The type of gutter hanger your gutter contractor uses to mount your gutters is just as important as the type of gutters you install. If you choose the wrong gutter hanger, it may not be able to provide enough support, which could cause sections of your gutters to sag.
Here’s a guide from Barry Best Seamless Gutters on the different types of gutter hangers.
Spikes and Ferrules
This type of hanger uses a spike driven through a metal tube or ferrule to fasten the gutter system to the fascia, the long, narrow board running along the edge of your roof.
Pros: Spikes and ferrules are inexpensive and relatively easy to install.
Cons: Metal expands and contracts as temperatures rise and fall. As this expansion/contraction cycle repeats over and over, the spikes and ferrules can become loose. This system might also not be the best choice if you have wooden fascia boards; when the spike is driven through the fascia board, it splits the wooden surface, increasing the risk of moisture damage.
Brackets and Straps
This type of gutter hanger is used to install half-round gutters. Due to their shape, half-round gutters can’t be installed directly onto the fascia board. Instead, gutter hangers are installed underneath half-round gutters, which are then screwed to the fascia.
Contractor installing plastic roof gutter. Plastic guttering, rain guttering & drainage by handyman hands.
Pros: Since brackets and straps wrap around half-round gutters, they provide more support, making them a good choice for homes in areas that receive high amounts of rainfall. The way the hangers are attached also makes them better at resisting contractions and expansions due to temperature changes.
Cons: You need to be careful when cleaning and maintaining gutter systems with brackets and straps. Otherwise, you might accidentally dislodge them. You can reduce the need for maintenance by installing gutter guards, which prevent leaves and other debris from entering and clogging your gutters.
Hidden hangers are a favorite among contractors and homeowners alike because they work well with K-style gutters, the most popular type of gutter.
Pros: Hidden hangers are clipped under the gutter hem and screwed to the fascia board from inside the gutter, hiding them from view, which leads to a cleaner aesthetic for your home’s exterior. And since they provide sturdy support to gutter systems, hidden hangers are highly recommended for homes in areas that receive heavy rainfall.
Cons: Since hidden hangers don’t support the bottom of the gutters, the gutter system needs to be quite rigid or there could be problems. The steel screws used to attach hidden hangers will eventually corrode as well, especially those that come into contact with other metals–although this is true for all gutter hangers.
Gutter Hanger Spacing Is Critical
Gutter hangers have to be properly spaced to provide sufficient support. If they’re spread too far apart, they might not be able to provide enough support, causing sections of your gutters to sag. As a rule of thumb, gutter hangers should be spaced a maximum of three feet away from each other. If you live in a cold climate, your contractor may recommend gutter hanger spacing of two feet apart to account for the additional weight from snow and ice.
Does Gutter Material and Size Matter?
The right material and size of your gutters can affect the integrity of your gutter system. Even a sturdy gutter mounting system won’t be able to prevent your gutters from sagging if your system suffers from frequent overflows or rapid corrosion.
Your Gutter Material Options
- Aluminum – Aluminum is the most widely used gutter material because it’s inexpensive, lightweight and resistant to corrosion.
- Copper – Copper gutters are more durable than aluminum gutters, with an average lifespan of at least 50 years. However, they’re also a lot more expensive.
- Galvanized Steel – Galvanized steel is coated with a thin layer of zinc to protect it from rust. Over time, however, the coating will fade, leaving the gutters vulnerable to corrosion.
Don’t forget that climate conditions can affect your gutters’ durability and resistance to rust. For example, aluminum gutters are the go-to choice for most homeowners, but they might not be the best option for homes near the coast as salt can corrode aluminum easily. Instead of aluminum gutters, we’d recommend installing copper gutters. If your home is surrounded by a lot of trees, it’s a good idea to install gutter covers.
It’s also important to select the right size of gutters. Otherwise, rainwater could flow out of troughs and onto your siding and foundation. The added weight load from the rainwater might also cause sections of your gutters to collapse.
Five-inch K-style gutters or six-inch half-round gutters should be able to handle the average amount of rainfall in most parts of the country. However, depending on the pitch of your roof and the amount of rainfall your area receives, you might need a larger gutter system. Precise calculations involving rainfall averages in your local area, the slope of your roof and the square footage of the drainage area must be done to determine the appropriate dimensions for your gutter system. This is why it’s best to leave the installation of your gutters to an experienced contractor. Consult with your gutter contractor to get information about custom gutters.
Consider Installing Seamless Gutters
You can further reduce the risk of sagging gutters or gutter leaks by installing seamless gutters. Seams are your gutters’ weakest point—sections of gutters can pull apart at the joints over time, creating a gap through which water can leak out of your gutters. Seamless gutters don’t have this vulnerability, which is why they are more durable in the long run and more leak resistant.
Why Call a Professional for Gutter Installations?
If you’re thinking of installing your gutters yourself to save money, you might want to reconsider. Gutter installation is complicated, requiring consideration of many different factors to be done properly. One tiny mistake can result in a leak or overflows, costing you more in repair and maintenance costs than you would have spent by hiring a contractor to do the installation in the first place.
The same goes for gutter protection systems; it’s always better to trust a professional than attempt to do the installation yourself. Remember, your home’s protection from water damage depends on the functionality of your gutters, which will be compromised if you make any mistakes.
One more thing: don’t forget to carefully vet your contractor before hiring them. The more experience a contractor has in the industry, the higher their level of expertise, ensuring you’ll get the results you’re looking for.