Many houses in my neighborhood are about 5 years old and are experiencing similar problems with their gutters. The nails holding them up are pulling out little by little. A couple homeowners had their's fall off. I took a look at mine and saw a few nails sticking out. What's the correct way to fix this?

  1. Just hammer them back in and hope for the best?
  2. Fill hole with adhesive (Liquid Nails?) and hammer back in?
  3. Hammer in a different kind of nail?

5 Answers 5


If the nails are loose and pull out easily, just pounding them back in won't help much.

The best way to fix any kind of nail/screw hole where the screw or nail won't grip any more is like this:

  1. Remove the screw/nail.
  2. Take some toothpicks and dip them in wood glue (e.g. tightbond).
  3. Stuff as many toothpicks into the hole as you can, snapping them off flush with the hole.
  4. Put the nail/screw back in (while the glue is still wet).

I find myself doing this most for loose door hinges, but it works for pretty much anything. Once the glue dries, the result is better than new.

  • Great idea! I happen to have a door hinge with some stripped out screw holes I'm going to try this on.
    – spoulson
    Jul 30, 2010 at 12:20
  • Wow never heard of this.. gonna have to bookmark it Aug 2, 2010 at 17:33
  • If you don't have any toothpicks, but plenty of trees/plants, you can find twigs just laying around ;) Aug 4, 2010 at 18:23
  • Golf tees work beautifully for this. I don't play golf, but I keep a box of them around just for this purpose. May 20, 2015 at 22:35
  • Tooth picks and t's work great with wood glue indoors not so great outdoors gorilla glue would be better but screws as tester101 suggest are even better.
    – Ed Beal
    Sep 27, 2017 at 22:14

They make special Gutter hangers.

They also make Gutter screws.

These might be a better option if the nails simply won't hold.

  • I agree, it is much better to do this and if possible even move the hangers over a little for a new whole. Sep 23, 2013 at 17:41
  • If nails are pulling I would use screws and possibly add a few.+
    – Ed Beal
    Sep 27, 2017 at 22:12

Remove spike and replace with gutter screws. They're about 7 inches long and larger diameter than the existing nail hole. Reuse the tube the nail went through or use a new tube supplied with the gutter screws. If the hole in the facia is too large just drive the screw slightly above or below the existing nail hole into solid wood.


Replace them with screws.

The best way to fix your situation is option 4: remove the nails and use hangers with or without screws.

Nails, (also known as Spike and Ferrule) are an old school way to hang gutters, which is hard to see nowadays, usually you'll see it in older homes, (if the gutter is still hanging) and just simply in my opinion are a bad way to hang gutters that will not last long.

Gutters will expand and contract with heat / cold. This will make for the nail system to weaken and eventually fail. Hemmed gutters are supposed to be "free-floating" to allow for expansion and contraction, but for time saving purposes, pretty much everyone uses gutter hangers and screws to the back of the gutter. Straight back gutters are designed to be used with hemmed hangers. The advantage of screws vs nails, is that screws are much stronger because of the threads, and are much better at not allowing the gutter to move as much depending on the weather.

You should really consider using gutter hangers with screws or if the screws are not long and / or thick enough (since you're likely going in an existing hole), get hangers without the screws and use your own screws. Hangers have hooks that hook onto the face of the gutter (hem) and are also press formed / stamped, wider, which makes them much stronger, and usually pretty cheap, you can even get them at Amazon.

I would definitely stay away from nails.

Nail vs gutter hanger with screw and without screw.

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  • Welcome to Home Improvement! I'm not really sure what this adds to the other answers that have been here for years.
    – FreeMan
    Mar 4, 2020 at 21:05

If you want to go the glue route, I'd recommend Gorilla Glue - it's water-activated, and intensely-difficult to get rid of once dispensed.

I'd also think about switch to screws if you could, a la Tester101's suggestion.

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