Friday, June 10, 2011

Cool Roof - Green Roof Materials

Energy efficiency, durability, performance, sustainability, ability to recycle materials and life cycle costs are some of the key criteria for green building. Architects, builders and building oweners have changed the way they select building materials and are designing buildings. They increasingly are shifting their attention to green building materials and energy performance emphasizing newer cool roof selection. Cooling costs significantly affect a building's energy consumption in most parts of the country and cooling is the largest energy cost in the southern states. Cool roofs can save upwards of 40% in cooling energy as reported by several studies including Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. Cool roofs basically are roofs which reflect much of the solar radiation away from the building, employ ASV - above sheathing ventilation cooling underneath the roof material, readily transmit the heat which they still absorb away from the building and cool down quickly at night time. Less solar radiation and consequent heat entering a building's attic or living space through a building's roof, lowers the building's cooling costs and energy usage.

Read more at Rutland's Architectural Blog

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rutland Architectural Copper - Gutter Supplies - Roll Formers - Roll Forming Machines

Rutland Architectural Copper - Gutter Supplies - Roll Formers - Roll Forming Machines

Rutland supplies a complete array of metal roll formers or roll forming machines including single panel and double panel roll formers, decoilers (metal roll uncoilers), slitters (metal slitting machines) and embossers (metal embossing machines). Roll forming is a continuous forming or shaping process in which a long sheet of metal or metal coil roll is fed through a series of metal rollers, each only incrementally performing the forming until the metal reaches it's final shape or cross-section profile when it passes the last rollers. When metal needs to be formed into an exact profile in either large quantities or in long lengths, roll former machines accomplish this task in an ideal fashion. Roll formed metal has an advantage over metal extrusions of similar shape with roll formed sections typically being much stronger and lighter with the cold metal having been work hardened. Metal passed through and shaped in roll forming machinery can also be pre-finished or painted saving an additional fabrication step and labor. Finishing labor is greatly reduced with the high volume capability of roll forming. Roll formed metal is used for many architectural or construction purposes including metal roof panels, metal roofing tile, metal wall panels or siding, metal purlins or wall studs, metal door frames, metal shutters, metal floors or decking, guardrails and many other applications.

roll former machines - metal roll forming machinery pictured
Roll Former - Metal Roll Forming Machine

A decoiler, also known as an uncoiler, is a spindle type uncoiling machine which feeds the metal coils used in roll forming operation at an exact rate to the roll former. These metal coils can be rather large and very heavy and the large decoilers are often provided with hydraulic operation. Metal coils come in many assorted widths and lengths and also in a variety of metals including aluminum, copper, galvanized steel, galvalume, stainless steel and zinc. The metals may be in a raw state or unfinished, especially in the case for your green materials like copper, zinc and stainless steel and sometimes even galvalume which are more resistant to corrosion. Metals which are more subject to corrosive effects such as aluminum, galvanized steel and galvalume may be pre-finished or painted before passing through the roll former without the finish being damaged. The precisely shaped metal exiting the roll former machines is usually cut to pre-determined lengths by the machine. The pre-cut metal panels can then be transported to the job site and installed.

decoiler - uncoiler for uncoiling metal coil rolls for metal roll forming operations
Decoiler - Metal Roll Uncoiler

An embosser or metal embossing machine can emboss or impress one of many attractive patterns into the metal and used as is or fed into roll forming machines, providing additional architectural interest to wall panels, roof panels or flooring decks. The embossed patterns can also add strength or rigidity to the metal material. Usually a decoiler is situated at both the feeding and receiving ends of the embosser machine for volume operation.

embosser machines - metal embossing machine pictured
Embosser - Metal Embossing Machine

Metal Embossing Samples

A slitter or metal slitting machine cuts sheets or rolls of metal coil into exact widths when the metal material needs to be trimmed to size before being fed into roll forming machines. Decoiler machines positioned before and after the slitter can both feed and receive the metal material when long lengths are cut to size.

slitter machine for metal coil roll slitting pictured
Slitter - Metal Slitting machine

Roof panel, wall panel and floor deck profiles or shapes which are formed into the metal material by the roll formers provide added strength, rigidity and architectural interest. The metal panels formed can be shaped to interlock with each other and an attractive roof tile look can also created by metal roll former machines.

