Mastering Air and Moisture Management in Rainscreen Facades: Key Strategies for Performance and Durability
26th May 2023
To protect buildings from the harsh outdoor elements, there is one thing that many people neglect but is extremely important when it comes to weather protection: rainscreen facades. To ensure rainscreen facades don’t degrade over time, mastering air and moisture management is a must. In this blog, we will delve into the importance of air and moisture management and explore effective strategies for maintaining your rainscreen facades. So, read on below to find out everything you need to know about rainscreen facades and the benefits of using air and moisture management to increase their durability.
What is the Role of Air and Moisture Management in Maintaining the Performance and Durability of Rainscreen Facades?
When it comes to rainscreen facades, maintaining them to ensure their performance and durability is paramount. Air management in rainscreen facades involves controlling the movement of air within the cavity between the outer and inner layers. Here's why it matters:
Moisture Control: Air management is vital in preventing moisture from building up within the cavity, as this can lead to a range of different issues, such as mould growth, rotting, and corrosion. By managing air and letting it circulate, the moisture there is more likely to dry out and preserve the integrity of the facade.
Thermal Performance: The air gap in rainscreen facades can act as an insulating layer. This has multiple benefits, from reducing heat transfer to improving the overall thermal performance of the building. This is massive for regulating interior temperatures, resulting in great energy savings.
Water Infiltration Prevention: Rainwater can penetrate the outer cladding of the facade. Without proper moisture management, water may find its way into the building. By incorporating effective moisture management strategies, water infiltration and subsequent damage to the structure can be prevented.
What are the Benefits of Effective Air Management?
Effective air management is crucial when it comes to rainscreen facades. The two top benefits that this brings are energy efficiency and improved indoor air quality. Let’s take a look at these in more detail. Efficient air management contributes to improved energy performance. By minimising air leakage through the facade, the building's heating and cooling loads are reduced, resulting in lower energy consumption and cost savings. Additionally, controlled ventilation can help regulate indoor temperatures, enhancing occupant comfort. Also, a well-designed air management system promotes healthier indoor environments by preventing the infiltration of pollutants, allergens, and contaminants. It ensures that fresh, filtered air is introduced into the building while expelling stale air, contributing to better indoor air quality and the well-being of occupants.
What are the Issues Caused By Inadequate Air Management?
Proper airflow control within rainscreen systems is crucial for ensuring the longevity, energy efficiency and structural integrity of buildings. One particular issue with inadequate air management is that it can lead to condensation and moisture buildup within the system. Moisture infiltration through cracks or faulty seals can result in mould growth, rotting, and degradation of insulation materials. Over time, this can compromise the structural integrity of the facade and contribute to indoor air quality problems. By making sure that the rainscreen facades are properly installed, you can have peace of mind knowing that they won’t break down easily.
How to Manage Moisture in Rainscreen Facades
To ensure the longevity and performance of these facades, proper moisture management is crucial. Weather-resistant barriers act as the primary line of defence against water infiltration. These barriers prevent rainwater from reaching the underlying structure. It is important to choose ones that are vapour-permeable, allowing moisture within the wall assembly to escape. Installation should be meticulous, ensuring full coverage and proper sealing around openings, penetrations and overlaps. Drainage systems are integral to rainscreen facades as they allow any water that penetrates the exterior cladding to drain away. Two common drainage methods are the cavity drainage system and the pressure-equalised rainscreen system. The cavity drainage system creates a gap or cavity between the exterior cladding and the barrier, providing a path for water to drain vertically. On the other hand, pressure-equalised rainscreens minimise the pressure differential across the cladding, reducing the likelihood of water infiltration.
All in all, the significance of high-quality air and moisture management cannot be overstated. From increasing the durability of rainscreen facades to improving the energy efficiency of a room, there are many important reasons for using experts to install these facades properly to ensure that your rainscreens work properly and work as intended for many years.
To find out more about Air & Moisture management or any other information about rainscreen cladding please contact us.
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