The Horizontal Installation Method of Rainscreens is a practical application of rain screen claddings to a construction’s exterior. Rainscreens have become popular materials for decades, and architects utilize them to protect the buildings from damaging elements such as rainwater, sunlight, wind loads, etc. Manufacturers produce them in different forms and types, including aluminum sidings, ACM panels, Perforated panels, Galvanized steel boards, Copper claddings, and other composite materials. These materials provide a wide range of advantages and can prolong the lifespan of the buildings.
Builders utilize different connection methods for ACM panels and other practical supplies to increase the stability of the rainscreen system during the installation process. Moreover, the horizontal installation method of Rainscreens helps builders add their cladding materials more efficiently for some specific projects. This article will introduce the precautions and essential steps of this practical installation method.
Precautions in the Horizontal Installation Method of Rainscreens
Installing process of rainscreen features standard stages for better and stable results. However, before starting the horizontal installation method of rain screens, some precautions need to be taken, including checking essential factors, which are as followed:
Prechecking No.1: It is essential to ensure that the structural ACM panels are appropriately attached to the framing system per the manufacturer’s instructions and local building regulations or codes. Aluminum sidings are also usable, but the panel thickness should be rated for structural applications. Thicker materials can make a more substantial wall and feature greater holding strength of screws.
Prechecking No.2: Builders should always check if the drainage plane system is installed correctly. The project architect should specify the utilization of the appropriate air and water barrier or weather resistance material before starting the horizontal installation method of rainscreens.
Prechecking N0.3: Proper installation of windows and exterior doors is essential. Ensure the flashing and installation instructions from the door and window manufacturers is followed precisely.
Horizontal Installation Guide Line
The horizontal installation method of rainscreens involves ten essential steps to follow:
- Proper Acclimations: The first step is to ensure the ACM panels have proper acclimatization to local site conditions. Failure to acclimatization can decrease the quality of the cladding resulting in dissatisfaction.
- Pre-finishing All Sides of the Rainscreen Panels: All four sides of the rain-screen system should be pre-finished evenly. Manufacturers often recommend coating all sidings with UV inhibiting sealers. This helps in decreasing the contraction and expansion due to the temperature change. Even if the architect’s goal is to allow the cladding material to change its color over time, the coating will protect the material when it is most vulnerable.
- Creating a Level Line: Creating a level line on walls for the starter rail in the Bottom installation section of siding can be done with laser or chalk lines. It is recommended to ensure the rail level line by completing this on all walls. This particular step is critical to a successful rainscreen installation process. Thus, it will require a high level of accuracy.
- Installing the Outside Corners: The rainscreen systems offer aluminum or other metal extrusions outside corner components. It is essential to make sure they are aligned plumb and square level line starter course. Builders can install the base piece with standard supplies, including rivets and screws.
- Installing Window and Door Trim: Rainscreens often offer door and window trim package, or architects can design them their own. Builders should install them and put proper flashing in the correct area.
- Starter Course Installation: For speeding up the horizontal installation method of rainscreens and helping in providing the critical level lines, it is recommended to use starter rails. They provide a continuous strip at the Bottom of the rainscreen.
- Vent Installation: Experts suggest installing the vent screen for better airflow and insects entering prevention in the wall cavity. Installing a vent will fill the rainscreen cavity between the drainage plane created by the supporting clips of Aluminum Claddings. Additionally, installing the product’s vent at the soffit above the door and window openings is good.
- Inserting the Bottom Section of the Rainscreen into the Starter Rail: Due to the physical properties of metal cladding systems, they are likely to have acclimated. Thus, builders may need to utilize a mallet to seal the panels into the clips properly, resulting in better alignment for the walls. If the rainscreen does not fit in properly, it is essential not to install it by force. After ensuring the sealing, it is time to attach rainscreen clips to the top of the siding panel.
- Repeating the Clip Installation Process: Each row of the cladding material requires clip installations. The primary advantage of the horizontal installing method of rainscreens is that builders can utilize total length siding panels. Whenever there is a need for making joints in the length of the siding, use clip support at the bottom and the top of the joints and straddle two panels.
- Install the Top Row of the Rainscreen: The last step of this method is to install the top row of the rain-screen, which should be done after reaching the soffit. It is essential to cut the top of the ACM panels to the appropriate width. The top row will sit in the supporting clips, and it will need to be drilled and screwed to the blocking behind the siding.