Comparing Downspouts And Rain Chains

Downspouts and rain chains are both installations that are a part of your home's gutter system, and they work to move water from your roof to the ground below where it can be properly and safely drained without entering the interior of your home. However, despite fulfilling the same function, each does so in different ways and has a number of associated characteristic benefits. Understanding what both downspouts and rain chains have to offer your home's roof can help you decide which one is the best fit for your property.

Rain Chains

Rain chains are a decorative drainage solution for your gutters and are usually made up of interlocking or interconnected levels or links. Water travels down the chain, held in place by surface tension, and creates an eye-catching and attractive flow. Rain chains can be incorporated into other installations in your yard, such as flowing into a nearby pond or birdbath. Chains are weighted into the ground and into the gutter above them to prevent them from swaying or moving in storms. Since they cannot become clogged with debris, they are extremely easy to maintain.

However, despite their innate natural beauty, rain chains are not able to handle massive amounts of rainfall, and strong winds (like tropical storms and hurricanes) can simply rip them out of place, leaving your gutters without a proper drainage solution when they need it most. This makes rain chains less than ideal for traditionally rainy areas, especially coastal areas that deal with a heavy storm season each year. Further, since rain chains are traditionally made out of copper and other attractive metals, they can be more expensive than simple aluminum downspouts are.


Downspouts, on the other hand, are a somewhat large tube that extends down from your gutters, usually made out of the same material and painted to be the same color, creating a seamless aesthetic. They are more common than rain chains, largely because of their low cost and ease of installation. Downspouts can move a larger amount of water than rain chains can manage, which makes them ideal for areas prone to heavy amounts of rainfall.

Downspouts have some downsides, however. Notably, they will have to be regularly cleaned and maintained to remove debris, which can cause clogging and create complications for the rest of your gutter system. Further, while they do create a seamless appearance along with your gutters, they are not particularly eye-catching or attractive and do not offer as much to your exterior design as rain chains do. 

Get in touch with a gutter service company such as Hogan  Roofing for more information.