How Important is a Rainscreen?
The primary function of rainscreen is to provide protection to external walls of any structure from rains as well as other climatic changes. Rainscreen is diverting the rainwater’s direction and as a result, saves the building from moisture problems. As a matter of fact, cladding means the process of covering one material using another. The surface of the material that is about to be covered is usually 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.
Glass, masonry, metal, wood or stone are the different materials that can be used when cladding for rainscreen. Cladding helps in reducing the force in which rain hits the protected surface while the cavity at its back reduce thrust of rainwater over a support wall. Generally, cladding has porous nature and has vents within, allowing it to facilitate airflow to the cavity and thus, prevent 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.
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In the former, varieties are quite a lot for areas that are experiencing low rainfall. Cladding of simple rainscreen is actually vented while support wall is covered with a waterproof material which is airtight. The base of wall normally has drain and one common example for this rainscreen is brick masonry finish above concrete wall.
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On the other hand, structures in areas that are experiencing heavy rainfalls are protected using more advanced pressure equalized rainscreen. The principle at work for this is, as the rainstorm strikes the building, vents in cladding lets the air contained in cavity to bang against the layer of air barrier of support wall. And because of the balancing of outer as well as inner pressure, moisture is prevented to enter from the structure.
But in comparison to practice, the balancing of two pressures can actually work better in theory. However, it helps a lot in compartmentalizing the cavity. To prevent rainwater from piercing through cladding even further, the size of joint delivers exceptional results. 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.
Rainscreens are extremely important to any buildings as this keeps external walls to be strong for extended period of time.