Why spikes work out
Gutterworks Mfg, Inc.

Why Gutter Spikes Work Out

This page addresses another common problem that rain gutters have.  Why do the existing spikes keep wanting to work out?
It has to do with old mother nature.


  • As the temperature changes from hot to cool, your gutter will expand and contract. This happens no matter what the gutter material is (steel, aluminum, plastic, or wood).
  • As the material warms up, it will expand laterally, but the spikes will try to restrict its expansion. Most of us have seen what happens to highways we drive on. On a very hot day, they will bulge or blow up do to the same lateral expansion.
  • This force puts a large amount of pressure on the spike and over a period of time will force the spike out. The longer the gutter run (length) the more noticeable this problem is.
  • If you take note, you will notice more nails working out on the ends than in the middle of the run due to the end being where most of the force is. It never pushes the spike back in, but just keeps working it farther out.

By using a gripping spike ring shank or a screw, it will not pull out as easily as it expands and contracts- as they will grip the wood better than a smooth spike does.

When your nails have once been pulled out, they have lost their ability to hold, this can be repaired by using the Hidden Hanger or Gutter Screws. These hangers will give your gutters the needed support to keep them in working condition. They are very user-friendly and easy to install. We recommend they be secured with screws.

Expansion and contraction are also the reason that your gutters will sag over a period of time, causing them to leak at the joints. This constant movement along with mother nature's elements (U.V. and moisture) will cause most joint sealers to become hard and crack. Once this happens the repair is difficult and the life of the repair is very short, usually lasting only one season.

Having seamless gutters installed takes care of the problem of leaks at the joints as compared to sectional guttering. The extra cost of seamless guttering is not that high when you take into account the benefit it offers. Seamless gutters are available in a multitude of different colors in Steel and Aluminum, as well as Copper. There are 3 different styles: K-Style (most common), box style, and half-round. These are available in different sizes ranging from 4-inch, 5-inch, 6-inch, and some even larger for commercial use.

 Gutter Expansion:
 The increase in a 50 ft. length of material due to an increase in temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
 Increase (in inches) Galvanized steel (13/32"), Copper (5/8"), Stainless Steel (5/8"), Aluminum (25/32") & Vinyl (1.92" see note below.) Wood (1/2") Wood expansion is influenced more by moisture rather than heat.
  NOTE: Based on .000032" of expansion for one inch of material for every one degree F. increase. The expansion figure used for vinyl is an approximate figure. Test results range from .000031" to .000037".

© 2024 Gutterworks Mfg, Inc. All Rights Reserved.