The Pros and Cons of Rain Chain Downspouts

rain-chain-downspoutRain chain downspouts are an ornamental, beautiful addition to gutter systems. When the rain travels down the chains and into the cups or bells that are spread across it then you get a pleasing sound that’s a lot like a wind chime, which makes them appeal to many people.

Aesthetically pleasing as a rain chain might be, however, there are some things you should know about them before you install one into your Florida home. Remember that here in the Tampa Bay area any part of your gutter system needs to be capable of handling a large volume of water – and rain chains simply cannot handle as much water as a standard downspout can.

Rain chains also don’t do anything to move the water away from your foundations. They don’t help you prevent erosion – which is the whole point of having a gutter system in the first place.

Traditional rain chains use a small pot or catch basin to handle the water that travels down the chain. This would quickly be overwhelmed by a good Florida downpour unless you were diverting the chain directly into a rain barrel (which is certainly one option).

We do install rain chains for our customers when aesthetics are an issue, such as on a plantation style home with round porch columns. But since they can’t handle a downpour we only place them in areas where there isn’t going to be very much water run-off. And we certainly wouldn’t recommend using them as a whole-home replacement for a normal downspout system.

If you’re really distressed by a downspout’s lack of basic visual appeal you might enjoy this presentation from HouseLogic which provides some interesting ideas for dressing them up.

Looking for new gutters or downspouts? Need your gutters cleaned or repaired? If you live in Wesley Chapel, Land o’Lakes, New Port Richey or anywhere else in the Tampa Bay area, give us a call or fill out the form on the right to get your free estimate today.

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