Rain Screen: What It Is and Why You Should Consider It

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A rain screen (or rainscreen) is a very simple design principle that is used in construction to create amazing benefits for a home or building. Rain screen design has early rain screen in Norwaybeen used in Japanese temples and Norwegian stave church construction for centuries. Rain screen systems have been in use since at least as early as the late 12th century. We know this because there are stave churches in Norway that are still standing since that time period. Check out the photo of the rainscreen system on this stave church in Urnes, Norway. While the Japanese and the Norwegians were the early pioneers, rain screen systems have become widely used throughout the world for their many design benefits.

rain screen wood siding cut awayWhat is a Rain Screen? According to Wikipedia, "A rainscreen is the exterior weather-facing surface of an exterior wall detail that stands off from the moisture-resistant surface of the structural backup wall." According to the Architectural Record, " a rain screen is cladding divorced by means of a flashed and drained cavity from a building's weather-resistant barrier". The key here is that the rain screen siding material is spaced off of the weathertight face of the building. This keeps the elements, including rain, snow, ice and sleet away from the building or structure.  The air gap (wall cavity) created behind the rain sceen allows trapped moisture to escape from inside the building.

Rain screens offer a multitude of benefits. For starters, a rain screen will shield and protect the harsh elements from attacking your building. The wall cavity created behind the rain screen allows any bulk water to escape through the bottom of the rainscreen design. The moisture from the inside of the home or building also escapes through this gap. By eliminating trapped moisture, the ability for mold and mildew to develop is minimized. This rain screen creates a healthier, green building and is a core principle of sustainable design best practices. Less moisture, mold and mildew in a rain screen system also extends the usable lifetime of a structure, with less maintenance and reduces the overall life-cycle costs.

Key Benefits of a Rain Screen System:rain screen with ipe wood siding

  • Protects and shields the structure from external elements

  • Allows trapped moisture to escape from the inside of a building or structure

  • Minimizes the ability for mold and mildew to wreak their havoc

  • Creates a healthier environment for the home or building

  • Reduces overall maintenance costs

  • Extends the lifetime of the structure

  • Reduces overall annualized life-cycle costs

  • Many beautiful rain screen siding options to choose from

For additional information about rain screen systems, rain screen design or rain screen siding options, please follow any of the links below:

Understanding Rain Screen Principles

Climate-Shield Rain Screen Wood Siding System

Rain Screen Wood Siding Options

Rain Screen Architectural Details

To request rain screen samples or a rain screen quote, please click below:

Request FREE Rain Screen Quote

Request FREE Rain Screen Samples

If you would like additional information about rain screen systems, please feel free to download the fact-filled whitepaper entitled, "The Ultimate Guide to Building Green With Rain Screen Wood Siding". Click the button below to download your FREE Rain Screen Guide:

Download "The Ultimate Guide to Building Green with Rainscreen Wood Siding"


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