Are Rain Chains Suitable For Calgary?

Rain chains are a popular alternative to traditional eavestrough systems in Japan. They call them kusari-toi or kusari-doi there, which literally translates to chain gutter. In fact, people use them all over the world to transform tinkling rain into a work of art, or to drip feed a favourite part of their garden.

We explore this popular art form in this post and conclude they are truly lovely. However, in the end we believe rain chains are unsuitable for Calgary’s frozen winters. But, this is not to say you could not install one inside a covered patio using a water feature, and a recirculating pump.

Some Advantages of Using Rain Chains

Rain chains are undeniably far cheaper to install than traditional guttering systems. Moreover, they are far less likely to clog with autumn leaves and wind-blown storm debris. They are also attractively subtle architectural features some designers view as must-haves. No wonder they are becoming so popular!

Rain chains are also simple to maintain and install. Folk make them from almost any waterproof material. They customise them to suit their creative temperaments, so they become statements of their personal values as they celebrate nature.

And finally, on the positive side rain chains harness and connect with nature by using the dynamics of water. This flows through them as it does in mountain streams and waterfalls. Moreover, their peaceful tinkling ambience is restful after a tiring day at work.

Some Practical Disadvantages of Rain Chains

Blizzards and destructive winds do occur over Calgary. Our eavestroughs and down spouts are made to withstand these. However, rain chains are far less sturdy and can blow around. Moreover, they can’t direct water away from the foundations which is the primary purpose of down pipes.

Rain chains can’t work properly if they ice up, and these may snap from the added weight during a freeze. But they can be ideal in the right context, for example in the sheltered courtyard we included as our reference image.

So Are Rain Chains Out of Frame in Calgary?

Only you will know what is best for your particular home, and therefore only you can decide. You are always welcome to contact Valiant Exteriors for specialist advice. Perhaps your answer is to use rain chains as add-on features to complement a professional guttering system. Because they are undeniably lovely in the right context.

More Ideas

Sloping the Streams Around Your Roof

Hand-Mitered Corners Are Better

A Rain Chain Feature in a Japanese Garden (バリーさん BY CC 3.0)