roof tile - roll form roofing tile profile picturedroof panel - roll form roofing panel profile pictured
Roofing Tile Sample Profile - Roof Panel Sample Profile

See more on the different types of roll forming machinery, samples of various wall and roof panel profiles and samples of metal embossing patterns including pictures, videos, detailed information and specifications available at Rutland's Roll Formers website.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Used Machines For Sale at Rutland Trading Post Classifieds

Rutland Trading Post offers free classified ads for the guttering and metal roofing community. Guttering and roofing professionals who wish to buy, sell or trade new or used gutter machines, downspout machines, metal roll slitter machines, decoilers, seamless gutter bending machines, downspout elbow machines, metal roof panel roll forming machines and other types of gutter equipment or gutter tools are invited to place online free classifieds at Rutland’s Trading Post. Rutland’s website offers substantial traffic in daily website visitors of fellow guttering and roofing professionals and their companies giving Trading Post free classified ads high exposure to qualified buyers and sellers.

Rutland Trading Post classifieds allows free ad posters to select from many different listing categories, upload up to 10 pictures for each ad listing and provide detailed descriptions of up to 7,500 characters to fully describe their equipment. Ads may also incorporate links to online images or videos on other websites including YouTube. Free ad posters may submit up to 15 listings, set them to run from 15 days to 90 days and may also sign in at any time to revise their ads, renew them or cancel them. Trading Post classified listings offer advanced search capabilities by keywords, category, date, city, state, zip code, distance, make and model. E-mail alerts may be set up to provide a heads up when ads are posted that match what buyers are looking for. Buyers can also subscribe to RSS feeds to receive up to date listing additions and changes. There is also a Trading Post Forum for guttering and roofing professionals to initiate or join in beneficial discussions and technical exchanges with their peers. All that is required to post classified ads or participate in the forum discussion boards is to provide a user name, e-mail address and password. E-mail addresses can be protected or hidden as all replies to ad listings or to forum posts are through a blind system, which automatically forwards responses from ads or posts. If however posters wish to share their e-mail, phone, address, business website, etc. that information can be made available in classified ad listings. Classified ad poster account information may be revised at any time. Rutland Trading Post respects it’s users privacy and their e-mail addresses will not be sold or shared to outside companies or lists. No account is required to review or reply to ads.

Please visit and check out Rutland Trading Post Classifieds and avail yourself of the many beneficial features of this free service for guttering and roofing professionals.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Improved Air Quality with Copper Ducting

Duct work in commercial HVAC and residential forced air heating and air conditioning systems circulate air throughout your building in the process of heating and cooling. Any biological pollutants, contaminants, pathogens, bacteria, microbes and viruses present in the air circulating around the HVAC system are breathed in and also settle on surfaces in all the rooms. Exasperating this problem in newer buildings is the fact that most are constructed to be more sealed or tighter for energy efficiency which in turn reduces fresh air exchange or ventilation. The same pollutants and disease causing organisms become concentrated and readily multiply. Also typically air duct work is a friendly, hospitable place for fungi, bacteria and mold to grow and spread. Like most living organisms, they require temperatures between 40-120 degrees F, food and moisture, conditions which are present in commercial and residential heating and A/C duct work. This can result in poor IAQ or indoor air quality, some times referred to as sick building syndrome, not only having possibility of making us sick but understandably promoting allergic reactions and exasperating asthma conditions.

To reduce our exposure to such biological pollutants and contaminants at home, at work and in public places, we need to attack this increasing problem on several fronts. Increasing or providing adequate fresh air ventilation can help reduce the concentration and trapping of these bacteria and pollutants. Reducing humidity or moisture levels to less than 50% or even 30% will help prevent condensation and disrupt growth of microbes, bacteria and mold. Of course reducing the sources of biological pollutants and even destroying or eliminating those present is paramount. Methods tried to reduce and eliminate circulating biological pollutants include cleaning of air ducts and decontamination of air ducts using chemicals, biocides, fungicides and ozone. Unfortunately duct work cleaning has not been proven to be effective. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in fact not only has stated that air duct cleaning has never been shown to actually prevent health problems but EPA also does not recommend that air ducts be cleaned except on a as needed basis. Regarding decontaminating heating and A/C systems including duct work, the EPA has stated that there is an unresolved controversy over the necessity and wisdom of introducing chemical biocides and ozone into duct work. The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists made an even stronger statement saying that application of chemical biocides as opposed to removing microbial growth and settled biological material is considered unacceptable. Still the fact remains that unhealthy biological pollutants and microbial growth are circulating around and residing in our duct work and it is imperative that something be done to reduce and eliminate it.

