An Easy Guide to Water Harvesting from Rain Gutters

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Rain Gutters Water Harvesting

Emma DowneyByEmma Downey
Updated on 10/4/2022

 

Even if installing rain gutters isn't exactly appealing, doing so can be an efficient way to recycle water. This essay will show you how to get the most out of your rain gutters, regardless of whether or not you currently have them installed or are planning to do so shortly.

We are discussing rainwater harvesting, a method that is straightforward and efficient and provides water to the local flora and fauna in a way that benefits the ecosystem. And while doing so, preserving the water supply.

rain gutter

 

People frequently fail to recognize how essential rain gutters genuinely are. However, rain gutters can discharge tonnes of precipitation from the roof in the event of a challenging storm.

Where exactly does all of that water end up going? You have the last say on this matter.

Why Should You Collect Water From Rain Gutters?

Your home's foundation and walls benefit from installing rain gutters because they prevent water from accumulating.

You can also use the gutters on your home to collect rainwater, which can then be used in the garden or for other reasons (more on that in a bit).

gutters of red rain

 

The Following Are Some of The Advantages of Recycling Water:

  • It helps you reduce your use of water.
  • Beneficial to the overall health of your garden
  • It has an effect that is helpful to the surrounding environment
  • You will have access to a crucial backup supply of water that you can use in times of drought.
  • Reduces the likelihood that an intense rainstorm will cause flooding on your property.

Rain Gutters Water Usage

What is some possible use for the collected rainwater from your gutters? In a variety of different methods. Here are some ideas that should get you thinking.

Hydroponics and Aquaponics

Rainwater can be used in hydroponic or aquaponic systems with a bit of ingenuity and imagination on your part.

We are using precipitation for hydroponics
.

 

These systems can continually circulate water, so you will only need to change it every so often.

They can assist you in conserving water while simultaneously accelerating the growth of various plant life.

Flower Garden

Garden plants benefit significantly from being watered with rainwater. Because of this, it is a good idea to collect water during a rainfall so that you may offer it to your plants and garden flowers to drink after the rain has stopped.

irrigating the flower garden using water collected from rain

 

If you collect the water in a rain barrel, you can use a plastic watering can or bucket to remove it straight from the barrel. If you do not contain the water, you will need to find another way to store it. If the barrel's opening is big enough, you won't require a fixture to access the liquid inside.

Vegetable Patch

Rainwater is an excellent choice for watering your garden's plants, including salad greens, lettuce, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, and anything else.

irrigating the vegetable plot with rainwater

 

Suppose you want to use rainwater for this reason. In that case, you should move your rain barrels to a location only a short distance from where you will be planting your vegetables.

 

Water Attractions

It's possible that rainwater isn't the best option for swimming pools (without a filtering system in place at least).

 

 

You can, however, put it to use in the construction of ponds, waterfalls, fountains, and other imaginative types of water features similar to those found in Japanese gardens.


Utilizing rainwater for a little pond.

You may need to construct a pipe delivery system from the rainwater container, but this will depend on the water features.

Animals and their Companions Deserve Water

The bunnies and chickens that you keep and any other animals that you could save as pets benefit from drinking clean rainwater.

 

 

chickens sipping water from the rain

Just check that the water hasn't gone bad before offering it to them and make sure it's not stagnant.

 

Additional Uses

Rainwater can be used for various additional activities, including cleaning dishes and vegetables in an outdoor kitchen, doing the laundry, washing the car, taking a shower, watering houseplants, and composting.

 

 

Utilizing collected rainwater for one's indoor plants.

Important: Before continuing, please keep in mind that, at the time this article was written, rainwater gathering was regulated in Colorado and Utah. Before moving on with this advice, you need to be sure that you have checked the applicable local regulations.

 

Different Varieties of Rain Gutters

Rain gutters can be painted to make them appear identical to one another. Still, they can be crafted from various materials, and there can be apparent distinctions between them.

 


shed rain gutter

If you make the right decision, you'll save money and a significant amount of time and effort. Let's take a look at the rain gutters that are the most popular among homeowners.

 

Wooden Rain Gutters

In recent years, gutters made of wood have had somewhat of a resurgence in popularity. They have the potential to have a nice appearance, and if you get them checked and sealed regularly, they may endure for an extended period.

 

wooden rain gutter

However, they must be installed with more excellent care because of their weight compared to the alternatives. When you consider their price, which includes the maintenance expense, you can see that this is a more expensive option.

