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Community and Q&A

Pros and Cons of Rainscreens

BurkeW | Posted in General Questions on

We are building a home in Des Moines, IA (climate zone 5), and I’ve asked our builder for a ventilated rain screen underneath our LP smart side. Our builder is amazing, but doesn’t have experience with ventilated rain screens. For that matter, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one on a new construction house in our area. Generally speaking, high performance building approaches seem to be rare here.

I’m weighing the pros and cons of doing this, versus not having the rain screen. I love the idea of it, but I’m worried about the execution, if the siding contractors aren’t well versed in the details.

Any thoughts on if the cost will be worth it in the long run? How hard is the execution if the crew hasn’t done it before?

For reference we will be using one of the 3D mesh batt products that is 3/8 thick.

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  1. JC72 | | #1

    Technically you don't need a rainscreen but perhaps something like crinkled housewrap would suffice.

  2. Expert Member


    While not as effective as a rain-screen using furring, mesh rain-screens have the big advantage of leaving the installation of siding and flashing almost identical to standard construction. I don't think your contractor will have any trouble, and for the improved performance a rain-screen gives I think it's certainly worth including.

    Wrinkled house-wraps don't add enough to a wall to be with bothering with.

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