Importance of Rain Screens

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Rain screen systems prevent water from penetrating the building  by constructing an air chamber "between the exterior and interior wall, such as in a brick cavity wall, so that, with proper air seals and flashing, any water that penetrates through the exterior wall can be stopped in the chamber and directed back outside through the exterior wall," according to FacilitiesNet.

Generally, the best way to manage these leaks is to work preemptively by working with the architect in the design phase to incorporate a rain screen system. However, people obviously often don't have the ability to do this. To avoid having leaks repeating themselves it is important to figure out what is causing the leak and then determine where else the building may be susceptible to leaks.

Check out this example from FacilitiesNet:

For example, windows often provide avenues for water penetration. The frames, typically made from aluminum, expand and contract at a far greater rate than other materials. In time, the seal will deteriorate. Applying the rain screen principle can mitigate this problem. It requires the installation of an air seal between the interior window perimeter and the masonry back-up wall, along with a weep or flashing system at the window sill. Installing a vent tube at the sill through the exterior sealant bead and extending it into the newly created chamber provides an exit avenue for any water that has infiltrated.

If an exterior wall receives water damage, though expensive, construction using rain screen principles would be a good investment.

Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help you with all of your siding installation, siding repair and siding maintenance needs. Call us today at  (215) 773-9181 for a FREE estimate!


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