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A rainscreen is an exterior wall detail where the siding (or other cladding) stands off from the surface of the water-resistive barrier (WRB) in order to create a capillary break and allow drainage and drying. When any water reaches the inner surface of the cladding, gravity takes over allowing the water to freely escape through weep holes without touching the rest of the wall. With a rainscreen, drying behind the cladding can easily occur.

A rainscreen wall design will include:

  • A water-resistive barrier
  • An air gap between the WRB and the back of the siding
  • Flashings at all penetrations and vulnerable areas
  • Weep holes at the bottom of the wall
  • Ventilation openings at the top of the wall (sometimes)

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