Rain Chains - An Alternative To Typical Gutters & Downspouts
When the rainy season kicks in, this is the time when most homeowners begin thinking about rain chain options. These are an attractive and fun downpour option for every home. Some of them feature real chains while others are designed in the shape of bells that ring when rain water travel down into a catchment. Rain chains simply add lots of curb appeal to any home, plus they emit lovely sounds as it rains. So if you're planning to install one of these, the following are answers you might be seeking before making a purchase decision.
1) Using rain chains without gutters in your home
You can still use them even when you don't have gutters fixed in place. However, only remember that rain chains generally depend on a vertical water source in order to function as intended. In the event that rainwater is arching off the roof, then the chain may or may not collect any water in both light and heavy rain conditions. So if you're planning to install rain chains without gutters in place, you'll need to go for rain chains designed to work without gutters.
2) Which rain chains are able to accommodate the least or most amount of rainwater?
Chains than handle a fair amount of rainwater are known as link chains. However, in case of a heavy downpour, these will splash water to the sides. On the other hand, cup styles are designed to take more water since they direct rainwater from one cup to the other, thus minimizing spillage.
3) The appearance of your rain chains as they age
The appearance of your rain chain with age depends on where you live, how much rain your location receives and how acidic that rainwater is. Brass material tends to darken with age. Again, copper material also darkens with age, and will show green patina effect.
Aluminum tends to take a silver color as it ages. It also acquires some oxidation pits to go along with that appearance. If you want your rain chains to undergo the natural aging process, don't buy chains that have been finished with lacquer. On the other hand, if your rain chains are unfinished, they will age faster.
To maintain your finished chains in areas where it does not rain frequently, hose them down. Alternatively, you can spray them with salt solution. Finally, you have the option of chemically-aging your rain chains using Patina solutions.
4) Ice and how it relates to your rain chains
There are a few instances where homeowners have reported damage of their rain chains as a result of ice. You see, if that water accumulates and freezes on your chains, it adds more weight to the chains, thus damage is likely to occur. Instead of using a V-hook design, use longer lengths of chains because this will offer a more secure connection to your gutter.
You could also use anti-icing solutions such as heat tape to prevent ice damage with time. These are very effective methods of taking care of your rain chains.
5) Is a standard gutter capable of handing the weight of rain chains?
Most rain chains have been designed with weight in mind, so they will always get along with standard gutters. For example, a standard length of 8'' weighs anywhere between 6-7 pounds. However, when rain starts to fall, rainwater will add to that weight. If you're buying longer rain chains, say beyond 20 feet in length, you should include additional gutter reinforcement.
The following are rain chain options you should sample
1) Zen Loops copper rain chain (http://is.gd/L5VCP4)
This rain chain boasts of pure, thick copper design with vertical bars that help rainwater flow downwards efficiently. They cost $19.
2) Double loops copper link rain chains (http://is.gd/TjmbyO)
These are 2 inch version of double loops which come in pure, thick copper. It is reported that these rain chains function better than 3 inch versions of double loops. Their design lets them add links in between the loops, hence making them stylish and at the same time, functional. Again, the unfinished copper tends to age gracefully with time. Price is $16.
3) Large link pure copper chain (http://is.gd/6labGp)
These are simple yet elegantly designed to stay consistent with original Japanese intent. These chains are hard to find anywhere, except when you decide to have your rain chains customized to look like them. The price is $16 only.
4) Cast Link (http://is.gd/KNx3L0)
This is a thick link chain offered in copper, brass, and other materials. They feature a rougher finish which adds to their elegant appearance. They will age gracefully to the extent of acquiring a patina finish. They cost $34.
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