Beyond increasing fresh air ventilation and reducing moisture or humidity levels to help control biological pollutants and growth, there is considerable growing interest in deploying copper material for use as duct work. Copper has already been well documented and proven to destroy harmful bacteria, germs, microbes, pathogens, molds, fungi and viruses which come in contact with copper surfaces. Copper is also EPA approved as an antimicrobial agent after exhaustive tests confirmed it's effectiveness. Plus copper is inherently much safer than widespread use of ozone and chemical biocides - germicides whether liquids, sprays or aerosols. Copper and strong copper alloy materials are already proving effective in reducing the existence of biological pollutants, biological growths and bioaerosol contaminants in A/C duct work. Copper is quite an order of magnitude better than materials historically and commonly used for duct work such as galvanized steel, aluminum and stainless steel. While copper will not cure all IAQ problems and continuing studies will quantify it's measurable improvement in indoor air quality, it is known that usage of copper duct work will improve IAQ and is a positive step in the right direction. While we are waiting on definitive EPA approval for performance and health claims of copper duct work, builders and remodelers might also consider copper for it's elegance, beauty, richness, longevity, durability and corrosion resistance which are all much greater than any other material. Not coincidentally, these are the same reasons we have seen copper's ageless popularity for use in building architectural features and also increasingly in copper kitchens and copper home decor.

Copper Duct Work photos courtesy of Revere Copper Products

Friday, July 24, 2009

Gutter Reviews

Guttering sometimes does not get as much thought behind it's selection as other architectural features of a home or commercial building. Customary gutters often employed on buildings might even be rather drab and sometimes an afterthought. Rather than accentuate and enhance the building's architecture some gutter choices if not just dull may actually detract from the appearance of the home or building and be very unappealing. Yet barring wide overhangs and a steeply graded slope away from the building, gutters are essential for draining rainwater runoff from a roof away from the building protecting overhangs, eaves, walls or siding, windows, doors and assist keeping the foundation, crawl space or basement of the structure dry, thereby guarding against mold, rot and staining. Gutters also help prevent erosion of the top soil and landscaping around a building and shield people, walkways and entrances from sheets of falling water. Yes, becoming aware of all the available choices and features of guttering makes you a better wiser consumer. It also gives you an opportunity to choose a rain gutter system that doesn't just blend nicely into your building's architecture but actually enhances and upgrades the features, appearance and curb appeal of your real estate investment. Possibly you may start seeing guttering in a whole new light, and in planning and choosing your new gutters wisely, you are certain to be rewarded time after time again.

Rain gutters run the gamut from your run of the mill, same old - same old, aluminum K-style ogee gutters with rectangular corrugated downspouts, which are staples in some neighborhoods on those cookie-cutter homes, to the high end gutters purposefully designed to enhance a building's architectural features such as your integrated guttering or wood box gutter and those premium, elegant half round copper gutters and zinc gutters. There are still more gutter material choices including plastic or vinyl gutters, galvanized steel, galvalume and stainless steel gutters. As you might expect there is a wide range of pricing from your low end cheap vinyl gutter on up to that pricey redwood and stainless steel guttering. Cost is definitely going to be a big factor in many people's decision making on gutter choice. Assessment of your true cost extends beyond simply viewing a gutter system's initial purchase price and also includes analyzing the longevity of the guttering, plus any maintenance time and cost involved during the lifespan of the gutters such as: repairs, re-caulking, re-painting and partial or total replacement of a deteriorated gutter system. Another often overlooked cost is how the guttering choice will affect your real estate value. A poor guttering choice will detract from the building appearance and value, a typically common or acceptably sensible choice will hopefully maintain and uphold the property value and a visionary or astute choice will increase the real estate attractiveness, curb appeal and property value. A final consideration is the growing number of concerned people out there who also appreciate making the most environmentally green and eco-friendly choice.

