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Rain Chains vs. Downspouts: A Comprehensive Guide to Your Choices

Posted on January 2, 2024

Estimated Reading Time : 5 Min.

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rain chain vs. downspouts

If you think of rain chains and downspouts in terms of aesthetics and practicality, then deciding between the two is pretty simple: rain chains are considered the aesthetically pleasing choice, while downspouts represent practicality. But unfortunately, the choice is not always so easy. Other factors also come in between, and taking them into account is a necessity. So, if you are here to choose between rain chains vs. downspouts, you are in the right place. This comprehensive guide will help you make a final decision by explaining factors that will contribute to your choice, along with the advantages and disadvantages of both. 

1. Rain Chains Are Aesthetically Pleasing

Rain chains are typically chosen because they can provide a home with a distinct aesthetic appeal. The delicate cascade of water down the ornamental chain adds an artistic touch to any exterior. Whether it’s a simple chain link design or a pattern of geometric shapes, rain chains turn a routine task, like managing rainwater runoff, into a visually delightful experience. Homeowners typically find the unique and stylish appearance of rain chains personally satisfying.

2. Downspouts Effectively Drain Water

In my experience, the efficiency of downspouts in draining water away from the home is unmatched. The primary function of downspouts is to ensure rainwater is efficiently diverted, preventing any potential damage to the foundation and siding of your home. The straightforward design of downspouts, combined with their vertical orientation, facilitates a quick and effective flow of water. This reliability in water drainage has been a consistent and reassuring aspect of using traditional downspouts.

3. Rain Chains Are Lightweight 

There’s a common misconception that rain chains are heavy, but this is not the case. Rain chains are typically crafted from lightweight materials such as copper, aluminum, or stainless steel. This not only ensures ease of installation but also minimizes the load on the structure. In fact, the weight of rain chains makes them a practical and feasible choice for a variety of architectural designs.

4. Downspouts Are More Durable

If you live in a place with frequent rain, traditional downspouts are the better options as they are more durable. Constructed from sturdy materials like aluminum or galvanized steel, downspouts exhibit robustness against the elements. This durability ensures that they withstand various weather conditions, providing a long-lasting solution for rainwater management. Keep in mind that the material quality of your downspouts will be a significant factor in their durability. 

5. Rain Chains Remain Unclogged

One of the notable advantages of rain chains is their tendency to remain unclogged. Unlike traditional downspouts, which can accumulate debris and require periodic cleaning, the open design of rain chains minimizes the risk of blockages. This not only contributes to a more consistent and efficient water flow but also reduces the maintenance efforts typically associated with managing drainage systems.

6. Rain Chains Can Cause Water To Splash

While the visual appeal of rain chains is undeniable, many homeowners are concerned about water splashing around the foundation of their homes. The delightful cascade of water down the chain may result in splashing, especially during heavy rainfall. However, addressing this issue is relatively straightforward by incorporating splash guards or placing decorative stones at the base of the rain chain. This personalized touch not only mitigates splashing concerns but also adds to the overall aesthetic appeal.

7. Downspouts Don’t Require Professional Installation

Contrary to popular belief, many homeowners have successfully completed DIY downspout installation. The versatility of downspouts allows for customization based on the home’s unique characteristics. Armed with the right tools and guidance, you can install the downspouts yourself. However, if you have no experience with DIY projects such as this, calling a professional is the best choice.

8. Rain Chains Are Budget-Friendly

While rain chains may have a higher upfront cost compared to standard downspouts, they prove to be cost-effective over time. The unique aesthetic value they bring to a home is a noteworthy consideration. The initial investment is offset by the visual appeal and the potential for a DIY installation, saving on professional installation costs. In the long run, the satisfaction derived from the artistic charm of rain chains also makes them a budget-friendly choice for homeowners looking to enhance their home’s exterior.

Rain Chains vs. Downspouts: Which One Should You Choose? 

Rain chain vs. Downspouts

Choosing between rain chains and downspouts ultimately depends on a variety of factors, and the decision should be based on your specific preferences, needs, and circumstances.

Consider Your Aesthetic Preferences

If enhancing the visual appeal of your home is the top priority, and you appreciate the artistic touch that rain chains bring, they might be the ideal choice for you. Rain chains come in various designs, allowing you to personalize the exterior of your home in a way that traditional downspouts don’t allow for.

Consider Your Climate

Consider your local climate. If you reside in an area with heavy rainfall, efficient water diversion is crucial, which makes traditional downspouts the more practical choice. On the other hand, if you live in an area with little rain and prioritize the aesthetic aspect, rain chains could be the right choice.

Consider Maintenance Preferences

Think about the level of maintenance you are willing to undertake. If low maintenance is a priority and you want a drainage system that requires minimal attention, rain chains are your best bet, as they need minimal cleaning. On the other hand, traditional downspouts are more prone to clogs.

Consider Your Budget

Evaluate your budget for the project. While rain chains may have a higher upfront cost, the unique aesthetic value they bring is worth the investment. On the other hand, if you’re working within a tighter budget and are looking for a cost-effective and reliable solution, traditional downspouts may be the more economical option.

Final Thoughts

When making your choice, aim for something that adds a touch of elegance, lasts a long time, and is practical for your home. Make sure it fits well with your house’s design, your neighborhood, and the specific spot where you’re planning to put it. If you need to manage water near plants that don’t mind moisture, rain chains could be a great pick. Or, if you’re like most homeowners and want something straightforward, downspouts might be the way to go. At the end of the day, it’s all about what you prefer. Take your time to think it over, keeping in mind your budget, what your house needs, and what’s going to stand the test of time.

Call Professional Roofers In Tulsa, OK, For Your Roof Water Drainage Needs

If you want to make a decision tailored to your requirements and needs, you must consult professional roofers. A. Fricker Roofing & Waterproofing in Tulsa, OK, is a leading company with decades of experience in roofing and home exterior projects. If you’re looking for a more efficient drainage system for your home, contact us today. The team of roofers at our company is professional and reliable, with years of experience handling all types of gutter and downspout installation. Call us today at (918) 402-7167 to speak with one of our professionals.

rain chain vs. downspouts