Attaching Gutters

The two most common methods for attaching gutters are spikes and hidden hangers.

Gutter spikes. The traditional gutter-spike method involves hammering long spikes, which extend through both the front and back of the gutter, into the fascia board and, depending on home construction, the underlying structural members. Some spikes are smooth, while other spikes have ridges or rings to help prevent the spikes from pulling out. One drawback of the method is that the spike heads are visible on the front of the gutter.

Hidden hangers. The hidden-hanger method involves fitting a bracket inside the gutter and screwing it to the fascia board. As the bracket does not penetrate the front edge of the gutter, it is hidden from view. Because roof lines vary, a strap may be added to the hidden hanger for extra support. The additional support strap is attached to the decking under the shingles.

Spacing is key to successful attachment. No matter what method is used, if the attachments are placed too far apart, they will not adequately support the weight of the gutter. Spacing the attachments too far apart is a shortcut some contractors use.

Drip-edge flashing. Drip-edge flashing is the flashing that covers the transition point from the sloped roof decking under the shingles to the vertical fascia board. To prevent dripping between the fascia and the gutter, as well as the associated leaks/stains on the fascia board under the gutters, the drip-edge flashing should be lifted so that the back surface of the gutter can be installed behind the drip-edge flashing. With proper installation of the gutter, water running down the flashing will run into the gutter and not between the gutter and the fascia board.