The other day I was driving down the road when off in the distance I saw what looked like a wind chime hanging from a neighbor’s gutters.
Being in the gutter business, I knew immediately it was a rain chain, which is an increasingly popular gutter accessory homeowners are using. Just like how there are different materials and sizes your gutters can be made out of… there are also plenty of gutter accessories to consider.
Whether you’re looking to save water or for aesthetics, gutter accessories can accompany your newly installed seamless gutters.
Each accessory has a different purpose; some are for the aforementioned aesthetics to make your home look nicer, other accessories are for keeping the maintenance on your gutters minimal, and some in-between of making your home look pretty while helping your gutters.
Today, we will explore some of the gutter accessories to consider when you go to do maintenance on your gutter system or perhaps, so you don’t even have to!
5 Gutter Accessories to Consider!
Below is a list of just some of the gutter accessories out there!
1. Rain Chains
Rain chains are the close sibling to your gutter’s downspouts.
They function similarly to your downspouts, with the difference being that rain chains are easier to install if you’re a homeowner and look prettier.
Typically, homeowners choose rain chains because they look better since the chain is made up of a specific design, they could actually resemble a chain, water cans, and hearts, the list is endless.
Rain chains can add curb appeal and show off when someone pulls up on the driveway to pay you a visit or if a neighbor walks by. In comparison to a downspout, where they usually have to blend in against the home or not be too apparent.
Rain chains are easier to install in comparison to downspouts, they usually come with a gutter clip to clip on the gutter itself and have the water flow down the chain.
Pros: Rain chains clog less than a downspout, and depending on the kind of chain you purchase, it may make a pleasant sound as the water down the chain from your roof.
Also, they are great for homes that have rock-based water collection landscaping (Landscaping that is designed for recycling rainwater without hurting the foundation).
Cons: Per linear foot compared to a downspout, rain chains typically cost more because of the fancy designs. Additionally, with heavy storms, they do not perform nearly as well as a downspout. This is vital to keep in mind to protect against possible foundational and erosion issues.
You can Google search “Rain Chains” or hop on Amazon to find some if you’re interested!
2. Rain Barrels for Downspouts
Rain barrels are usually placed underneath the exit of a downspout so it can collect the rainwater. Or, some rain barrels are integrated with the downspout.
The majority of the rain barrels out in the market are all pretty similar:
- A large cylinder that can carry anywhere from 10 – 75 gallons of water,
- Typically made of plastic or has a metal finish.
- Water is collected and then can be used to disperse with a hose or watering jug
The purpose of rain barrels is to collect water and to be later used on your plants, grass, and lawn in general. By doing this, you can save money by recycling rainwater instead of using your hose.
Another benefit is you can determine what you do with rainwater vs it simply just washing away! Recently, companies have gotten a bit more creative and created barrels that resemble a raindrop that can be attached to your downspout.
Most barrels come with a bit of tap at the bottom for you to drain the rainwater using a hose, and some even have a birdbath feature!
Lastly, the barrel comes in different sizes to accurately cater to the appropriate raindrop barrel. Just see the rain barrel here at Raindropgutterguard.com
Note: Rainwater collected is not advised to drink, mainly because on the way to the rain barrel, the water may have collected bacteria, bird poop (and other animal poop potentially) dead insects, and so forth. Not the ideal thing to drink. If you have little kids, it’s smart to let them know this!
3. Gutter Guards
Gutter guards are essentially what they are called; they are guards for your gutters. But what exactly are they guarding?
Gutter guards are designed to keep debris from entering and clogging your gutters and ice from damaging your gutters. This prevents gutters from falling off your roof.
Gutter guards are made from varying materials, with each having its own set of pros and cons (see our review of gutter guards here). Some gutter guards you place over the gutter and attach to the outer lip of the gutter and the shingle, or place it underneath the shingle and then screw it.
They may be made of metal, a screen, or plastic. Others you might insert inside the gutter. Such as a foam or a brush. However, here at Gutter Guru, we only offer one type of gutter guard:
Raindrop Gutter Guards
Raindrop gutter guards are a surface tension guard that is SELF-CLEANING, meaning we guarantee they won’t clog. In fact, when we install gutter guards we offer a lifetime NO-CLOG warranty.
If they clog – we will come to clean them for free!
That is how confident we are in Raindrop Gutter Guards, just inquire below:
4. Downspout Solutions with Landscaping:
Sometimes it is best to utilize your lawn or backyard as a means to divert water away from your home and help your downspouts.
While this might not be a gutter accessory per se, your landscaping can add to your gutter system.
For example, maybe you do not want to install an extended downspout to lead the water away from the home out in the open since it does not look aesthetically too well. Or, perhaps splash blocks (#5) just might not do the trick for you either.
In this case, the next best solution is to use a corrugated drain pipe, (the black tubes you see coming out from people’s homes) and take your downspout “Underground.”
If you were to choose this option, you would want to attach the pipe at the downspout where all the water exits, have the pipe run across your lawn or underground, and have it lead towards a storm drain. Bonus points if a rainwater emitter is attached to the corrugated pipe and is later used to water your grass and plants.
The next solution where you can utilize your lawn is having a dry well installed. Essentially, a dry well is a large hole filled with gravel that collects the rainwater from your gutters, when installed with PVC pipes or corrugated pipes.
For more, check out this full article on Downspout Solutions with Landscaping.
5. New Splash Blocks
Lastly, a cheap and quick way to add some gutter accessories is to make use of new splash blocks.
Whether you are missing splash blocks, they have been hit with the lawn more a few too many times, or you just want a new color, it is vital to know that splash blocks are the only gutter accessor that would be considered “Required.”
A splash block is placed underneath your downspout to prevent erosion during storms.
Splash blocks are used to direct the water further away from your home, rather than the water just falling close to your foundation and causing erosion at that direct point. Without the splash block, the water may slowly make its way to the wall or the foundation of the wall, possibly crack the foundation and/or deteriorating the material of the wall.
We have also seen where downspouts have even created holes in driveways!
It is very important for homeowners to redirect the flow of water away from home, typically 3 – 6 feet is an ideal distance, and it is simple with a splash block.
Most cost as low as $2-4, and they may be made of different materials, some are plastic, terracotta, or rocky/concrete material.
Splash blocks can also have varying designs, some look like a flight of stairs, leaves, and plants or have a few cute animals. Others are just straightforward, plain blocks. You can find them at Lowes, Walmart, Home Depot, or online!
When it comes to gutters accessories, the options are there.
You can decorate your house with rain chains, add rain barrels, or upgrade your splash blocks. In the end, it’s all going to add some curb appeal no matter what you do but always keep this final point in mind:
Do what is best for your home – not for looks.
A rain chain could be a nice feature, but if you have a long strip of gutters that has to displace heavy amounts of water, you might want to keep the traditional downspout.
You can always put a rain chain on your sheet, porch, or deck!
Note: For installation, most of these gutter accessories require homeowners to do it themselves or hire a landscaper. Here at Gutter Gurus, we do offer gutter guard installation, but some of the accessories listed above, we, unfortunately, don’t offer as a service. But it never hurts to at least ask!