 

Copper Gutters

Copper rain gutters, another high-end option, look fabulous and have a long lifespan if installed correctly.

 

 

As a result of the patina that develops on them over time, you do not need to paint them regularly. They are a good option because they don't require a lot of upkeep, which makes them convenient.

 

copper rain gutter

On the other hand, there must be some drawbacks. These rain gutters are among the most expensive that can be purchased currently on the market.

 

You probably won't be able to make or install them on your own, which will drive up the price and may require you to hire a specialist if they become damaged over time. In most cases, you won't be able to do either of those things.

Aluminum Gutters

Aluminum rain gutters offer a variety of benefits, including resistance to rust, lightweight construction, and ease of installation. Additionally, you are free to paint them in any color you like.

 

aluminum rain gutter

What are some of the downsides? Indeed, aluminum is not the longest-lasting material. These gutters could need to be repaired or replaced sooner rather than later if the winters there are particularly severe or the storms are mighty.


Aluminum gutters are a reasonably accessible solution that makes good sense if you want a quick upgrade from outdated gutters. This is true even if aluminum gutters have certain drawbacks.


Vinyl Gutters

Vinyl gutters, a more modern innovation, are currently among the most cost-effective options. They do not have a high likelihood of rusting or denting, which is a significant advantage they possess.

 

In addition, they are easy to install due to their low weight and the fact that they are available in various colors.

 

vinyl rain gutter

 

Vinyl gutters are not the strongest gutters available and have the potential to sag under the weight of snow.

 

They might not be the most fantastic choice if you reside in an area that frequently experiences significant snowfall. They are also susceptible to cracking if frozen, particularly the more affordable options.

 

One more thing to take into consideration is the possibility that vinyl contains compounds that are poisonous in some way.

 

Suppose you intend to use them to recycle water that will be used for producing vegetables or raising animals. In that case, you should check to see that they will not leak any dangerous elements before you put the water through the recycling process.

 

Steel Gutters

Galvanized or stainless steel can be used to make gutters. Guttering made of stainless steel is more resilient than other materials since it does not rust or corrode. It can tolerate being damaged (such as from a heavy hailstorm).


steel rain gutter

They are a reliable option if you do not live in a sweltering climate. The expensive cost, the restricted number of color possibilities, and the tendency to first expand and then contract when exposed to continuous heat are all drawbacks of this material.


The Crux of the Matter

In this situation, no answer applies to everyone. The kind of gutters you should buy for your home depends on various factors, including your budget, the colors and styles you choose, and whether or not you are prepared to do some DIY work.


A Guide to the Installation of Rain Gutters

You need to make sure that you have the appropriate tools to either install new gutters or replace the old ones that are currently there.

 

putting in a downspout for the rain gutter

The installation process may vary slightly from one type of gutter to another. Still, the fundamental processes remain the same no matter which gutters you install.


What You Will Require

including the flashing, hanging strap, and sealant on the gutters

Downspouts

Elbows

Hex screws with a self-tapping head

Medium length rivets

Combination hex head driver and cordless drill

Rivet gun

Tall step ladder or extension ladder

Check out the video provided below for a straightforward video tutorial.

 

A word of advice: If you want to keep debris out of your gutters, use leaf gutter guards.

 

You say you don't have the tools or the time to install rain gutters, but you do. It is preferable to hire a professional to complete the task rather than risk performing a poor job or, even worse, injuring yourself while attempting to complete the task.

 

How to Reuse and Recycle Water Using Your Roof's Rain Gutter System

When you have completed the process of installing rain gutters or upgrading older ones, you are ready to begin collecting water from them. It is not difficult at all.


Instructions for Recycling the Water Collected from Rain Gutters

 

Suppose you want to establish a simple and inexpensive system for recycling water utilizing your rain gutters. In that case, all you need to do is follow these easy steps.

 

Step 1: Ensure Your Roof is in Good Condition

ensuring that the condition of the roof is satisfactory

It all begins with ensuring that the roof is in good repair. The effectiveness of your water harvesting system will suffer if your roof has leaks or debris, and these roof issues could also generate a range of other complications.

 

If you haven't checked your roof in a while, this is the time to do so. However, if you don't know what you're doing, we suggest that you call in a professional to help you with this task.

 

Before moving on to the next phase, make sure any necessary repairs or adjustments are made to the roof. You may do this very much any time, except in the middle and end of winter.


Step 2: Prepare the Rain Guttering and the Downspouts for Use

preparing the gutters and downspouts for the incoming rain

Ensure your gutters are in good shape because they will be responsible for the bulk of the job.

