Alternatives to gutters

Written by carlye jones
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Alternatives to gutters
(Kevin Rosseel)

Gutters protect your home and your landscaping from water damage, but sometimes they seem like more work than they're worth. They require constant cleaning and repair, and some of them often detract from the beauty of a home or building. However, gutters direct water away from the foundation of a building, and they also prevent soil erosion along the drip line of the roof. Simply leaving off the gutters is not a good option. Fortunately, however, with careful planning, there are a few ways to avoid using gutters. Each of these options greatly reduces the amount of cleaning and maintenance needed, and they are not clogged by falling leaves and debris.

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Touted as a "state-of-the-art rain dispersal system," Rainhandler devices sit in the traditional place of gutters, and they break up rainfall as it travels through slats in the device. The water is dispersed in a fine spray that prevents soil erosion and home damage. Rainhandler comes in three different finishes: white, aluminium and brown. Because of its thin profile, it disappears into the architecture of a house or building much better than gutters. No downspouts are required, and the dispersed rain is directed away from the house, effectively watering nearby landscaping.

Rain Chains

Used for centuries in Japan, rain chains serve both a decorative and highly useful purpose. Installed in place of gutter downspouts, rain chains direct the flow of water either to the ground below. They may also direct the flow to a container or plant. Rain chains are perfect for collecting rainwater for later use, such as in a rain barrel, and they are designed to handle high flows.

Rain chains come in a wide variety of designs, allowing you to match the style to your home or building. From simple link chains to ornate flowers--basic copper to stainless steel--there's a rain chain to suit every style.


Similar to Rainhandler, RainbreakerZ disperses rainfall from the roof before it hits the ground below. It does so by forcing the water through a mesh grid that includes 125 holes per square inch. According to the RainbreakerZ Website, each raindrop that hits the device is divided into 19 smaller, uniform droplets. The rainwater is directed away from the house and on to nearby landscaping. Rainwater falling through the device is directed 18 inches away.

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