With the advent of wintertime, we are about to get some serious rain. What better way to make that rain work for you than to collect it in a rain barrel?

How does one do this?

Well, you can hire a professional to install one.  Or, you can do it yourself.

The best way to go about this is to unscrew your downspout from your gutters, and then install a downspout re-director, straight into your rain barrel.

If you don’t have a downspout or gutter, it’s a better idea to install a gutter, to prevent water from sitting on your roof and seeping into your home.  But, for the purposes of a rain barrel, you can certainly put an open-topped barrel below your roof-line to collect water that drips down from your roof.  Make sure to install a screen so nothing large drops in.

With a rain barrel installed, what should you do with all that water?  Here are some ideas:

– After letting any sediment settle, use it to water your lawn or plants.

– Washing your dog.

– For a fun game with squirt guns.

– Cleaning your house.

– Keeping your trees damp.

– Watering house plants.

I’m sure there are a lot of other uses for rain barrels, but do realize you shouldn’t drink this water or use it in cooking.  Additionally, if you’re expecting a freeze, make sure to use the water or bring the rain barrel in.

If you have other ideas for small changes to your home which make a big difference environmentally, let us know.  Also, if you’d like ideas on green roofing, contact us.

Tom Leach Roofing