Rain Chains - Newest Fad or Great Add?
Everyone seems to be adding rain chains to their homes and buildings these days! Are rain chains the newest fad in architecture, house bling, and landscape designs? Rain chains first appeared in Japan hundreds of years ago, and were made from twisted, or roped bamboo and thatch. Before the first rain chains, thatched roofs did an excellent job of diverting water away from the foundations of houses to prevent muddy interiors and erosion of foundations. With the emergence of clay tile roofs, metal roofs, and more currently composite and asphalt roofs, rain chains and downspouts have become a necessity to help divert rain water, and control the flow of water away from structures. Not only can wet foundations and erosion undermine the stability of your homes, the freeze thaw cycles can push foundations out of place that are perpetually wet. Not to mention insect and termites being drawn to damp wet spaces!
What are rain chains and why do we need them? Gutter systems with downspouts are standard these days, and often look just that, standard, utilitarian, and don't always do their jobs well. Downspouts can clog from leave and tree debri causing dams in the gutter system and pushing water into your house at the roof line. Rain chains, with their open design, can be a bit splashy depending on the style you choose, but will allow free movement of the water flow down and away as you choose to divert the streams. In some areas, rain catchment basins and rain barrels can be used to capture rainwater rather than allow it all to run off. Rain chains can be used leading into a rain barrel, or urns, planters, and even a dry river bed that meanders around your property. Water loving plants can thrive on top of a rain barrel system, or along the pond or rock beds leading water away from foundations and critical structures.
Rain Chains come in as many varieties as house paint, and allow you the opportunity to add a touch of design, whimsy, and art to your home while doing their job to protect your investments. Rain chains are made of a variety of materials, chain links, sea glass, twisted wire, mini flower pots, tea cups, laser cut outs, or even shells and stones. I have rain chains on my home that are anchored into a dry rock river bed, and divert the rain water down a channel, making fun waterfalls. How would you design YOUR rain chain system and flow channel away from your structures?
Rain Chains are easy to install, and can be retro-fitted where downspouts already exist. Simply remove the downspouts, and clip in the rain chain. Anchor the chain at the bottom inside a big pot, into a rain barrel, or a rock bed. Some rain chains have bells on the end and are not meant to be anchored. If you did want to anchor those, just extend the chain past the bell, so you still let it ring, and tether the new end down. You can make rain chains shorter, or longer, to fit your specific needs.
This youtube video from this old house installing rain chains is great!
Here are some rain chains to consider for your project.
Brushed Bronze is a favorite bling look for hardware at my house. Add BEES, yes PLEASE! Twisted metal always gets me with it's hard and soft features.
Another bronzed beauty is this fun pine cone rain chain. I can't wait to see the water flows it makes and it should definitely slow down some heavy rainfall!
Celebrate hummingbirds with this fun rain chain!
Heart rain chains are a sweet addition and this extra long chain is perfect for tall spaces, or can be divided into two chains! I can see this one as a plant hanger also, to extend down your hanging planters in a multi-adjustable height. Don't be afraid to dissect and reassemble your rain chains to customize them!
I would put the heart rain chain on an inside porch, swag across porch windows, so many fun options!
What rain chain is YOUR favorite? What style or theme of rain chains would you like to see us carry?