Exterior Siding Issues and How to Avoid Them

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Choosing exterior siding is a big decision and, as a design or construction professional, the property owner is trusting your expertise. When weighing the pros and cons of siding materials, and installation methods, there are beautiful options that can save you time, labor and avoid call backs.

hardwood rainscreen cladding design in ConnecticutFSC® Certified hardwood rainscreen siding at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, CT


Siding contractors and designers are tasked with bringing your customers beautiful and durable cladding options. Whether you are siding a house or a commercial property, the cladding choices are many. You have probably worked with quite a few siding materials in your designs or installations.  And you likely know the benefits and downsides of commonly used claddings and installation techniques. 


When using common products like vinyl siding, aluminum siding, or fiber cement siding, you may get some longevity built in on the face.  But there are a lot of things that can wrong over time, especially behind the siding.  Without adequate flashing, weather barriers, and ventilation, bad things can happen, ruining the entire building envelope. That's  why there is a billion dollar industry involving mold lawsuits. 


Water intrusion, mold, rot and decay ruining the entire wall of a home

When moisture gets trapped behind exterior siding, you may be dealing with health and safety issues, sooner or later. Avoid disasters. Plan wisely.


There's a Better Way to Design and Build High Efficiency Exterior Walls  

That's why rainscreen designs and installations are increasing so rapidly. Properly designed rainscreens help exterior walls dry out quickly. Your home or building stays healthy. By design. Effortlessly. While you're sleeping peacefully. Here are some options that avoid siding issues right from the start, and prevent dreaded problem calls from your clients later.


The Climate-Shield Rainscreen System

The Climate-Shield® Rainscreen System performs beautifully, using time-tested rainscreen methods combined with modern technology. It is well-engineered for optimal performance. This exceptional system will retain its integrity and performance for years to come, reflecting positively on you as the designer or builder. Let’s break down a few of the benefits to you.

Investing in the Climate-Shield rainscreen system with any of the compatible claddings will give you the energy-saving benefits and weather-resistance that add value to your project, protects your customer’s home and lowers your costs. It is designed and engineered to be a simple installation and less costly than other rainscreen installation methods.


Here's how a typical Climate-Shield exterior plywood wall sheathing is detailed and assembled using hardwood siding:


CS2 rainscreen wall assembly


When installing over plywood sheathing, you won’t need to waste material by cutting each end to length. When installing the Climate-Shield Rainscreen System, simply place a rainscreen clip every 16", top and bottom of each siding board, and at the end of each piece of wood siding to 'straddle' the next piece of siding. The wide flange of the rainscreen clip with two stainless steel screws allows for quick and secure fastening while creating uniform spacing.

A Climate-Shield rainscreen is very secure, rugged, and highly effective in allowing moisture and water to escape before it can cause costly issues. And it performs in all types of weather conditions.


Here's how a typical Climate-shield rainscreen assembly performs when it is raining. Any bulk water that gets into the rainscreen cavity from the outside gets out quickly. Moisture from within the structure passes through the wall, too. 

Climate-Shield Rain Screen System Moisture Management protects your home

And that's not all. The Climate-Shield rainscreen works equally effectively in warm or dry weather. Natural convective air current allows the rainscreen gap (or wall cavity) to breathe and shed excess heat and is carried away naturally, preventing hot air build up that would otherwise transfer to the building envelope.

Climate-Shield Rainscreen System Natural Energy Savings

Design and build it right, use a proper weather resistive barrier. Flash it properly. Make sure your rainscreen cavity is ventilated and allows bulk water to get out. Make your rainscreen project long-lasting by design. Minimize potential problems and issues over time. This significantly reduces the risk of dissatisfied clients and job call backs.


What are the Best Rainscreen Siding Options?


The Climate-Shield rainscreen system works effectively with real wood claddings and with either hardwood or Pura NFC claddings. And they all  outperform vinyl, aluminum and fiber cement siding. 

Whether you choose natural high density hardwood sidings like Ipe, Garapa, Machiche and Cumaru or the high quality manufactured HPL cladding, Pura NFC® by Trespa, you're in good hands.


Hardwood Siding Options

Natural hardwood species like Ipe, Machiche, Garapa and Thermowood sidings are high-density, high-performance and long lasting. Not only do you get extremely durable cladding but the natural range of colors, graining, and the choice to allow it to weather to silver-gray.

They outperform softwood siding materials and may be designed and installed vertically or horizontally, including outside wood corners, to meet your design needs.


Garapa hardwood siding is a lighter toned, budget friendly hardwood cladding option.  Garapa siding works great in a low maintenance rainscreen design.


Garapa hardwood rainscreen cladding vertical designGarapa hardwood rainscreen cladding gives this modern farmhouse clean vertical lines and natural warmth.


Check out Garapa Siding Galleries

Learn more about Garapa siding


Machiche hardwood siding is an FSC Certified real wood cladding option with chocolaty brown tones.  Avoid long term problems with high density hardwood siding.


Machiche hardwood rainscreen installation


Check out Machiche Siding Galleries

Learn more about Machiche hardwood siding


Ipe hardwood siding is a high performance exterior hardwood siding option. Light to dark browns with exotic graining.  Ipe is recognized as the longest lasting hardwood siding material option. 


Ipe wood siding looks great with wood outside corners


Check out Ipe Siding Galleries

Learn more about Ipe hardwood siding


Thermowood hardwood siding is another great siding option to consider.  Thermowood siding has darker brown tones, is rot-resistant and is exceptionally stable. design and install vertically or horizontally.


Mataverde novathermowood rainscreen siding vertical and horizontal

Check out ThermoWood Siding Galleries

Learn more about ThermoWood hardwood siding


Learn more about rainscreen siding


Trespa Pura NFC Sidings 

If you love the look of real wood siding, but are not interested in refinishing or lots of maintenance, Pura NFC sidings are an outstanding cladding option. Pura siding is tested and engineered to perform in all types of weather extremes. The NFC (natural fiber core) is made from up to 70% wood fiber, then a high pressure laminate is applied to the face.

Pura NFC siding by Trespa is available in eight wood décor options that perform well and look stunningly beautiful, without the maintenance.

Trespa Pura NFC siding wood decors


Trespa Pura color décor combinations

Pura NFC® décor colors offer remarkable natural wood tones looks, but with a more consistent grain and tone. The sky is the design limit.

Pura NFC® offers natural wood tones and a contemporary, uniform overall look making designing with Pura NFC® a breeze. And it works smoothly with the Climate-Shield System, including horizontal and vertical installations. This cladding choice gives you a natural look and feel that works in a wide range of home styles and exterior designs.

Download the Trespa Residential Portfolio Now

Download the Trespa Commercial Portfolio Now


Trespa Pura Romantic Walnut cladding on lakefront home in SoutheastLakefront dream house using Pura NFC Siding by Trespa in Romantic Walnut


Hopefully, we have seen some valuable ways to avoid siding problems by selecting quality siding materials for your next project.  And best practices for rainscreen siding installation. If you think the Climate-Shield® Rainscreen System and hardwood or Pura NFC® claddings are right for a project on your list, give us a call or contact us, we are here to help every step of the way. 


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