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Rainscreen wall with insect screen

I've got a small project where a mid-90's wood-frame wall in the mid-Hudson Valley of NY needs a rainscreen retrofit (paint's peeling off in large pieces, fairly certain there's a bit of moisture getting behind the cedar clapboard and then being cooked in the sun).

In looking around at the various methods of preventing insects from getting in the vent channels (e.g., Coravent), I'm wondering about a different method. Why not use a rolled-over strip of standard aluminum or fiberglass insect screen? Installed like so: with the sheathing & housewrap exposed, tack a "skirt" of ~1' of screen at the drip edge, hanging down beyond drip edge. Install vertical furring, then gently roll screen up and tack again, without creasing, such that the bend will fill the vent opening when compressed by the drip edge piece (or first course of siding).

Similar process for the top openings.


Asked by Cramer Silkworth
Posted May 15, 2012 2:25 PM ET
Edited Nov 14, 2012 1:28 PM ET


5 Answers

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Your technique is used all the time. It is the method indicated in many GBA details -- for instance, this one: http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/cad/detail/wall-section-wood-lap-sid...

There is a photo of your suggested technique on this Web page: http://www.100khouse.com/2010/05/14/the-vented-rain-screen-via-furring-m...

I'm attaching the photo below.

Insect screen used at bottom of furring strips.jpg
Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted May 15, 2012 2:35 PM ET


Well shoot, I thought I had an original idea. :)

But anyway, good to know it's been done. Thanks!

Answered by Cramer Silkworth
Posted May 15, 2012 4:21 PM ET


I would not use fiberglass screen, my experience is that it does not hold up very well.

Answered by william goodwin
Posted May 15, 2012 5:21 PM ET


Until recently that was the method of choice here in BC, but now most lumberyards stock a perforated L flashing that is a bit more robust. The problem with the screen is that frequently weeds or grass manage to grow up through it and the screen gets damaged when they are pulled out.

Answered by Malcolm Taylor
Posted May 15, 2012 6:45 PM ET


Good tips about the fiberglass and weed growth. The bottom is 2-3' off the ground, though there is a garden in front. Will keep an eye on it.

Thanks all,

Answered by Cramer Silkworth
Posted May 16, 2012 11:23 AM ET

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