Gutter Materials and Cost
Vinyl Gutters - Frequently a choice for your do it yourself price conscious people, these plastic or vinyl gutters oftentimes in plain white and sometimes in assorted colors are rust free, easy to trim or cut to size and are relatively cheap initially. Though 10 foot gutter sections may only run $3 to $5 at discount home outlets, with all the connectors, hangers, brackets and downspouts figured in they will cost you more like $3 to $5 per foot installed. Vinyl gutters can get brittle with age and exposure to the elements and may not have the strength to stand up to large amount of snow, ice, gale force winds and weight from a ladder or person climbing on to a roof. Vinyl also expands and contracts more than metal and can be problematic. Mostly they frequently look cheap, detract from your property's appearance and have a relatively short lifespan to boot. PVC or poly vinyl chloride gutters are not a very green or eco-friendly choice because of their short life and environmental health concerns. The Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ) termed PVC plastic as one of the most hazardous consumer products ever created, dangerous to human health and the environment throughout it's life cycle. When it is produced or burned PVC releases dioxins, potent synthetic chemicals that cause cancer and harm the environment.

Galvanized Steel Gutters - Steel coated with zinc to inhibit rust, was a common choice, especially before aluminum gutters appeared on the scene, as galvanized gutters are fairly strong and can stand up to ladders, fallen branches and weight unlike cheaper vinyl gutters. Galvanized gutters are also stronger and less susceptible to dents and damage than aluminum. Galvanized steel gutter pricing may run only $4 to $9 per foot installed and are seemingly a economical and practical choice. Yet even thick galvanized gutters will eventually rust through despite most of them being painted. Paint grip steel guttering is still galvanized steel that has been given a phosphate bath adding some to the corrosion protection but primarily providing a surface with better adhesion for paint. There are usually many color choices provided and different qualities of paint available. Galvanized gutters have to be maintained, inspected for cuts, metal exposure deterioration and re-painted during their practical life ranging from 7 to 20 years, depending on how corrosive their locale is and how well they are maintained.

Aluminum Gutters -  The most popular choice in gutters since they appeared on the market, aluminum gutters are rust free avoiding that concern with steel, iron and galvanized gutters. Aluminum is also lightweight making it easier and cheaper to work with. Aluminum gutters typically range in price from $5 to $9 per foot installed. Exposed to the elements however, aluminum will oxidize and wear quickly so aluminum is given protective coatings and paint. Just as with galvanized gutters, aluminum gutters need to be maintained and inspected regularly. Paint coatings have improved so during aluminum gutters typical useful lifespan of 25-30 years most paint coatings usually hold up barring scratches or damage to the paint. Aluminum gutters and downspouts are not as strong as steel gutters, especially the thinner offerings and can dent easily from traffic, branches, ladders, etc. Aluminum has a high rate of thermal expansion and contraction which can sometimes present problems especially in corners and seams. Gutter sections and terminations are typically caulked and as such the caulking will also have to be inspected and re-caulked. As with galvanized steel, there are usually many standard color choices available or custom paint matching can also be done at a higher cost. To have a different look than the same old common K-style aluminum guttering with rectangular corrugated downspouts, you can also obtain aluminum gutters in a more elegant half-round gutter shape and with smooth surface versus corrugated square or round downspouts. Hidden gutter hangers can be used or better yet decorative gutter and downspout brackets and a decorative leader head will improve appearance greatly, distinguish and enhance your home. Using thicker and so called primary aluminum material will add some to the strength, better able to withstand wear and abuse but still not up to the level of copper and steel.

Galvalume Gutters - In response to some of the limitations and disadvantages of galvanized steel gutters and aluminum gutters, galvalume gutters appeared on the scene. Galvalume is steel coated with a mixture of 55/45 per cent aluminum/zinc, resulting in a metal about as strong as galvanized steel but the with long-term rust and corrosion resistance more like aluminum or 2-4 times longer than plain galvanized steel. Galvalume can also be used as is without any paint and has a bright gray metallic appearance for about a decade gradually turning a dull weathered gray for the last 2-3 decades of it's typical lifespan. Processed galvalume can also be painted different colors just like aluminum gutters and while galvalume gutters cost a little more than either aluminum or galvanized steel gutters, galvalume not only will last longer, but is much stronger than aluminum and doesn't have the temperature expansion rate issues as does aluminum. Unfinished galvalume additionally enjoys the more green and eco-friendly avoidance of any kind of painting or coating.

