Rain chains are used to guide the rainwater down to a collecting tank. They are used as an alternative to downspouts, because other than fulfilling their practical purpose, rain chains can add beauty and uniqueness to your home. Rain chains were used hundreds of years ago by the Japanese as a way to collect water from the rain for storage in barrels for household use.
Many people prefer using rain chains because they bring pleasure to the ears and are appealing for the eyes to see. Installing a rain chain can be simple. Here is how.
- Take out the downspout. First, get a screwdriver and take out the downspout from your roof’s rain gutter. Make sure to take precautions when removing the downspout by wearing gloves because the downspout tends to be sharp.
- Measure your rain chain. You have to measure how long you want the chain to be. It will have to be from where it will be attached on your roof up to where you want it to fall. Rain chains are usually made of copper, which is a preferred material because as it ages, a natural patina develops. But if copper is not your taste, you can layer a coating of shellar onto your rain chain so that it would be shiny. You can purchase a rain chain from hardware stores but you can also make your own.
- Make a hole. The gutter of your roof needs to have a hole with a width that is at least 2.5 inches for the water to flow. If the hole is too big, get a reducer to minimize the hole that leads the water to the rain chain.
- Make a hole for drainage. Put a mesh wire across the hole so that it will drain the water from leaves and other rubble. The mesh will keep the debris from going down the rain chain.
- Hang the rain chain. Slip the rain chain through the hole and then hang it by placing the rain chain on a metal that would span the down spout. Gutter straps, rain chain hangers, and gutter clips are also available at hardware stores so you can easily hang the rain chain onto your roof gutter. The rain chain should be hanging freely.
- Create the base of the rain chain. Lock the rain chain to the ground. You can also opt to put a base at the end of the rain chain for aesthetic purposes and for practicality. Bases can be as simple as grouping rocks for a rock garden to maybe putting a fountain or a basin that would collect the water initially then to a water storage. It is really up to your personality and style.
Rain chains not only add beauty to your home. They also give your home personality. They may not be as effective as gutters during heavy rains, but they are viable alternatives especially for people who believe that aesthetics is important. Consider the recommended steps above to make your home look great.