 

You first need to clean them up by removing any dead leaves and other debris that may be present. Be cautious since bees or wasps may build their nests in the gutters of your home at some point.


Cleaning your gutters regularly (as described above) and installing gutter guards will ensure smooth water flow into the rain barrels around your property.


Gutter guards are not expensive and may be located with little effort.

 

Step 3: Make changes to the downspout (s)

modifying the settings of the downspouts

The end of the gutter downspout should be positioned to be just a little bit higher than the barrel.

 

You may need to cut existing downspouts or install new ones, depending on how your gutters are currently set up (refer to the video above for a demonstration).

 

It is recommended that you make a few rough layouts on paper before beginning the actual job to determine the appropriate number of downspouts to purchase.

It is preferable to have multiple gutters as this relieves the stress placed on the gutters and lessens the strain placed on longer ones.


Step 4: Put the Rainwater Harvesting System in Place

putting in place the apparatus for collecting rainwater

Place the barrel in a secure location on level ground, regardless of whether you use a new barrel or one that has been repurposed.

 

You can either install a fixture in the barrel or utilize pipes. You can accomplish this by purchasing a water harvesting kit.

 

Check out our comprehensive guide on rainwater harvesting for additional information. It features simple kits that are available for purchase on the internet.


Step 5 – Make Use of the Water Within a Few Days

irrigating the garden with water collected from rain

Vacant water provides an ideal environment for the growth of mosquitoes and algae. Plus, it smells awful!

 

Suppose you wish to save some of the water. In that case, you might want to consider utilizing a water feature or reservoir with a filtration system.

 

Rain Gutters Maintenance

Rain gutters must be kept clean before the beginning of spring and the end of fall to reap the benefits of having rain gutters. In addition, you may need to clean them immediately after a severe storm.

 

Downspouts are susceptible to being obstructed by a variety of debris, including dead leaves, small stones, soot, and dust blown by the wind.

 

A clogged downspout may be adding significant weight to your gutters.

 

rainwater drainage gutters on the roof

Clogging can lead to structural damage in addition to other problems on the walls, foundation, and roof.

 

Tip: If you don't have the time to clean your rain gutters, it's best to call a professional to perform the cleaning at least once or twice a year, and potentially more often, depending on the climate you live in. This is the best course of action if you don't have the time to do it yourself.

 

Recycling of Water Through Rain Gutter Systems Questions That Are Frequently Encountered

The following are some of the most frequently asked questions we have received regarding the reuse of water through rain gutters. We do hope that the responses are helpful to you!


How exactly does one get rid of the rainwater?

dumping rainwater by utilizing a watering can as a container

Utilizing rain gutters to channel rainwater into a rain barrel equipped with a stopper or attached to a garden hose constitutes the simplest method for getting rid of rainfall.

 

The rainwater you collect can then be used for your vegetable and flower gardens, given to your pets and other animals to drink, or stored for use in the event of a drought.

Why do my gutters become clogged whenever it rains heavily?

rain gutter that is overflowing

Water may run down the roof's edge and either over or behind the gutter rather than into it. You can also have an insufficient number of downspouts, or the gutters might be too narrow for the amount of precipitation in your area.

 

Check to see if the rain gutters need to be replaced, and do so if they do.

 

Do you need to have gutters for the rain?

rain gutters prevent damage

Rain that runs off your roof without rain gutters can lead to flooding, erosion, water pools, and damage to your patio, flower garden, and sidewalk.

 

How do I get rid of standing water in my gutters?

putting in another downspout in the gutter

Long gutters can cause depression in the midst of them. You might try sloping the gutter in one direction or another to deflect the water, or you could build another downspout where the issue is occurring.

 

I say, "Let It Rain!"

Put your rain gutters to work for you by installing a few rainwater harvesting barrels and downspouts strategically. This will allow you to gather a significant amount of water, which you can then put to beneficial use in various ways.


Creating a flower garden or planting a magnolia tree may be more enjoyable than installing rain gutters for water recycling.


plants in good health that have been watered with rainwater

In contrast, this will, in the long run, benefit your garden by reducing the amount of water used and improving the health of your plants.

 

An excellent plan for the long run is to have your gutters cleaned and install a rainwater collection system, even if it's just a modest one.

 

Now, we'd be thrilled to get some feedback from you. Have you ever collected rainwater, either by the use of gutters or some other method?


Please send us a comment and fill us in on the details of the situation.

 

And, without a doubt... Let it rain!