Zinc Gutters - Zinc gutters have been popular in Europe for decades but have been slow to take hold in the U.S.  Zinc guttering is usually made from an alloy of 99.5 percent zinc with small amounts of copper and titanium added. Similar to copper, zinc is usually utilized in it's raw unpainted state and will develop a protective patina that protects the zinc gutter from weathering and corrosion. Weathered zinc has an attractive matte gray look somewhat similar to pewter that eventaully turns a bluish gray and is increasingly being incorporated into architectural designs that promote that look. Zinc gutters when the natural patina forms properly can have a very long lifespan typically somewhere between 40 and 80 years depending on environment. Zinc gutters may run $15 to $20 per foot installed, which is much more than aluminum gutters initially, but zinc gutters have over twice the lifespan, require no paint and very little to no maintenance. Zinc gutters being a premium gutter usually have more care taken in the installation, including typically riveting and soldering the seams and corners, providing more reliability and often less leaks and water damage. Unpainted zinc gutters also do not have VOC's released into the environment from any coating or painting process which some gutters require, so with that and their long lifespan, zinc guttering is considered very eco-friendly and green. Zinc gutters main issues deal with thermal expansion, restrictive gutter forming and installation, including sensitive soldering and cold temperature (below 45 degree) working restrictions. With accommodations and extra care taken, zinc gutters are not only a viable option but are one of the better ones.

Stainless Steel Gutters- Stainless steel is a steel alloy containing chromium which gives stainless steel it's rust proof and shiny properties and is familiar to everyone as it is widely used in kitchens and for eating flatware. Stainless steel is one of the strongest guttering materials as are all the steel based types and is also one of the most durable and longest lasting with a lifespan typically between 50 to 70 years. Stainless steel gutter systems work great where the gutters and downspouts are subject to commercial, abusive and high traffic conditions. If you are not enamored of the shiny, metallic look of stainless steel or the maintenance, cleaning and polishing to keep that look, there is a copper plated stainless steel called CopperPlus having copper's changing earth tone colors and tin plated stainless steel products such as Ugitop which replace regular stainless steel's shiny look with a matte gray surface. Similar to zinc and copper, the durability, weathering ability, long life and elimination of painting and coatings make stainless steel very eco-friendly and a good value where stainless steel's extra strength is needed even with it's high initial cost of about $18-22 per foot installed. Like zinc and copper, in the long run it can be less costly than short-lived products.
Copper Gutters - Copper gutters have long been considered the ultimate in guttering and for good reason. Copper gutters have always been the most elegant and aesthetically pleasing and also the most durable and longest lasting of all gutter types. It is not uncommon for copper gutters to have a lifespan of 60 to 90 years, up to triple that for aluminum. Copper guttering like zinc gutters are mostly utilized in their natural, unfinished state as copper develops it's own distinctive, protective patina through the years. Copper performs great in industrial cities, coastal and marine environments. Copper's protective patina gives it the ability to ward off corrosion and it's long wearing character. Copper patina varies by climate but generally copper starts out a bright salmon copper and gradually turns brown, then shades of reddish brown, grayish brown, greenish brown then finally a variegated light pastel green after 25 some years. The rich changing earth tone color palette is one of the prized features of copper. Like zinc gutters, copper guttering is riveted and soldered, so there are rarely any issues with leaks or repairs. Copper gutters will definitely upgrade and enhance any home or commercial building and add true curb appeal and value. While copper gutters can cost $15 to $24 per foot installed new, with copper gutter's super long life, little to no required maintenance, no painting, no leaks and 100% recyclability while retaining up to 95 per cent of raw copper's value, a great case can be made for choosing copper gutters. Environmentally speaking, copper is considered one of the greenest and most eco-friendly materials available and copper's total environment cost is lower than initially cheaper materials. Total environmental cost includes the costs of raw processing, manufacturing,
installation, maintenance, re-cycling and multiple replacement costs, so
durability and longevity do factor in greatly. For people that want to enjoy the durability, longevity, value and environment friendly nature of copper but would prefer gray earth tones, lead coated copper is available with the same same attributes as copper other than color. For those that would prefer something other than a lead coated copper there is now also a zinc-tin coated copper option available called Freedom Gray, which retains all of copper's advantages, while providing architects, designers with a gray earth tone to work with. Lead coated copper or Freedom Gray offer advantages over zinc gutters in being easier and more versatile to form, less restictive and easier to install, while being more reliable and durable in any weather situation and longer lasting. Copper gutters may typically be seen with decorative gutter hangers, smooth seamless round copper downspouts and decorative downspout brackets and oftentimes a decorative, distinctive conductor head or leader collector box. So configured copper gutters will enhance a home to where they are seen analogous to valuable jewelry and accent pieces and always at home with the finest architecture.

