What Is a Rain Chain, and Should You Use One on Your Home?

December 20, 2019 6:12 am Published by Leave your thoughts

If you own or live in a house, then you’re probably familiar with rain gutters and downspouts. They are important parts of your home’s water mitigation system, as they work continuously during the rainy season to move water safely away from the foundation. But downspouts are not one of the most attractive features of your property. This is where rain chains come in—a rain chain does the same thing as a downspout, except that it’s both beautiful and functional. These decorative chains are available for purchase in a wide range of unique styles, colors and shapes, but how do you know if this feature right for your home?

Installing a rain chain on Pensacola, FL home gutters can add aesthetics to any outdoor space. Here’s everything you wanted to know about rain chains.

What they are

The simplest way to describe a rain chain is that it’s a decorative, yet still functional, alternative to a traditional rain gutter downspout. Rain chains are made to be seen guiding water down from the roof to the ground, which can be turned into a standout water feature if desired. Aside from being decorative, rain chains also add the relaxing sound of trickling water, similar to an outdoor water fountain.

There are noticeable differences between downspouts and rain chains. Rain chains are more aesthetically pleasing to the eye than traditional gutter downspouts, but downspouts are sturdier and can handle a much greater volume of rainwater than rain chains. As such, rain chains may not work well in areas that get especially heavy rainfall and strong winds.

How they work

The rain chain is attached to a gutter’s downspout opening after removing the traditional downspout. The chain is in place to slow and control water runoff from the roof and guide it calmly to the ground below the last link. Just be sure it is positioned to carry water away from the foundation of your home. If not, water can leak into the basement or lower crawlspaces and cause soil erosion or structural damage. One way to deal with water runoff from a rain chain is to direct it into a catch basin. This is a decorative basin designed to catch water from rain chains. Note that just about any container will work for this purpose.

Rain chain considerations

Home and garden stores carry rain chains in various materials, designs and sizes. Before choosing a rain chain, consider where you want to put it. Cup rain chain designs rarely splash, making them ideal for use near walkways, windows and doors, but there are also link and ring rain chain options. If you choose a ring rain chain style for your rain gutters, you’ll have a chain that resembles the original rain chain design. It’s mostly open with a modern look and clean lines. However, this option tends to splash water more than the cup chain style.

For help deciding whether a ring rain chain is right for your Pensacola, FL home, look no further than Gutter Master. Call us today with questions!

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