A rainscreen is an exterior wall detail where the siding (wall cladding) stands off from the moisture-resistant surface of an air barrier applied to the sheathing (sheeting) to create a capillary break and to allow drainage and evaporation. The rain screen is the siding itself but the term rainscreen implies a system of building.
A screen in general terms is a barrier. The rainscreen in a wall is sometimes defined as the first layer of material on the wall, the siding itself. Also, rainscreen is defined as the entire system of the siding, drainage plane and a moisture/air barrier. A veneer that does not stand off from the wall sheathing to create a cavity is not a rainscreen. However, a masonry veneer can be a rainscreen wall if it is ventilate.
In general, a rainscreen wall may be called a cavity or drained wall. The two other basic types of exterior walls in terms of water resistance are barrier walls which rely on the one exterior surface to prevent ingress and mass walls which allow but absorb some leakage.
2. Rainscreen cladding
Rainscreen cladding provides an exterior surface – a cladding layer – that stops the force of wind-driven water movement, preventing it getting through small breaches in the surface of a building. By the time the water reaches the ‘true’ exterior wall, it has lost its drive and therefore its ability to permeate the wall, hence the origins of its name: rainscreen cladding
3. The materials of rainscreen cladding panels
Able to support natural materials such as copper, zinc, stainless steel and aluminium, as well as aluminium composite material.
4.The rainscreen drainage plane
A rainscreen drainage plane is a separation between the veneer and the weather resistant barrier of a rainscreen. It provides predictable, unobstructed path drainage for liquid moisture to drain from a high point of the wall (where it enters) to a low point of the wall (where it exits) the wall detail. The drainage plane must move the water out of the wall system quickly to prevent absorption and consequential rot, mold, and structural degradation.