Integral or Wood Gutters - Gutters integrated or built into a homes eaves were more popular decades ago as are hanging wood gutters. Both integral and wood gutters have always had problematic issues such as waterproofing, weathering, leaks, rotting, maintenance, painting or staining, durability and water damage. Oftentimes, the inside of a wood gutter and downspout was lined with a metal such as copper to protect the wood, like a gutter in a gutter. Wood gutters are really not installed so much anymore outside of restorations and wood gutters pricing can easily run from $15 to $24 per foot or more depending on type of wood, lining and workmanship involved. With integral and wood gutters, frequent inspection and maintenance are definitely recommended to help prevent leaks from causing possible water damage to roof, fascia and walls.

Although stainless steel, zinc and copper gutter installed prices appear significantly higher than for galvanized steel and aluminum gutters, this is not because raw material cost for these premium metals is so much higher. The higher installed cost for these premium gutters is primarily due to the cost of additional labor and better materials used in what is a more involved and better installation. Gutter seams and joints are most always riveted and soldered in the best installations rather than merely caulked and overlapped. This much more labor intensive operation provides stronger and more leak free joints over the lifespan of the gutter. Better work and tolerances in corners, miters and seams increases cost but results in a more trouble-free and better looking installation. This is the norm and expected by customers of premium gutters. If aluminum and galvanized steel gutters were installed in a similar fashion as zinc and copper gutters, there would be a much smaller price difference. Thicker gauge aluminum gutters with a higher quality paint job such as Kynar is significantly higher quality and also higher cost than typical thin aluminum gutters with plain baked on paint finish that are much more typical. Thicker metal and better paint result in a better gutter that withstands more abuse and lasts longer. Using better materials and more meticulous aluminum gutter installations, though at much higher cost, would lessen such commonly seen occurrences as drooping gutters, buckled gutters, badly faded gutters, misshapen or bent gutters, leaking gutters, peeling or flaked off paint. True for most any product or service, you certainly get what you pay for and the same applies to rain gutters.

Rutland Gutter Supply has the largest selection of all different types and sizes of commercial and residential gutters and downspouts in the U.S.A.  Rutland fabricates rain gutters and downspouts out of any gutter material and also produces custom styles and sizes of rain gutters or eavestrough upon request. Rutland Gutter Supply stocks all the essential gutter supplies, gutter parts and downspout accessories needed for a complete rain gutter system installation of the highest quality including decorative gutter hangers, downspout brackets and custom leader heads all provided factory direct.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Rain Chains Direct

Rain chain or "kusari doi" in Japanese, have been used for centuries on Japanese homes, temples, public and commercial buildings as a functional yet lovely alternative to our traditional rain gutter downspouts. Rain chains have also been incorporated for their decorative beauty into many tranquil Japanese rain chain gardens. Today rain chain have become more well known outside Japan and increasingly prevalent around the rest of the world. Rain chain used in rain water drainage are typically hung from a roof's rain gutters or roof scupper box (leader head), taking the place of downspouts or gutter downpipe. Rain chain like the name implies can be as simple as chain links or a variation of chain loop styles. Rain chain can also be a visually pleasing string of cups or funnels, most often shaped like flowers or bells and hollow with open bottoms. Pictured below in order of left to right, top to bottom, are the simple link rain chain, single loop rain chain, rotated double link rain chain (or double loop), Japanese rain chain bells, Tulip rain chain, Bluebell flower rain chain, Lily rain chain and a rustic Scalloped rain chain. All the rain chains pictured here are fashioned from heavy weight pure copper. Copper Rain Chain is the preferred choice for it's timeless elegance, aesthetics, weathering ability, durability and natural beauty of copper's ever changing patina throughout the years.
link rain chainrain chain loopsdouble link rain chainjapanese rain chain
Rain Chain Links, Chain Loops, Double Link and Japanese Bell Rain Chain
tulip rain chainflower rain chain blue belllily rain chainrustic rain chain
Tulip Rain Chain, Bluebell Flower Rain Chain, Lily Rain Chain and Scalloped
rain chain basin copper catch
Copper Rain Chain Basin

