Gutter Hooks: Stud or Dud?

Gutter hooks

Here are two words that you never see together: “gutter” and “fashion.” (Unless there’s a “chic” between them.)

That’s because gutter systems were intended to perform a valuable home maintenance function by channeling runoff water away from a structure’s foundation. But in recent years, more manufacturers have come out with gutters that have a little more curb appeal; from copper and galvanized steel gutters to aluminum products in more attractive colors.

In addition, many homeowners are finding a functional use for gutters that helps to improve the home’s aesthetics. More specifically, they are taking various accouterments and hanging them from their gutters.

And that explains the appeal of this product: the gutter hook.

What Is A Gutter Hook?

There are several brand names, but they’re all basically the same product: a 12-inch acrylic or metal hook that is designed to hold bird feeders, wind chimes, plants, wind socks, and other objects as they hang down from a home’s gutters. These gutter hooks usually come in a two-pack for between $7 and $12 and can be purchased at home improvement, hardware, craft, and online stores.

As the name suggests, one end of the product is simply a curved hook onto which a “hangable” object can be placed, sometimes with the assistance of wire or twine. The other end of the gutter hook is a curved “spiral” which is designed to fit snugly underneath the front lip of a K-style aluminum gutter. These gutter hooks are supposed to be able to support 15 pounds each, and they claim not to damage the gutters on which they hang.

Do Gutter Hooks Work?

There aren’t a huge number of reviews for these gutter hook products, but the ones that are available are fairly positive. Users laud the gutter hooks for being easy to install, attaching securely to the guttering without causing damage, and remaining transparent to minimize “visual interference.” A couple of people claimed that they tended to break or cost too much, but those opinions were in the minority.

Gutter hooksIf this feeder is intended for small birds, it can probably hang from your gutters without any problem.

If you need to use guttering as a base from which to hang objects, these gutter hooks are probably much better than any “homemade” solution. Drilling a hole and putting in a nail or metal hook can cause a leak in your gutter; and trying to attach fishing line or something similar to the inside of the gutter probably won’t work very well. 

Too Many Hooks Could Spoil Your Gutters

However, there are no tests available to determine how many hooks can be used on a single gutter run. Though each gutter hook purportedly can hold up to 15 pounds, placing several of these hooks along your guttering may saddle your gutters with enough combined weight to damage them. For example, hanging three 12-pound plants from a single aluminum gutter section may bend the metal and cause the entire guttering system to malfunction. And if the gutters bend forward, runoff water could pour over the gutter’s front edge and onto the ground (and all over your decorations) during a heavy rainstorm.

Gutter hooksThis bad boy may be too heavy for a gutter hook.

One more caveat: gutter hooks apparently cannot attach to gutters which are covered by gutter screens or covers. That’s because the end of the hook is blocked from reaching the gutter’s front lip because of the gutter protection. But if you do have uncovered gutters and you use these gutter hooks in moderation, they will likely work quite well. Just be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging label to avoid damaging your home’s gutters!

Written by Del Thebaud

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I recently had the Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet installed on my house. It not only looks amazing, but the guys arrived on time, were professional and efficiently got the job done. I am very satisfied with Gutter Helmet's attention to detail and fulfilling their work as promised. I will definitely tell my neighbors about the Gutter Helmet.
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I have had Gutter Helmets for 20 years. In all that time I've never had a problem until recently a bird's nest found its way into one of my gutters. The installer who came to replace the product was the same installer from 20 years earlier. Now that's impressive. Everyone at Gutter Helmet inclusive of the office staff were professional and a pleasure to work with.
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VERY happy with our entire experience adding Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet to our house. Installing this was a great value for us. The gutters are working perfectly in heavy downpours and with year-long leaves and debris coming down from our river birches. Terrific customer service and a first class product.
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We needed our roof repaired due to wind damage. After several quotes, Gutter Helmet was the only company that went into our attic to look and see if more damage had occurred. If it wasn't for them taking the extra time to look at everything, we would have had rotting wood under our new roof. They were very professional and gave a fair quote.
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We just had Gutter Helmet installed on our gutters and couldn't be happier. They provided us with useful information about Gutter Helmet and cleaned up everything, leaving no mess behind. We definitely recommend Gutter Helmet to anyone considering this product.
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