Using rainscreen siding is a great way to enhance your home's insulation and energy efficiency while also protecting the structural OSB sheathing from water. The right materials can also transform the longevity of your structure.
The best wood for rainscreen siding is Accoya. This wood is stable, rot-resistant and extremely resistant to insect attack. It also has industry-leading sustainability credentials. It can be left to weather naturally, reducing the need for maintenance. It is also a highly durable substrate for coatings. It is also machine-profiled to suit specific specifications.
There are a few different ways to install wood siding in a rainscreen design. Depending on the material you use, you may need to create a gap between the siding and the wall. Usually, the gap is less than an inch. This is important, especially if you live in a climate where a lot of precipitation falls. It is also important to use a weep hole at the bottom of the wall.
The rainscreen itself is made up of a layer of structural sheathing substrate, called the WRB (Wood-Reinforced Board). The WRB is held in place by a series of furring strips. These furring strips are usually a 3/4" thick wood and are used to provide a structural fastening point for the siding.
For thinner gaps, some builders use 1/4-inch plastic drainage mats. This product can be a bit more difficult to install. It's a great idea to remove any old caulk that is on the surface and create a clean surface. This will help to make a permanent, water-tight seal.
For thicker gaps, builders can use 1/4-inch plywood rips or lath boards. This is the preferred method for safety reasons. If you do use a plastic drainage mat, you will want to use plastic cap nails to hold the mat in place. This will avoid crushing the mat.
Another option is to use a ventilated rainscreen. The SV-5 Siding Vent provides ventilation. It is manufactured by Cor-A-Vent, a manufacturer of polyproylene furring strips that provide a minimum capillary break for the siding. This is a great option for high-wind driven rain areas. The SV-3 Siding Vent is another good option, because it keeps out insects while allowing fresh air to pass through.
For a complete rainscreen system, you will also need to use a fixing system. A simple, effective solution is the Zip system. The Zip system is composed of an OSB board that has a water-resistant barrier attached. This is a two-in-one product that is easy to install.
Another great option for rainscreen siding is the Slicker family. These products are ideal for high-wind driven rain areas because they offer drainage and ironclad protection. They are also designed to work with absorptive claddings.
Choosing the right materials can be an easy and inexpensive way to change the longevity and weatherability of your building project. A quality product and the proper installation can bring your construction project to life. Whether you're building a new home or renovating an existing one, it's important to choose the right materials to maximize the value and performance of your project.