Gutter Hooks: What Do They Do?
Gutter hooks sound like an integral piece of gutter installation, but they’re completely unrelated to normal gutter system functions. So, what is the job of a gutter hook, and are these pieces of equipment a good thing to have on your home?
Gutters are usually installed directly onto the wooden boards around the top of your home, just below the roof. These are known as fascia boards, and they support the gutter system’s full weight. Usually gutter hangers are installed into the fascia and used to hold up each gutter section. This is the normal installation for gutters, and as you can see there is no mention of gutter hooks at all!
Using Gutter Hooks
The reason gutter hooks aren’t mentioned as part of the installation is because they don’t serve a functional role in operation or installation. Instead, they’re used for decorative purposes. Gutters aren’t known to be the most attractive part of your home, but since they run around the entire edge it’s impossible to hang anything without interfering with them.
Instead of causing any sort of real damage to your gutters, placing small hooks around the system allows you to hang your decorations (think Christmas lights and potted plants) as you please. Hooks are mostly clear or made to match the gutter materials, so they won’t interfere visually with your design.
Gutter Hook Replacements
You can buy gutter hooks and replacement packs in many hardware stores. They come in a few different shapes and many material variations. Chances are good that if you want a gutter hook for your home, you’ll be able to find one that meets your requirements.
It’s good to note that you won’t be able to find gutter hooks that work with most gutter guards or covers. These elements are not compatible with gutter hooks, since they will usually block the edges too much for hooks to attach as they should.
Are Gutter Hooks Safe to Use?
There is a big debate over whether you should use gutter hooks or if they can cause damage to your gutter system. No clear answer comes up from this question, but there are some guidelines that would be wise to follow.
It’s a bad idea to hang too many heavy objects from the gutters, be it plants or anything else decorative. Christmas lights are most likely safe, as they won’t add much weight to the system. Try to avoid hanging many decorations of any kind on longer gutter runs, since the weight will add up and put a lot of strain onto the system.
Never use gutter hooks or anything else that will add weight if the gutters are already sagging or damaged. In this case, hooks might cause the demise of your gutters by adding more weight than they can handle.
You can use gutter hooks to pretty up your house, especially since gutters are not known to be the most attractive design element. But, use them with caution and understand that they are adding weight to the system that might result in too much strain over time.
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