Rainscreens are exterior wall details where various sidings, also known as claddings, stands off from the humidity and rain resistant surfaces of a water/air barrier applied to the paneling system for creating a capillary break and allowing evaporation or water drainage. The rain-screen is the siding or cladding itself, implying a structural plan. They come with two primary types, which are pressure equalized and drained/back ventilated systems. Manufacturers produce various rainscreen for construction projects such as ACM panels which are currently very popular among architects due to their modern and sleek appearance. All of these systems involve two installation methods which are a Horizontal installation system and Vertical installation. This article included everything you necessitate to know about the vertical installation method of rainscreens.
Pre-Checking Required Before Starting the Vertical Installation Method of Rainscreens
Installing rain-screens with both methods requires prechecking steps for having better results. Before beginning the vertical installation method of rainscreens, builders should check that the following essential factors have been done correctly:
Pre-check No.1: The first step is to check if the cladding panel is fixed with the appropriate attachment solutions to the framed wall system, followed by the manufacturer’s instructions and local building standards. Metal sidings, including ACM panels, can be used, and their thickness should be determined equivalent to the structural application. ACP materials are typically more potent than regular aluminum siding products. Thicker ACM panels and rainscreens create a more substantial wall and have greater holding strength of the climate-shield screws.
Pre-check No.2: It is crucial to ensure the proper installation of the drainage plane material. Builders must use the appropriate Air and Water Barrier (AWB) or Weather Resistant Barriers (WRB) specified by the project’s designer or architect. There are numerous products obtainable in the stores to address the requirements of the external cladding system in the construction’s climate zone.
Pre-check No.3: The last pre-checking step is to make sure all windows and doors are correctly installed. This should be done by checking if the installation and flashing instructions from the window and door manufacturers were appropriately followed.
Vertical Installation Steps
The vertical installation method of rainscreens consists of essential steps which should be followed precisely. Each stage will affect the result’s quality.
Proper Acclimation: Before starting any siding installation, whether they are wood siding, aluminum siding, or ACM panel cladding, it is essential to apply acclimations suitable to local site conditions.
Pre-finishing All Siding Panels Before Assembly: It is highly recommended to coat the siding with appropriate finishes with a UV inhibiting sealer during the vertical installation method of Rainscreens. This can prevent extra cladding movement due to the temperature change and exposure to sunlight.
Creating Level Line for the Starter Rail: Builders should create a level line on all walls where the bottom of the cladding material should be installed for the starter rail. Most installers use markers or chalk lines for avoiding damages on the ACM panels surfaces. This particular step is critical for having successful rainscreens installations and should be done with precision.
Installing Outside Corners: Regardless of the outside corner’s materials (aluminum or wood), it is crucial to ensure they feature vertical and square-level line starter course alignment. This step is done to create the perfect fit for the siding’s panels with a 90-degree end cut.
Window and Door Trim Installation: Rainscreen often comes with window and door trim packages installed and put together correctly. The best way to have the best results in this stage is to follow the door and window manufacturer’s flashing instructions.
Climate Shield Vertical Starter Rail Installation: Using a climate shield vertical starter rail will speed up the vertical installation method of rainscreens. This step will provide the critical level line and continuous strip at the bottom edge of each panel.
Creating Siding Vent: Most experts suggest installing a siding vent panel to prevent insects from entering the cladding cavity from the ground. The siding vent is also practical for allowing moisture and water to escape as well. It is recommended to leave enough space above the vertical rail for the bottom rain-screen clips for a better fit in this stage.
Determining the Joints Location: For avoiding ending up with narrow vertical ACM panels around windows and doors or at the end of the cladding system, builders should choose the correct width to rip their first wall panel.
Installing the First Rainscreen Clip: Rainscreen clip should be installed directly above the starter rail and just below the vent. It is crucial to note not to install clips if the siding does not seat properly.
Repeating the Assembly Process for Each Vertical Row of Rainscreen: Using a rain-screen clip at the top and the bottom of the straddle or joints of the two cladding panels will automatically provide proper alignment for the system.
Applying Top End of the Cladding: After reaching the soffit, it is crucial to trim the top end of the aluminum siding to a suitable length. Installers should seal the cut ends and minimize the end checking of the cladding panels.