Rain chains can drain directly on to the ground beneath them, or on a small patch or pit of landscaped gravel or pebbles to which the rain chain is anchored with a weight. Often times the rain water from rain chains is directed into a decorative rain chain basin underneath the rain chain. A rain chain basin or catch basin can be any suitable container. Ceramic, terra cotta, stoneware pots or copper basin - copper bowls are frequently used. A weight at the end of the rain chain or a hook in the basin are used to keep the rain chain centered above the catch basin. Some people use rain water for gardening or other uses such as washing their hair.

rain chain water flow
Rain Water Flow Through Rain Chains

A rain chain is a visual and aural delight and the look and sound of the swirling, falling water can be mesmerizing and relaxing to watch during a rain shower. The lovely sounds they make with water splashing and cascading through them will vary with the type of rain chain but generally encompass a soft bell-like tinkle or splash with light raindrops to a soothing, small roar of sound like river rapids in a heavy downpour.  

rain chain how to installation
Rain Chain How To Installation Diagram 
Click above to view preferred rain chain mounting

rain chain funnel
 Rain Chain Funnel Outlet Reducers
"Used to reduce size of opening in gutters to match rain chain"

Copper Gutter With Rain Chain Funnel Taps Installed
"Demonstration picture shows assortment of rain chain"

It is important to have the right amount of rain chain funnel installed on a length of gutter so an individual rain chain is not overloaded by heavy rain water flow, especially when using smaller width rain chain or links. How many rain chain funnel you use depends on several factors including: how long your gutter section is; diameter of your gutter outlets and rain chains; how heavy your normal flow of rain water is.

leader head and scupper box
Roof Scupper Box  Rain Gutter Leader Head

Water from a rain gutter outlet or from a roof scupper can empty directly into a leader head or rain collector scupper box and you can then attach a rain chain directly to the leader head or scupper box outlet. Outlet size on leader head and rain collector scupper box can be custom sized typically from 4 inches down to 2 inches to match the desired diameter for use with your rain chain. You can install a bolt across the bottom of the leader box outlet about an inch from the bottom opening and then attach the rain chain directly to this bolt. If your are not using leader heads, then mount rain chain using hidden gutter hangers and U-bolts.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Copper Leader Head

Rutland Gutter Supply has nine recently added leader heads in their large selection of leader head. Rutland has over 64 decorative leaderheads in stock to unhance the finest aluminum guttering and copper gutters and upgrade the architectural features of your home or commercial building. Leader heads also are sometimes referred to as conductor head, rain head, hopper head, scupper head or rain collector box. Leader head are installed inline on the downspouts or downpipes of guttering or eavestroughs - see second picture below for example. Leader heads collect and disperse the water from rain gutters through one or more downspouts. Functionally, leader head assist in draining large volumes of water and aesthetically they truly dress up a home's exterior. Leader head installed with attractive guttering and downspouts and often in conjunction with decorative gutter hangers and decorative downspout brackets too have been described as jewelry for the home or "bling". See the first picture below of a home with lovely half round copper gutters, decorative gutter hangers, round copper downspout pipe and decorative downspout brackets. The second picture below shows a similarly outfitted round copper gutter system but with a copper leader head also installed on the copper downspout, enhancing the beauty of the home's architectural copper work even still more. The best quality leader heads use thicker metals and have TIG welded, polished invisible seams for the longest lasting beauty.

Copper Gutter System Installed with decorative gutter and downspout brackets
Copper Gutters - Copper Downspouts - Decorative Brackets

copper gutters with copper leader head and copper downspout installed
Copper Gutter System with Copper Leader Head Installed

Rutland also is involved frequently with restoration work of historic buildings and will re-create original leader head with new copper leader head preserving the original design. See picture below showing a very old original leader head design taken from a building with the new restored leader head replacement right along side of it. Rutland can also craft custom leader heads for you from your own design and specifications, fabricated with your metal of choice. You may view fifty-five leader head - conductor head designs on the web page at Rutland Leader Heads and additionally you may also view Rutland's nine new leader head designs below.

leader head restoration showing old and new leader heads
Old Historic Leaderhead - New Restored Leader Head

leader head designs by Rutland Gutter Supply
new leader heads available
new conductor heads available
New Rutland Leader Head Additions

There is a YouTube Video with Leader Head LH057 featured, available on Rutland's website blog entitled Copper Leader Head Restoration Project

