Rain gutters are often held in place by a spike and ferrule: A giant nail is driven into the front of the gutter where it passes through an aluminum sleeve (the ferrule), through the rear of the gutter, and into the fascia and rafter end.

Over time, gutter spikes work loose or become badly bent by an unusually heavy snow load or fallen tree limb. To replace a spike and ferrule, start by cutting a 2x4 wood block to fit snugly inside the gutter. Then yank out the spike with a claw hammer. The block will prevent the hammerhead from crushing the gutter.
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