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What Is A Rainscreen?
The main function of rainscreen is to provide protection to external walls of a structure from rains as well as other climatic changes. Rainscreen saves the building from dealing with moisture problems as this diverts rainwater’s direction. 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. The external wall or roof of any building is sheltered by adding a layer to drive away the water from surface.
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.
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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.
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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 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. Moisture is prevented to enter from the structure because of the balancing of outer as well as inner pressure.
The balancing of two pressures on the other hand can actually work better in theory than in practice. However, in compartmentalizing the cavity, it is a big help. And to prevent rainwater from piercing through cladding even further, the size of joints delivers exceptional results. To get best results, it is important to get quality sealants and drainage layers as well over support walls to guarantee 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.