The primary function of rainscreen is to provide protection to external walls of any structure from rains as well as other climatic changes. Rainscreen diverts rainwater’s direction and because of that, it saves the building from moisture problems. Covering one material using another is basically what meant by the process of cladding. In most instances, the surface of material that is about to be covered is already finished and cladding provides protective coating to it. To be able to drive away the water from surface, the external wall or roof of any building is sheltered by adding a new layer. Check out the Wall Shingles.
Cladding for rainscreen can be made out of glass, masonry, metal, wood or stone. Cladding can help in reducing the force to which the rain hits the surface protected while the cavity at its back is reducing thrust in rainwater over a support wall. In general, cladding has porous nature and has vents within, which facilitates airflow to the cavity and therefore, prevents moisture from building up in the cavity. Aside from that, airtight supporting wall together with its covering of rigid coating of waterproof material ensures that the moisture won’t cause harm to the structure.
There are 2 classifications of rainscreens as a matter of fact and these include simple and pressure equalized rainscreens.
In the former, there are varieties for different areas that are experiencing low rainfall. Cladding of simple rainscreen is actually vented while the support wall is covered with waterproof material which is airtight. Usually, the base of wall has a drain and one common example for this kind of rainscreen is brick masonry finish above concrete wall. Click here to learn more about rainscreen.
Structures in areas that experience heavy rainfall on the other hand are being protected by using a more advanced pressure equalized rainscreen. The principle at work in this case is that, as rainstorm strikes the building, the vents in the cladding allows the air contained in cavity to bang against the layer of the air barrier of support wall. Moisture is prevented to enter from the structure because of the balancing of outer as well as inner pressure.
This balancing of two pressures on the other hand can work better in theory than in practice. However, it helps a lot in compartmentalizing the cavity. And to be able to prevent rainwater to pierce through cladding even further, the size of the joints can deliver exceptional result. It is important to get quality sealants and drainage layers as well over support walls to get the best results and to be sure that the pressure balancing system is working efficiently.
Rainscreen keep external walls of any building to be strong for extended period of time, making it extremely important.