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How Important 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. Usually, the surface of the material that’s about to be covered is finished already 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 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. As a matter of fact, the simple and pressure equalized rainscreens are the 2 classifications of rainscreens.
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In the former, varieties are quite a lot for areas that are experiencing low rainfall. Actually, simple rainscreen has vented cladding while its 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 for this work in is that, as the rainstorm strikes the building, vents in cladding let the air contained in cavity to bang against the layer of air barrier of the 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. It helps a lot however 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. Rainscreens are extremely important to any buildings as this keeps external walls to be strong for extended period of time.