Best Rain Chains for Cold Climates

July 29, 2022

Best Rain Chains for Cold Climates

Is it ok for rain chains to freeze?

This is a very common question we get asked about rain chains and the simple answer is yes!

All rain chains are unique and handle all elements differently, from the way they age over time to the way they handle waterflow. There's no exception for how different style rain chains handle freezing and icing. So, let’s take a look at the different style rain chains we recommend for cold and icy climates.

The two biggest issues that ice on a rain chain can cause is the extra weight from the ice and the expansion from the freezing water causing damage to your chain.

Weight From Ice on Rain Chains

Generally speaking, the excess weight from ice buildup on rain chains is not an issue and can actually make the rain chain look very cool. However, the longer the rain chain the more ice it will hold. The same thing happens with larger cups, larger cups means more ice will be held on them. With longer and XL rain chains it is best to simply keep an eye on your chain and break off any excessive amount of ice that builds up on it over the wintertime.

Ice Expansion on Rain Chains

When water turns to ice it expands, this can cause all sorts of issues for homes and if you live in an area with cold winters, you’ve probably seen the damage it can cause to a house. Rain chains usually hold up well to ice expansion however, this is because they are open all the way down and provide areas for ice to expand through without damaging the chain. It can still happen though, and we will be happy to replace any cups that get damaged to the point of breaking. There are some cup and link style rain chains that handle ice expansion better than others though.

Types of rain chains to avoid if you're worried about ice buildup:

Themed Cups with Detailed Designs

These types of chains will usually last in cold climates, but notice the extra designs that are welded onto the sides of the cups. It's likely that ice will penetrate the space between these design cutouts and the cups causing them to be pushed off eventually. Although this will sometimes take several winters to take effect depending on your exact climate.

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Link Style Rain Chains for Cold Climates

These are examples of great link style rain chains for ice buildup, there are other great options, but these are some great examples to show you what to look for.

Large Link Rain Chain

This rain chain is as simple as it gets, meaning there isn’t much that can go wrong with it.

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Rectangle Links™ Rain Chain

A cast style product that is strong and has lots of space between it’s links that allow for ice expansion.

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XL Cast Oval Links Rain Chain

Combining the simple nature of the large link rain chain and the strength of a cast style chain, this chain is great for any home.

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Stainless Steel Link Rain Chain

This chain has welded links that are very strong and won’t allow ice to penetrate and expend in any small spaces.

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Diamond Links Rain Chain

Another great cast link style rain chain that offers a unique design without compromising on strength.

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Cup Style Rain Chains for Cold Climates

Here are a couple examples of what to look for when picking a cup style rain chain for colder climates. The fact that these cups don't have fine details combined with their sturdy construction, makes these a great choice for cold climates.

Medium Square Cups Rain Chain

A simple designed cup is best, this cup style rain chain is among our most popular and offers a wide range of color options.

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XL Scallop Cups Rain Chain

This cup allows for a more styled design with it’s rounded details that won’t easily be damaged by snow and ice.

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Flower Cups Rain Chain

This smaller cup also brings a more classic design to homes and will be able to withstand elements easily due to its open design.

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Honeysuckle Rain Chain

A unique cup style rain chain that lacks fine detail which could be easily damaged.

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Arts & Crafts Square Cups Rain Chain

A great rustic choice that has extra holes cut for design, these also allow for even better ice expansion.

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Rain Chain Accessories in Cold Climates

Much like the rain chains they support, rain chain accessories handle ice built up very well. At the top of the rain chain, you’ll usually have an installation kit, if ice builds on these they will handle it well as long as you make sure you properly caulk the flange that sits in the gutter. If water gets in between the gutter and the installation kit it can expand and pop the kit out of place. This could cause water to leak under once springtime hits. Preventing this is simple though, make sure you follow our installation instructions, and you won’t have a problem!

At the bottom of the rain chain, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about when it comes to ice buildup. All of the anchoring accessories we sell are great for securing your chain through anything mother nature throws at it.