22 June 2011

My Mind Has Been in the Gutter Lately

Last night it rained for the first time in about a month. Which means that last night was about the fifth time in the last year that it has mattered that we don't have downspouts on our gutters. (Yesterday it was also under 100 degrees for the first time in over two weeks, but it still felt stiflingly, crushingly hot for this month's Splash and Dash.)

We went with round galvalume (galvanized aluminum) gutters to match our metal roof and to leave our exposed rafter tails partially visible, but we only got two downspouts, in the least visible locations (the back corners of the house).

But we didn't want to clutter up the rest of the exterior with big, bulky downspouts, so we planned to add rain chains to channel rainwater daintily to the ground.

We still need to buy them. They're pricey! (And we still need to stake that tree.)

So most of our gutters are still naked as can be:

The gutter installer made these little holes for the rain chains to connect to:

But they're not big enough for water to flow through in a heavy rain, and more ends up spilling over the sides than going through the hole:

I had thought this was just a hazard of having rain chains, but then I saw a house on the Cool House Tour that made me realize the holes were simply inadequate. This is what we need:

(Minus the debris inside.)

Fortunately, the Cool House Tour book includes lots of source information, so I called the gutter contractor and arranged to have some of those outlets made to fit my chosen chain (the same aluminum "extra link" style as that house has) so I can have my gutter guy come back and cut the holes to the proper size. Then I'll pop the outlets in (and seal the seam, I suppose) then attach the chains. And then, the next time it rains, the gutters will look like this:

And the water will hit the ground with a lot less force. (It's advised to have a bucket or dish or pile of rocks or something to catch the water and further soften the landing. We're going the rock route.)

So that's the status of our very belated rain chain project. Hopefully we're nearing the end of the era of visitors asking why we don't have downspouts. (Otherwise, we'll have to find less observant people to hang out with.)

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