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Horizontal rainscreen

Dennis_the_Menace | Posted in General Questions on

We are planning on vinyl siding for our new home here in Pennsylvania. We like the look of some of the board-and-batten styles, but vinyl siding generally requires at least 3/4″ deep nailing surface and sheathing generally doesn’t qualify. Horizontal siding can be nailed through the sheathing to the studs, but vertical siding would need strapping, or essentially a horizontal rain screen. That sounds like a bad idea to me. Any rain that gets behind the siding will run down the WRB and puddle on these horizontal pieces. Is this a problem, or does vinyl siding allow quick enough drying that it’s OK? The horizontal strapping approach seems to be what manufacturers recommend.

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  1. Jon_R | | #1

    The search box will find previous discussions on this. If you really want 100% rainscreen effectiveness (which I doubt is necessary with vinyl), maintain a capillary break and airflow over 100% of the sheathing. For example, strips of "Slicker Classic" behind just the furring (no need for full wall coverage).

  2. Dennis_the_Menace | | #2

    I tried a few searches and didn't turn up anything great -- sometimes you need to know the correct search phrase. I thought maybe a draining wall covering might do the job, but if Slicker Classic is any indication, this would be an expensive way to go at almost $1/sqft, especially since our house already has a WRB on it. Maybe it'd be worth it for board-and-batten used sparingly as an accent, but for the whole house that's quite an expense.

    1. Jon_R | | #3

      Here is the Q&A link found with "horizontal furring rain screen".

      With some assumptions, I get a materials cost of ~$300. If you are concerned about this expense, then maybe just bevel the edges of the furring strip (attempting to direct water outward vs puddling) and add some largish gaps at the ends of the furring strips.

  3. GBA Editor
    Brian Pontolilo | | #4

    Hi Dennis.

    Jon's idea of having strips of a 3D mesh behind the furring strips is interesting, though I have never seen it done. What I have seen high performance builders do for vertical siding installation is to create a lattice of furring. First, furring strips are installed vertically, screwed to the framing, then a second layer is installed horizontally. In this way there is nothing blocking the drainage plane. Using vinyl siding and vinyl trim details, I am not sure how this would integrate with windows and door installation.

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