Rain Diverters vs Downspout Diverters: What’s the Difference?

Rain Diverters and Downspout Diverters are basically gutter accessories to facilitate water movement from your roof. These are not compulsory to install, but make the residents life hassle free from damages expected from heavy rainfalls and more.

Whenever, the home owners are looking for accessories to facilitate their gutter system in the house, they are not sure what to go for: Rain Diverters vs Downspout Diverters? For laymen the choice can be confusing as the two almost look closer, but they are different.

Let’s dive deep into the similarities and differences in the functionalities of the two.

Which one to install - Rain Diverters vs Downspout Diverters?

This is basically a question that can be better answered by the homeowner. You have to see what’s your basic requirement – aesthetics or functionality. Because both will offer the same service overall.

That is to divert water into the gutter from the roofs, walls and porch. Hopefully, following details will make the decision easier for you:

Rain Diverters

Rain Diverters

Although the roof gutters collect and direct rainwater away from roofs and walls. The main role of a gutter is to keep the house exterior save from water leaking, so that water does not seep into walls and roofing. But, the limitation of a roofing gutter is that it’s practically not possible to install a gutter at every water collection point. This is where Rain Diverters come into play. These keep your walls and doorways dry from rain water flow as gutters do for roofs.

The main reason homeowners or contractors opt for Rain Diverters is because of aesthetic reasons. Because the gutters have an unappealing outlook, so rain diverters are installed, in connection to the gutters, for a pleasing outlook. They provide additional protection to the property from damage caused by the moisture.


Since gutters have an unappealing outlook, rain diverters are added as stand-in on the outer part of the gutter so it adds pleasing sight. These are made out of metal, installed on the exterior part of the roofing. Their main role is to move rainwater toward and inside the gutter.

Their usage stretches beyond the cosmetic reasons, into practical reasons. They not only protect your roofs and walls, but also keep the doorway dry. For this they have to be installed on the front porch.

Downspout Diverters

downspout diverters

Downspout or rain barrel diverters are another way to protect your roofs, walls and doorways from rainwaters. We will try to cover in detail their functionality and how these are different from rain diverters.


Downspout or rain barrel diverters are installed usually for their practical usage rather than cosmetic reasons. Rain barrels are connected to the downspout and store excess rainwater for future use. Once the collecting tank is brimmed to full, a rain barrel diverter moves away overflowing rainwater back to the downspout.

The Installation of rain barrel diverters basically stops rainwater from seeping through the pavement. This can cause a major compromise to your house’s foundation. For instance, if downspout diverters are absent, then the rainwater collection in the doorway can cause damage to lower parts of walls and eventually to the foundations.

Rain Diverters and Downspout Diverters are not necessary. These are basically draining accessories. These are must-have for homeowners who lack on time, or by the contractors . Because if you are not paying close attention then you may fail to notice potential signs of leaks. The rain barrel would get filled to top, but will go unnoticed by the homeowner. So Rain Diverters and Downspout Diverters are gutter accessories that offer additional moisture protection.

How to Install Downspout Diverters

Before you begin with the process, always remember this is quite technical and installation so take professional help. However, the installation of a downspout diverter begins with cutting out the section of a downspout.

The upper end of the downspout may have to be crimped in order to fit it into the downspout diverter. The remaining bottom part of the downspout then connects to the corresponding part of the diverter. Once mounted, a drain hose can then be hooked up to it, then the rest can be routed into rain barrels.

A specially designed mechanism allows the user to easily switch between downspout and drain hose as needed. Lot of work right? Call Evoli Roofing for free consulatation.

How to Install Rain Diverters

Start by cutting the flashing with tin snips about 2-3 feet longer than the doorway you want to protect. Centre the diverter over the area to be covered using a plumb bob or a string with a weight attached. Next use a pry bar to loosen the second row of shingles up from the edge of the roof.

Here the diverter will be located. Break the seal on a row of shingles above the doorway with a flat pry bar. Flip the rain diverter in the direction you would like the water to flow. Carefully lift up the shingle tabs to keep from breaking them, and nail the diverter in place with roofing nails.

Position the nails so they will be covered by the shingles and are a few inches up from the bottom edge of the overlapping shingle.

Cost to install Rain Diverters vs Downspout Diverters

A small roofing project like installing a diverter will be a minimum cost of $199. We would also include a roof tune up where we seal all exposed nail heads on shingles, pipe, vents etc.

Cost will also depend on access to the area, how steep the roof is and how many diveters need to be installed.


Your gutter installation and roofing company will likely tell you that gutters are used to collect rainwater and direct it away from your home. This helps keep your exterior dry and prevent ground erosion. However, gutters can’t always be installed on every part of the house. An alternative is a rain diverter for downspout diverters. These keep areas like your doorway dry, walls and roofs damp and moisture free.

Evoli Roofing is your leading provider of roofing and siding installation services. With decades’ worth of experience in the industry, we offer gutter installation and repair services, additionally to roofing services. To get a free quote, fill out our contact form below. We serve homeowners in Virginia.



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