Rain chains are an alternative to the traditional downspouts that guide water from gutters safely away from a building. They are originally from Japan, where they are known as kusari-toi and have been used for centuries, particularly for adorning temples and other cultural buildings. They come in various forms, most often as either a series of metal cups all chained together or as vertical chain links. Aside from being primarily decorative, rain chains present some important advantages:
#1. High Durability
Rain chains are usually made from copper which, like all metals, is stronger and more durable than the vinyl that’s used for most gutter and downspout systems. Copper is 100% recyclable, making it an eco-friendly choice as well. Although rain chains aren’t quite as effective as downspouts at handling particularly high amounts of rainfall, they do still do a good job while also looking the part. For best results, you may want to consider using a combination of rain chains and downspouts.
#2. Improved Aesthetics
If you’re seeking to improve the curb appeal of your home, copper rain chains can certainly help to enhance its appearance. You can choose from many different types, with the most basic versions comprising a series of copper chain links. More elaborate designs include differently shaped copper cups and other structures, which lead the water away into a rain barrel or drain. Many homeowners also like the mellow musical sound they make as rain flows through them.
#3. Easy Installation
Rain chains are typically very easy to install, since they generally don’t need to be cut or altered in any way. Instead, you just need to remove the original downspout and hang the chain from the hole that remains. However, it is important to make sure the hole is not so big that the water misses the chain. In areas that receive a lot of wind, you might also want to anchor the bottom of the chain to the ground or rain barrel.
#4. Reduced Maintenance
Unsurprisingly, rain chains require virtually no maintenance. While the copper will oxidize over time to the extent that it causes it to turn a turquoise color, this does not compromise its strength and effectiveness in any way, and only adds charm to its appearance. Of course, rain chains can’t get clogged up like downspouts either, so you should never need to clean them under normal circumstances.