March 13, 2012 Leave a comment
A lazy Sunday afternoon drive through Ottawa found many older homes displaying sagging eavestroughs. In some areas, there were entire streets with unsightly eavestroughs! Bewildered, I asked my husband why and he told me about an old technology called Spike and Ferrule, which was once the standard method used by eavestroughing companies. Okay, so that explained why I was seeing it on older houses but what exactly is the Spike and Ferrule method?
As it turns out, a Ferrule is a small hollow tube or cylinder. A Spike is a large nail with a smooth surface. The method involves inserting the ferrule into the eavestroughs at specific intervals to keep it from bending. The spike is then hammered through the gutter, into the ferrule and , ultimately into the fascia board. In essence, the spikes hold the weight of the gutter! Then a dab of touch up paint would be applied to the spike heads in an attempt to cover them up.
While this was a reliable water diversion method initially, over time some changes began to occur which lessened the aesthetic and functionality features of the method. Firstly, the touch up paint would begin to chip away thereby making the heads of the nails visible. Aside from being unattractive, the spikes (which have little grip) inevitably loosen up over time as the temperatures fluctuate. Expansion and contraction can lead to a stressed gutter and eventually it will pull away from the house.
The current technology used by most installers is the hidden hanger system which, as the name implies, does not show on the face of the eavestroughs. Additionally, screws are used to anchor the troughs into the fascia boards thereby allowing them to grip to the wood, unlike the smooth spikes which were previously used.
A quick google search found many companies still using the old Spike and Ferrule method and even teaching DIY’ers how to assemble their gutters using this method.
As a homeowner, you have the right to ask which fastening method your installer will be using. More importantly than that, make sure you select a company that will fix any issues and who will be there years down the road to honour their warranty. Don’t fall victim to the handyman who will give you a better price. You and your home deserve better!