How Rainscreens Work

Rainscreens don't just keep the rain out: they also encourage drying in case water does manage to get in.

If you have ever gone camping, you have probably used a simple rainscreen—a tent fly. While there are many ways for a tent to get wet inside, a fly at least keeps rain out; it can do so because the frame keeps the fly separate from the tent fabric.

A rainscreen system for a building works similarly, keeping the cladding separate from the building through the use of furring strips or a specialized rainscreen product. Though they come in three main forms, all rainscreen systems rely on a space between the cladding and the exterior wall to prevent water from penetrating the structural wall assembly.

Published October 5, 2011