Hundreds of years ago in Japan, rain chains were invented. They work the same way downspouts do, allowing the water collected in your gutters to drain to a desired area of your garden, or into a rain barrel. Instead of being concealed inside a downspout, however, rain chains allow the water to be visible. The water flows down the chain in a tranquil, mesmerizing stream. It’s very unique, elegant, and almost therapeutic to watch! They are attractive, decorative additions to your home when it isn’t raining as well.
Rain chains are sometimes desired because they are quieter than traditional downspouts. From the bell-like tinkle of drops falling from cup to cup, to the soft whitewater sound of a waterfall, rain chains eliminate the disruptive, clunky noise associated with closed downspouts.
There are generally two different main types of rain chains. Actual link chains, and cup or bucket chains. Link rain chains are just what you’d think. They are a chain of loops that link together. They can vary in size, material, and shape. Link styles can handle a fair amount of water, but in a heavy downpour, some of the water may splash off the chain to the sides. A double-loop chain will catch more water than a single loop chain. Cup styles catch the most water, however. Cup style rain chains consist of a series of decorative cups with open bottoms linked together on a chain. The water runs down the chain, but the cup helps catch extra water that splashes off the chain and directs it downward to the end of the chain for a more precise endpoint. The cups can come in many varieties and styles to fit the ambiance of your home.
The most commonly desired material for rain chains is copper. Copper rain chains are very attractive. Over time, copper oxidizes and forms a coating known as a patina. The patina can be green or brown in color, and actually helps prevent corrosion. It gives the metal an antique, stately look. The other popular materials used for rain chains are brass and aluminum. Aluminum tends to keep its silver color, while brass ages and becomes a bit darker over time, making it richer and more bronzy.
A common question is: does the wind make rain chains swing much? Wind is rarely reported as a complaint. Even in areas of southern California that experience heavy Santa Ana winds, you can safely use rain chains. If installed properly, your chain should not blow about in the wind.
At Prestigious Raingutters, we have years of experience with rain chains in the Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley areas. We can expertly install your chain so that it drains properly, stays in place, and won’t cause damage to your home or existing gutters. Call us for a free estimate.