Rain Chains vs. Downspouts

July 17, 2018 3:28 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

As you’re preparing to install new gutters, should you go with rain chains or downspouts? Each has its own unique advantages and disadvantages you should consider when making this decision. A gutter contractor in Pensacola, FL can analyze your home and make recommendations about what might make the most sense for you, but the decision is ultimately yours to make.

Here’s some information about rain chains and downspouts in Pensacola, FL, and why you may or may not want to choose one over the other.

Rain chains

Rain chains originate in Japan, where they have long been used as decorative means of diverting water flow away from the foundation of a home. This serves a similar function to a downspout, but is designed more ornately and focuses much more on aesthetics.

Rain chains typically weigh between five and 10 pounds, and connect to the gutter through the hole where the downspout would typically be placed. They then extend down to the grown and secured in place to prevent too much movement from occurring. They often lead to a decorative bowl that fills with water and creates a fountain when it overflows.

The biggest advantage of rain chains over downspouts is that they are much more aesthetically pleasing. However, it’s not all style over function when it comes to rain chains—they also help to take a lot of pressure off storm drains. In fact, there are some municipalities around the United States that actually provide financial incentives to homeowners to disconnect downspouts from the storm drain, which means rain chains can provide financial savings.

A rain chain in Pensacola, FL can serve a dual purpose as a birdbath and water feature as well. If you wish, you can easily make your own rain chain that will fit your precise style.

On the downside, rain chains are not meant to handle heavy downpours, and even if you do use rain chains you might still need to have at least a couple downspouts.


Downspouts are common on homes all over the world. These are vertical pieces of tubing or sheet metal that attach to the gutters of your home in several different places, and are usually painted to match the gutters. Their purpose is to divert the rainwater away from the foundation of your home or into strategic spots on your property.

Downspouts are capable of dealing with much more rain than a rain chain used by itself can. They are highly effective at pushing the water away from your home.

One disadvantage of downspouts is that they aren’t particularly attractive—they are designed much more for practical and functional use. In some circumstances, they can put more pressure on storm drains, making storm drain flooding more likely. Finally, you must regularly clean your downspout when you clean your gutters to ensure it functions properly.

Looking for more information about whether you should go with a downspout or a rain chain? Contact our gutter contractors in Pensacola, FL today and we’ll be happy to provide you with more tips.

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