gutter nail, why they come loose in the first place, and how to avoid that in the future.
In this section, we’ll look at three different ways you can fix a loose gutter nail. These methods will range from a quick fix to a long-lasting solution.
The first is the quickest and requires the least amount of time and fewer tools. The second and third will probably require a trip to your local hardware store, though the result is better in the long run.
If you’re concerned that this may be a job for professionals, skip to the following section, which covers when and why you should contact a gutter repair company.
The first and simplest way to fix a loose gutter nail is pretty straightforward and requires nothing but a hammer.
If a gutter nail is sticking out a little bit but is still not very easy to pull out, hammering it back in will do the trick just fine.
Understand that this doesn’t fix the main issue that allows these nails to move out of place. It’s a quick fix that, if done too many times, might cause more serious damage to your home over time.
If they’re completely loose, though, they probably won’t last in there more than a couple of months if you’re lucky. If that’s the case, we highly recommend replacing them with gutter screws.
If this isn’t possible for you at the time, there’s a small trick you can use. It’s important to know, however, that this might cause some inconvenience when you do decide to upgrade to gutter screws or brackets.
You can help the gutter nail hold its ground by placing toothpicks dipped in wood glue into the hole, then hammering it in as the glue is still wet.
This is possibly the most convenient solution of all three since it works practically the same but lasts a whole lot longer.
Unlike gutter nails, which are almost entirely flat, gutter screws have threads that allow them to really grip into the wood.
To replace a loose gutter nail, you’ll need gutter screws of the same length and an electric screwdriver
- Remove all loose gutter nails from their holes. Keep their aluminum sleeves. You can pry them off, but be careful not to dent or damage the gutter.
- Replace them with gutter screws only less than halfway in.
- Place the aluminum sleeve on the screw and secure it on the existing hole.
- Use the electric screwdriver to fasten the screws into the wood.
Finally, you can replace your gutter nails with gutter hangers. The main upside of using a hanger is very similar to the gutter screws; it has threads that carve into the wood and give it a strong, secure grip.
A gutter hanger does have an additional perk, though, which is that it’s completely hidden from the outside. That means that you won’t see the pesky screwheads sticking out of the gutter, which makes it look cleaner.
You can use gutter hangers as the main support for your gutter or just as reinforcement, depending on your budget.
To install it, you need an electric screwdriver and a pack of gutter hangers that are the correct size for your gutter. Their screws are usually included in the pack, but it’s always a good idea to check.
- Latch the hook at the end of the hanger onto the gutter lip.
- Place the back of the hanger where there’s a hole for the screw securely against the fascia board.
- Place the screw in its slot and make sure the screw and the hanger are angled correctly against the board.
- Use the screwdriver to secure the hanger in place.
There are a handful of reasons why gutter nails tend to fall out of place regularly. Examining the conditions in your home will help you eliminate this issue in the future.
This is the one reason that you can’t really do much about. As temperatures rise and drop, the woods in our homes naturally expand and contract. This means that it may sometimes become loose around the gutter nail, which allows it to slip out.
Another reason why your gutter nails are slipping out of place is that they’re carrying too much weight.
This can be caused by a lot of different things:
- Critters using the gutter to move or store items.
- Collecting a large amount of debris over time without any cleaning or maintenance.
- The gutter not draining the water it collects, which can get very heavy.
- A particularly strong storm that filled the gutter to the brim.
All the above can cause the gutter to get too heavy, loosening up the nails holding it together.
The easiest fix for this is to simply clean out the gutter regularly and make sure that the downspout is clear and functioning correctly.
Finally, your gutter may have been installed incorrectly, which means that the weight the gutter holds isn’t distributed efficiently.
For example, gutter nails should have a maximum of 2 feet between them for optimum support. If you find that each nail is separated by significantly more than that, you’ll need to reinforce your gutter.
Loose gutter nails can be dangerous for your home. They can cause leakage right onto your walls and foundation, which in turn can cause rot and other costly damages.
The good news is that fixing them is super easy and usually doesn’t take more than a few minutes. You can hammer them back in, but it will only work for a short while.
You could also replace your classic gutter nails with gutter screws that have threads that dig into the fascia board and give it a great grip. Alternatively, you can use gutter hangers which work similarly but have a hook that goes into the gutter lip.
Finally, it’s always best to avoid any leaning gutters by making sure to regularly remove any debris from it, check its downspout for any drainage issues, and make sure that there’s a gutter screw every 2 feet at most.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and over 10 years of experience working in IT. As a homeowner, I love working on projects around the house, and as a father, I love investigating various ways to keep my family safe (whether or not this involves tech). I’ve also played guitar for almost 20 years and love writing music, although it’s hard to find the time these days.