by Angad Verma
October 09, 2015
Recently, rain chains have undergone through many changes and adaptations. Change is good and necessary; as trends constantly shift so too does appreciation for things and preference for others change as well. What have made rain chain successful have been the constant advancement, progression and evolution of rain chains. Over the past years, many adaptations and representations have been part of rain chains development and have greatly contributed to its overall success and worldwide acceptance. As you browse through the internet, you will find a vast selection of styles to choose from and with the varying styles also comes the option of selecting a choice other than the standard copper material. Over the past several months, aluminum rain chains have seen a spike in both interest and purchase. A question that might have crossed your mind is if one is better than the other. There are notable differences between the two besides the difference in material and price however, there are other important differences to note that might not be visible by simply looking at a picture. Here are a few things to consider as you consider the difference between copper and aluminum rain chains.
  1. Difference in Weight The most striking difference between copper and aluminum rain chains would be the mass between the two. Copper is a much heavier material than aluminum. Why does this matter? It may be a deciding factor if you reside in a geographical area that experiences high winds. This may cause your chain to be tossed back and forth and in such case, anchoring it would be best. One advantage of aluminums lighter weight is that it supports a longer, extended length other than the 8.5 feet. Their lighter weight makes it safer to extend their length to satisfy longer length requirements. With copper rain chains, it is not recommended to go past 12 feet to about 15 feet. The heavy weight which results in the addition of extra length may cause problems unless the gutters are strengthened prior to this installation. We highly recommend installation with a copper or aluminum gutter adaptor to channel the proper flow of rain water.
  2. Oxidation One of the natural occurrences of copper is that with the progression of time, the copper oxidizes as it reacts with the oxygen in the air and turns into a brownish rustic patina finish which is very appealing. With aluminum rain chains, this does not occur. The silver hued aluminum rain chains are in their natural form and may develop a powdery residue. These will not oxidize over time either. These will maintain their color coating.
  3. Protection against Corrosion and Rusting One of the greatest differences and even benefits of aluminum rain chains is that they offer a protection against corrosion. Like with all metals, with the passage of time, it may cause it to appear a bit rusty. Aluminum rain chains, especially those finished in powder coating such as the black aluminum styles, assorted brown finishes and pewter bronze finish offer a special protection against corrosion. This powder coating layer provides a protection against corrosion for a few years, but it all depends upon the climatic conditions.
  4. Color Variation One reason that might explain why aluminum rain chains have become so popular is that they are offered in more hues as opposed to copper rain chains. Because no single home is alike, today you see many custom homes, contemporary homes, and vibrant as well as dimmer color tone homes that may require rain chain hues outside of the custom copper finish. With aluminum hues available in shades of brown as well as black, it gives homeowners with more options to color coordinate their rain chains to their homes exterior color.
RecapTo summarize, aluminum rain chains offer the same decorative beauty as copper rain chains. A deciding factor in choosing one over the other is really a question of personal preference, as some are attracted to the hues offered in the aluminum styles. Others are attracted to the copper gleam and the rustic finish it will develop over time. Other deciding factors may be the kind of material your gutters are made out of. Copper gutters are better off with copper rain chains as are aluminum gutters with aluminum rain chains. If you are considering extending your rain chain to a length longer than 12 feet, aluminum rain chains are better equipped to support the extended length due to their lighter weight. While the differences are to be considered in both copper and aluminum rain chains, a common characteristic in both copper and aluminum rain chains is that they both offer superior quality in performance.

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