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Gutter Downspout and Rain Chain- Things To Know

Gutter Downspout and Rain Chain- Things To Know

Your gutter system wouldn’t function the way that it does without its downspout. Gutter downspouts are the vertical piece of your gutter system. They help angle the water away from your home, then away from your foundation at their end to help keep your home free from water damage. Many people put a lot of thought into their gutters, from the size to the type of material they are made from, but few people think much about their downspouts. Believe it or not, however, your gutter downspout can even become a part of your landscaping and your home’s curb appeal as well as a functional part of your gutters.

Types of Gutter Downspouts

The vast majority of gutter downspouts that are sold today are made to match the type of gutters you have installed on your home. They are normally made of vinyl, copper, aluminum, or steel and they can be found in a few different diameters to help your gutters drain more quickly. Most gutter downspouts are made up of three different components:

  • The main downspout
  • A bend at the top that helps direct water away from your soffit and fascia
  • A bend at the bottom that helps direct water away from your foundation

To keep the entire assembly stable, your gutter downspout is usually strapped to the side of your home, usually with a matching material to help it blend in.

Rain Chains

A new trend in gutter downspouts is starting to emerge, however. Known as “gutter chains” and “rain chains”, these downspouts look nothing like what you probably imagine upon hearing the word downspout.

Gutter chains and rain chains are decorative gutter downspouts that direct the water away from your home and gutters, but visibly rather than concealed inside a tube. This type of gutter downspout may be a literal chain made of large links for the water to run along, or it may be any kind of decorative element strung together to allow the water to pour from one piece to the next as it cascades to the ground. The result is that the rainwater falling from your gutters is transformed into a type of garden art, feng shui, or a massive scale water sculpture.

For homeowners that are looking for a way to keep their gutters flowing freely, this can be a more decorative option that traditional gutter guards; because this isn’t a tube attached to the end of your gutters, it is less likely to become clogged over time.

Unfortunately, this type of gutter downspout does not bend and turn like the traditional kind. The water flows straight from the gutter down the chain to the ground, so this can lead to puddling near the foundation of your home if the chain is not installed near an area of the property that slopes away from the house.

Complete Your Gutter System

Remember to pay attention to all components of your gutter system, not just the gutters themselves. Gutter downspouts are an important piece of the system that helps keep the water away from your home. Make sure you understand the options available to you, so you can make the best possible decision for your home.


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