Rain Gutter Alternatives for Your Home or Business

 As we’ve mentioned in our older blogs, taking care of your gutters is at the core of your roof’s maintenance. Gutters help prevent moisture buildup, which offsets several problems your roof could face in the future. Remember, a dry roof is a healthy roof. 

However, gutters aren’t the only things you can use to keep your roof dry. There are many effective, low-maintenance alternatives for homeowners and business owners to explore. Some are decorative, while others are completely inconspicuous, so you can choose to be expressive or not.

In this article, we’ll cover four of these alternatives in detail – elaborating on some of their strengths and weaknesses as we go along.

Rain Chains 

At Regions Commercial, we believe that every property should be an extension of its owner’s unique tastes. We urge you not to be confined to other people’s conventions when you’re making any roof-related decisions – especially those concerning your gutters. If you want to deviate from the norm, you should get some rain chains.

Rain chains are impervious to clogging, but they’re also arguably the most visually attractive alternative on this list. If you’re not sold, listen to this. Rain chains have been in use for centuries, and such longevity is a testament to their effectiveness. Rain chains, or kusari doi as they’re also called, originated in Japan, and they’ve been hung in temples, homes and businesses for generations.

Rain chains collect rainwater from your roof and funnel it into underground reservoirs, rain basins, or barrels at the bottom of the chain. The chain could actually be a chain or even cups strung together in a vertical line. With the cup design, rain flows from one cup to the other until the bottom one overflows into a basin. 

Like many other rain gutter alternatives, this design reduces the rainwater’s force, which helps curb erosion. In addition to their visual appeal, rain chains are very customizable, and they come in several different colors, materials and designs

For instance, you could get aluminum or copper rain chains. Copper’s bronzed appearance looks stunning in the sunlight, and over time, the cups gain a tarnished green look that’s equally stunning. In comparison, aluminum rain chains offer a far simpler look without the tarnish. 

Keep in mind that many rain chains come in several rust-resistant metals. Opting for rust-resistant rain chains reduces the time, money and resources you would otherwise spend on normal gutter maintenance. Some homeowners reported saving thousands of dollars on roof maintenance in just a few years.

Also, depending on the type of rain chain, you might have a very straightforward installation on your hands.

Despite all their benefits, rain chains have their drawbacks. For instance, some rain chains are difficult to assemble and install. Moreover, rain chains are most effective in moderate climates. Rain chains don’t fare well in areas with regular, heavy rainfall or places with very strong winds. During wintertime, precipitation in the chains freezes. Most people aren’t opposed to this because it looks pretty cool. However, over time, the combined weight of the ice and rain chain can damage your roof. 

Rain Dispersal Systems

Rain dispersal systems get their name from how they kick rainwater away from your roof and home. How do they do this? Well, these systems divide falling rainwater into small rivulets. Some systems are so effective that they can reduce these streams into tiny droplets. This feature helps decrease the rain’s force which helps limit soil erosion and offset possible foundation damage in the future.

One of these systems’ biggest advantages is how readily available they are. You can get a rain dispersal system from most hardware stores in your area. In addition, rain dispersal systems require minimal cleaning. Take the RainHandler, America’s favorite rain dispersal system, for example.

Not only do the RainHandler’s seven angled louvers break up precipitation in all its forms, its open louver design helps prevent snow and ice buildup. The system helps protect your roof from future water damage by preventing this buildup. In addition, the open louver design is pretty much impervious to clogging because it allows for almost zero debris buildup.

Rain dispersal systems can significantly cut down the time, resources and money that homeowners pour into their roof’s maintenance. Moreover, rain dispersal systems are custom jobs. Although you may pay a fee for the installation, we will build your system to meet your roof’s unique needs.

Rain dispersal systems have numerous benefits, but they come with one major drawback. If the system isn’t properly installed, the runoff could drip too close to the house and speed up the water damage the system was installed to prevent. So, make sure you only get a licensed professional to install your roof’s system.

Drip Edge

According to Worst Room, drip edges are ‘metal-strip attachments’ which you place on your roof’s edges. Other roofers prefer calling drip edges flashing. Drip edges help keep water out of your fascia. Once water gets in there, your roof is far more susceptible to water damage. With water damage comes costly repairs, and at Regions Commercial, we want roofing to be as cost-effective for you as possible.

Drip edge installation is also relatively cheap. For example, according to Angie’s List, drip costs approximately $1-$2 per linear foot. However, we advise all our readers to consider their roof’s size and budget before installing drip edges on the roof. Also, it’s safer to think of drip edges as gutter enhancers than a gutter alternative.

Drip edges help reduce precipitation’s force, and they also ensure that water doesn’t flow too close to your roof’s deck or fall too close to the building’s foundation. A well-installed drip edge and unclogged gutters make your roof less susceptible to water damage. However, if your drip edges aren’t carefully installed, they could worsen moisture buildup in your roof and foundation.

Look no further than us for your installation if you’re considering drip edges. We’ll even conduct a free roof inspection to properly assess your roof and the building’s dimensions . At Regions, we’re committed to doing the best job possible the first time around.

Ground Gutters

Ground gutters are also known as French drains. Ironically, their names have nothing to do with them being French. These drains are named after their creator Henry Flagg French who made them in 1859 in Massachusetts. French drains are ground gutters that flow into trenches filled with gravel and then into a pipe at the bottom.

These drains reroute water on sloped terrain moving unwanted water from higher land to low land. Their main purpose is to get water away from walls and foundations. In addition to being inconspicuous and unobtrusive, these drains are versatile and can be used in commercial, residential, and agricultural setups. Moreover, you can install a French drain indoors or outdoors.

French drains require very little maintenance, however you might want to scrub the gutters, so they don’t get too grimy. You’ll also want to check the drain’s outlet for any leaves or debris. Although they’re highly effective, French drains have their drawbacks. For instance, they require expert installation. We repeat: THESE DRAINS ARE NOT A DIY PROJECT! Get some licensed professionals on the job ASAP.

They’re also very expensive due to how much labor and materials they require. Like most of the other alternatives mentioned in this blog, a poorly installed French drain will accelerate water damage to your foundation. Lastly, if you don’t install your ground gutter, you’ll give your property a very expensive eyesore.


Gutters help reduce moisture retention and promote better roof and foundation health for your home or business. If you want to explore alternatives to a traditional rain gutter, we’d be more than happy to talk you through the process. At Regions Commercial Roofing, you can lean on our 30+ years of roofing experience for any repair or inspection you might need. Just click the link to contact us.

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