What Are Rain Chains & Do They Help? post

What Are Rain Chains & Do They Help?

What if you could give your home more curb appeal and install rain chains instead of downspouts? While rain chains accentuate the beauty of cascading rainwater and divert water away from your home, are they a functional alternative for downspouts? 

Our team at The Rhino Gutter Company answers this question and discusses some other things you might want to know about rain chains before forgoing your gutter downspouts. 

What Are Rain Chains? 

Rain chains have become popular in the United States in the last few decades but originated in Japan many centuries ago. 

Typically made from copper, brass, or another metal, rain chains divert rainwater from your home’s gutters like a traditional downspout. They connect to your existing gutter system in the cutout that is designed for the downspout, but you can hang them anywhere that you prefer. 

When the rain starts to fall, rain chains transform into an elegant landscape feature. Rainwater flows down the chains and creates a kinetic sculpture that is both beautiful to look at and soothing to listen to. 

Downspouts get the job done but do not offer these appealing sounds and visuals. 

How Do Rain Chains Work? 

Rain chains direct the flow of water off your roof via surface tension. Essentially, water “sticks” to the chains as it flows along the chain. 

This surface tension slows the water down and helps to minimize splashing and deluges of water that can damage the siding and foundation of your home, as well as your landscaping. 

Of course, some splashing will occur since rain chains aren’t fully enclosed. 

Rain Chain Drainage

Rain chain systems require a drainage system where they meet the ground. Many of these systems include a basin that is anchored to the bottom of the chain and collects rainwater. 

To divert overflowing runoff away from your home, you may need to install additional drainage around the basin. 

Curb Appeal 

As for traditional downspouts, homeowners tend to forget that they exist, and rightfully so. Rain gutters are for most a purely functional component of their home, but even gutters can add flair and curb appeal to your home. Complementing or accenting colors, like glossy copper gutters or seamless gutters can give your home just as much if not more curb appeal as rain chains. 

Rain Chains vs. Downspouts

An effective rainwater drainage system will direct as much water as possible away from your home and landscaping. 

In this case, rain chains perform worse than downspouts because they allow water to splash on windows and siding, especially during particularly heavy rainfall. 

Downspouts, if working properly, do not allow water to splash which can keep your landscaping safe and your home’s foundation dry. 

Related Reading> Downspout Extensions—Why They Matter


While rain chains might decrease the need for maintenance since debris tends to accumulate in the downspout, this can be prevented with seamless gutters equipped with Rhino Gutter Guards which catch debris like leaves, pollen, and sticks before they can clog your gutters and your downspouts. 

Bottom Line: Do Rain Chains Help?

Although rain chains can add life and lend a Zen-like quality to your outdoor space, they do not drain as effectively and as reliably as traditional downspouts. 

A rain chain is not a replacement for a gutter system that is built around downspouts, especially if you live in an area with heavy rainfall. It’s better to depend on downspouts for utility and durability while using rain chains in areas like the front of your home purely for aesthetics and the sounds that they create when it rains. 

Maintenance Free Gutter Systems

While rain chains can make delightful sounds and are beautiful to look at when it rains, it is important to have a gutter system with downspouts to divert water effectively from your Tampa Bay home. If you are unsure if you want to install downspouts or rain chains and would like a second opinion, call our team at The Rhino Gutter Guard. We can help you decide on what is best for your property!

Ready for a gutter consultation? Call our team today; 813-590-5936!