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gutter Search

To many people these words or phrases, Gutter, Gutters, Guttering, Rain Gutters, Seamless Gutters, Eavestrough, Roof Gutter and Gutter System all mean pretty much the same thing. The first thing many people think of when they hear one of these terms and specifically the word "gutters" are the narrow ducts or channels running along the eaves or bottom edges of a roof, which collect rain water and direct or divert it into a drain or downspout to be drained away from their home or some other building. This connotation or meaning is also what predominates the search results for most of these terms. Upon a closer look, we see the word gutter while often used to refer to the rain gutter running along a roof edge, it can also be a street gutter, which is slight depression which runs along the edge of a city street or curb, carrying rain and street water over to a drain or sewer. Gutter can also be the trough, channel or groove on the edges of bowling alley lanes that collect all those gutter balls. Table shuffleboards have similar gutters on their sides to collect pucks. In word publishing, printing and design, a gutter is the blank or empty space between facing pages or where pages come together and sometimes the space between columns and rows on a page or screen. Gutter can also be the ditch that runs along the side of a road. In stamp collecting it is the empty space between rows of stamps. Gutters in barns dug in the ground behind the animals collect and carry away excrement. The word gutter also frequently used with the phrase "in the gutter" might reference something that is morally questionable or distasteful. The word gutter derives or comes from the Anglo-Norman "gotere", Old French "gotiere", newer French "gouttiere" and the original Latin "gutta" or plural "guttae".

What is interesting is that search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN (Bing), AOL, Ask, Dogpile, Excite, etc. give a different order of search results when you enter each one of these search terms separately. It does not seem that search engines know that gutters, guttering, rain gutters, eaves troughs and gutter systems are the same thing as are rain troughs, rain collectors and rain channels. Websites and web-pages emphasizing or optimizing for one of these keywords are usually then not optimized for the others and so you get significantly different search result placement across the various search engines for each of these words or phrases. Many people already view search engines as frustrating and annoying to use due to their increasing emphasis on returning mostly paid advertisements in top positions in their search results rather than prioritize and list results genuinely based on merit, usefulness and content. Individuals and companies can pay to get listed highly in the search results whether or not they are worthy or deserving to be so highly considered and they offer commensurate relevance to the researcher. So paid listings tainting search results is not new but it has been getting worse each year to where some search engines and directories have become predominantly commercialized and no longer unbiased. Then to compound the problem with search result accuracy and validity are search engine optimizing games played by website marketing people who optimize or manipulate their website names and web-pages primarily to get listed highly in search engine results for a particular keyword or search term. For example emphasizing the terms "rain gutter", "guttering" or "gutter systems" versus just "gutters" which is the most often used term to describe essentially the same thing, might give them an edge in search result placement over websites/web-pages that emphasize "gutters" or just "gutter". Search engine users get mixed results from their searches depending on what term they enter even if they mean the same thing. For example, companies offering guttering are providing the same exact thing as companies offering gutters and still other companies offering gutter systems or rain gutters or even new gutters (hey aren't most gutters sold new?). Yet enter each of these terms or phrases separately into search engines and you can get drastically different sets of results as well as the order of placement.

Just something to think about the next time you are searching for something and you want the most genuine, worthwhile, unbiased and untainted results. One strategy you can try is to search for whatever you are looking for using different synonyms, syntax or phrase variations. Trying out different search terms, ignoring the paid listings and repeating your search across multiple search engines, will deliver better results and give you a bigger more accurate picture. Meanwhile we hope for better, smarter search engines that can recognize essentially the same terms, synonyms or meanings and will give us back more consistent beneficial results. Of course we can always wish for an intelligent, free, unbiased search engine to miraculously appear, one that can not be bought, manipulated, fixed, greased, swayed or else biased in any way but will always return fair, just, even-handed, reliable and completely accurate results. That may be a tall order and seem unrealistic and yet it is not too much to ask for and yes, the world deserves and truly needs that.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Make: Online : Hanging Gutter Gardens

Make: Online : Hanging gutter gardens

Rutland Copper Gutter Supply has an entry on their blog (and a link to a Martha Stewart how-to=article) on using copper box gutters to create a hanging garden. This is an interesting follow-up to our earlier post of installing gutters on the outside walls of your house as a gardening option. Gutter Garden - Copper Gutter Garden