Rain Screen Wall

By Robert Robillard on Exterior Repairs

Rain Screen Wall


Components of a Rain Screen Wall

The basic rain screen wall configuration, incorporates two layers, the house sheathing and weather barrier and the house siding both separated by an air space.

What is a rain screen wall?

A rain screen wall is a very successful siding installation method for deterring rainwater intrusion into walls. Rain screen walls shed most of the rain and preventing moisture intrusion and the resulting premature rot in a homes siding and framing.

Components Of A Rain Screen Wall:

  • Vented exterior cladding 
  • Air cavity (a few inches of depth is sufficient) 
  • Drainage layer on support wall 
  • Rigid, water-resistant, airtight, support wall

Rain screen construction is an exterior siding or cladding installed over furring strips to create a cavity behind the siding, drained and vented to the outside; an inner wall plane incorporating an air barrier; The outer “screen” layer of cladding deflects the rain, while the inner remains protected.

The vented cavity uses gravity and flashing to drain water that penetrates the outer wall, away from vulnerable surfaces and joints.

The cavity is sufficiently wide that surface tension and capillary action are not able to move water across the cavity and into the house.

Tips for basic rain screen wall construction:

  1. Install house wrap (such as DuPont Tyvek’s Drainwrap) or gas permeable building paper.
  2. Install vertical furring strips. Ensure they are lined up with the studs.
  3. Install screen materials under the ends of the furring strips.
  4. Fold the screen material over the furring strips and staple to the front of the furring strips.
  5. Install quality siding over the furring strips.


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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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