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Gardens and Outdoors

Rain Chains VS Downspouts? 6 Easy Ways to Decide!

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Although rain chains have been traditionally used in Japan for centuries, they only have become popular in the US in recent times. As opposed to the unappealing looks of a classic gutter downspout, a rain chain boasts more elegant aesthetics while still offering excellent functionality and durability. There are many advantages of rain chains that make it worth considering over typical downspouts to direct water away from the roof. Let’s explore the benefits of rain chains to help you figure out whether they’re the best solution for your gutter system.



1. Aesthetic Appeal

Many homeowners dislike the idea of traditional gutter downspouts because they have an unsightly industrial look that clashes with the appearance of the house. A lot of effort is spent on trying to camouflage the downspouts and minimize their visual impact because they’re seen as strictly functional elements.




As opposed to downspouts, rain chains show off distinctive designs often following a specific theme or style to match architectural features or garden decor. Instead of attempting to hide them away, homeowners are encouraged to showcase the beauty of rain chains. Aside from simple chain designs, you can take your pick from eye-catching options that feature hearts, flowers, water cans, or other decorative elements.



2. Sound

We’re all familiar with the default sound made by gutter downspouts during the rainy season. If you’re tired of hearing that clunky, artificial sound whenever rain pours down the downspouts, you will be very pleased with the delicate sonic experience provided by rain chains. There’s no sign of harsh, industrial noises as your ears will be instead delighted by the beautiful sonorousness of water cascading down the chains. The moving water produces a much more calming sound that works as a soothing type of white noise.



3. Functionality

Rain Chains




Although rain chains aren’t as reliable during intense thunderstorms compared to regular downspouts, they’re still surprisingly practical. The main advantage of a rain chain is that it’s not susceptible to clogging. The ingenious design of the chain doesn’t allow any debris to get stuck as it only ensures the swift movement of water.




Not having to worry about clogged downspouts can offer great peace of mind. The main vulnerability of a rain chain is the force of strong winds that can essentially cause serious damage. It’s recommended to connect the chain to the ground with a hook if you’re concerned about powerful gusts.



4. Maintenance

Most homeowners agree that standard gutter downspouts tend to not age very well. Even the most sturdily-built downspouts start to degrade quickly in the long run. Maintaining them can be quite a hassle considering the repainting and repair work needed. This is one aspect where rain chains come out on top. There’s minimal maintenance required and you can actually enjoy better looks over the years. How is that possible? The answer lies in the fact that rain chains are usually built from copper, which is attractive when new and develops a charming patina as it ages.



5. Installation

Rain Chains




Whereas gutter downspouts take some notable effort to install, rain chains are much more DIY-friendly. They typically arrive with simple installation kits that make the project very straightforward. You only need to remove the current downspout and replace it with the kit. Connect the chain from the top and you’re basically good to go. There’s another aspect worth mentioning when installing a rain chain. A drainage system could be required to properly anchor the chain. Traditionally, this involves the use of a metal dish filled with stones.



6. Affordability

Considering the expanded range of decorative options available for rain chains, you might assume that it’s quite expensive to replace existing downspouts with fancy rain chains. However, the majority of rain chains out there are quite affordable. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to divert rainwater away from the roof while improving the style of the garden. The cost of a rain chain system depends on the material quality and ornate embellishments featured. Making the rain chain yourself is also a possibility if you have some DIY skills.

By Stefan Bucur

Stefan is the founder and owner of Rhythm of the Home. He has 6 years of experience in home improvement, interior design, cleaning and organizing.

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