In today’s day and age, it’s all about conservation of resources. When you use a rain barrel you not only conserve water but your conserve your cash as well by reducing your water bills. The Gutterman of Tennessee recognize that using a rain barrel is both good for the environment as well as being an efficient and effective way to water your landscaping and garden. While we don’t sell rain barrels, we will happily install them while performing gutter services for you.
Homeowners in Nashville have plenty of rain to collect in their barrels. A rain barrel is an often decorative container that captures rain water from your downspouts and helps reduce your water costs and enable you to be the neighbor with “greener grass”.
When considering using a rain barrel there are several important considerations and concerns: Mosquitos. You don’t want to attract and provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Not only do mosquitoes bite, but they also can carry some dangerous diseases. Therefore it’s very important that your rain barrel has a very fine mesh covering for the hole that connects the barrel to your downspout. The other important consideration should be an overflow drain. When your rain barrel becomes full you want to a) be sure the rain doesn’t pool and attract the mosquitoes, and b) doesn’t pool and cause damage to your home’s foundation.
There are some important maintenance issues regarding your rain barrel, while not very extensive or time consuming, none the less, they are important. First periodically clean the protective screen. And when the weather turns cold, empty your barrel of any accumulated water, clean it with mild soap, and store the barrel upside down until spring.
Proper installation of your rain barrel is important. The Nashville Water Services Community Education program, offers this information:
- Position the rain barrel (with blocks under it) adjacent to a downspout and remove enough of the downspout (with a hacksaw) so that there is ample room to attach a 45 degree elbow still allowing the rain barrel to easily fit underneath with approximately 2″ of clearance.
- Your rain barrel must be secured on a raised, level surface (like concrete blocks). A full 55 gallon rain barrel weighs over 400 Ibs. and tipping is a risk if it is unsecured or on uneven ground.
- Divert your overflow to a safe discharge location away from your homes foundation.
- Do not use moss control or other chemicals on your roof that are not garden safe.
- NEVER use water from the rain barrel for drinking, cooking or other potable uses.
Finally, homeowners should be mindful of these additional considerations as outlined by the EPA, “The roof construction materials should not be treated cedar shakes or materials containing asbestos. The gutter system should not have lead solder or lead-based paint, and bird droppings should be cleaned from gutters and the roof as needed.” 
Unlike city water that has been treated, rain water is much more pure and chemical free, especially when you follow the EPA recommendation requirements for proper collection of the water. When you call Gutterman to service and/ or repair your gutters and downspouts, ask us about rain barrels, we will happy to assist you.