Rain, Rain, Go This Way

Rainwater becomes plant fuel with rain chains

Rainwater becomes plant fuel with rain chains

utters and drains along a roof are one of the most important elements to maintain and take care of in a home. When water is effectively guided to the ground, your home’s roof, attic, or interior can be spared from damage. While most homes in the United States have a metal downspout that carries rainwater away from the home, there are additional downspout options that can be implemented on your home that are functional, beautiful, and effortlessly water your garden.

The History of the Rain Chain
Rain chains originated in Japan and are still used in many Japanese homes to keep water runoff away from roofs and foundations. Originally called kusari-doi, rain chains attach to gutters and guide rain down to the ground or to a water harvesting receptacle like a rain barrel. 

Rain chains can be DIY-ed by feeding a weather-resistant chain through copper or aluminum cups that have had holes added to them for drainage. They can also be store-bought, are incredibly affordable, and can be found in a number of different designs—from simple cups to pineapples to owls. Either way, they add a unique charm that “regular” metal downspouts just can’t offer.

Why Choose a Rain Chain?
If you’ve been considering harvesting your rainwater or have plans for a zen rock garden in your backyard, a rain chain can effortlessly guide rainwater to your desired location. 

If you don’t harvest your rainwater, you can use a rain chain to guide the water to a rock garden, planter, or fountain. Rain chains also work well as added garden components if you don’t want to entirely redirect the rain flow. Decorative rain chains can channel water into a large planter for the thirstiest plants in your garden.

Store-bought rain chains come in a variety of colors and finishes, though most are made of copper or metal. This level of customization will allow you to add a tiny pop of color or whimsy to your home.

Best yet? A rain chain could be added along the gutter channel without removing the existing downspout. Of course, your home’s unique gutter system will determine if that’s actually possible. However, many rain chains can be added by simply using tin snips to open a small hole in the gutter where the rain chain can be hung. 

There’s something to be said for the steady trickle of rain down tiny copper barrels to make you instantly feel like your home is an oasis.  


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