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Rainscreen Cladding

What is Rainscreen Cladding?

Rainscreen cladding is a form of insulation with a particular focus on moisture-resistance. Systems prevent the entry of large amounts of rainwater, eliminating the risk of condensation related issues like damp and mould, as well as protecting the structure itself.

A rainscreen cladding system can be installed in new-build projects or refurbishments on homes, buildings, or any structure that requires a boost in efficiency. Mostly, these systems are cost-effective, while simultaneously being simple to install and maintain. Additional fixings are often not needed for installation.

When water enters a building’s walls, a number of problems may occur. Damp walls lose more thermal energy, meaning the efficiency of the building will be significantly low. Additionally, walls that continuously change from being wet to dry pose a threat to the building fabric, for example the flaking of masonry paint. How does a rainscreen cladding system overcome these issues?

rainscreen cladding system
rainscreen cladding system

Drained & ventilated systems – penetrating moisture is drained or evaporated outside, removing it from the system and carrying it away from the building’s structure and insulation.

Pressure-equalised systems – a natural flow of air within the system equalises pressure so moisture cannot enter the joints of the system; a fully ventilated cavity allowing air to move, but not water, which is drained off.

A rainscreen cladding system is installed externally, directly on the existing structure of a building. This creates a ventilated cavity between the structural frame of the building and the facade itself. The outer layer of the system holds breathable properties to ensure complete ventilation, while the inner layer uses some form of insulation to increase the building’s thermal efficiency. Furthermore, the outer layer is protected by weather-resistant and decorative cladding for a durable and decorative finish. The use of these layers certifies that no moisture will reach the building’s frame or the insulation.

Within the ventilated cavity of the system, warm air rises and carries cool air with it, removing moisture and regulating the temperature of the inner walls. In extreme weather, however, some water may enter – these droplets simply run down panels within the system and leave via evaporation and drainage to maintain dryness.

To learn about the differences between a rainscreen cladding system and an External Wall Insulation (EWI) system, read our in-depth informative post here.

Installing a rainscreen cladding system consequently brings a number of benefits to you and your home or building:

  • Installation is quick, easy and usually cost-friendly.
  • The system itself is low maintenance and lightweight due to the durable materials used to construct the system.
  • The structure of the building is protected from erosion and defects caused by the weather, particularly rain.
  • Thermal efficiency is improved as the structure is kept dry – damp walls drastically reduce the efficiency of your home.
  • The use of individual panels within the system allows for easy maintenance, if required.
  • External installation means no loss of space internally.
  • Above all, a contemporary and decorative finish is achieved through the range of finishes and colours available for the exterior cladding.
rainscreen cladding system

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