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Rainscreen Drainage Planes Vs Furring Strips


Rainscreen Drainage Planes Vs Furring Strips

Think of the drainage plane in a good-better-best scenario: A flat housewrap is good, a drainable housewrap is better, and a rainscreen is best. The primary difference is the volume of bulk water than can drain away and the amount of air that can move through the system to effectively rid it of moisture.

Drainage: Lapped or interlocked exterior wood cladding resists most moisture from the elements, but it is not watertight. An air gap behind the cladding combined with a means of egress provides a path for moisture to escape the wall assembly. Open-joint rain screens that maintain physical openings between the boards also have a gap and a drainage path behind the boards. In a wood cladding installation, the drainage gap is created by installing furring strips or girts over the water-resistive barrier.

Usually made from plywood or metal, furring strips are long, narrow pieces of material that are installed intermittently as part of the exterior to create essential space and airflow within the wall. Furring strips cannot be seen from the outside because they are positioned between the weather-resistant barrier and the siding. Though certain variations exist depending on the construction technique used, most builders work with weather-resistant barriers like a rainscreen or housewrap.

Since they help in moisture management by providing additional ventilation and drainage, furring strips are a valuable part of the exterior makeup of the home. Ventilation is crucial for water management because it can do severe damage when water lingers.

Horizontal beams can form little ledges and become a trap for moisture. For this reason, furring strips should always be installed vertically to establish an effective drainage plane that helps water runoff flow downwards. Install the furring strips between the housewrap and the siding, leaving a significant gap between each strip to allow enough airflow to help with ventilation needs.

Furring strips are a versatile feature that can be used with a wide range of exterior siding styles and materials. Furring strips for Hardie siding and furring strips for vinyl siding are essentially the same. Vertical siding layouts may require furring strips to be installed with less space between them, meaning you may need more furring strips for board and batten siding and other vertical layouts so that each panel has a strip beneath it to serve as backing.

Synopsis: A drainage space located behind stucco siding will let water that gets past the siding drain down the wall and to the ground. When it comes to drainage products, there are typically two general types of rainscreens. Masonry Technology Incorporated founder John Koester and building scientist Christine Williamson give their take on some of the best products on the market to help keep the rot away.

Furring strips are long thin pieces of material usually made of wood or metal. They are used to make a backing surface for the siding to attach to. These strips create the drainage plane that is essential for rainscreen siding to be effective in the way that it was designed for. The drainage plane is what allows the siding to air out, making it last longer. In the absence of this plane, rot, mold, and decay could become a catastrophic problem.

We still need cladding, of course. Cladding reduces the amount of water the rainscreen needs to handle, and it protects the drainage plane from mechanical damage (from hail, lawnmowers, baseballs, etc.) and degradation through exposure to ultraviolet light. Plus, it adds color, texture and personality. But with a good rainscreen behind it, cladding no longer needs to be continuous. In fact, Michael Anschel, president of OA Design+Build+Architecture, which designed and built the project, believes open-joint cladding performs better because it enables more water to drain faster and it promotes better airflow and drying behind the cladding.

The rainscreen for the open-joint cladding begins with housewrap installation. The black Invisiwrap-UV comes in rolls about five feet wide and can be installed by one worker using a slap nailer (2). Next come the black polyethylene Batten-UV furring strips, which are fastened to the sheathing in vertical lines 16 inches on center using just enough staples to hold them in place until the cladding is installed. There is no need to align the furring with the studs, which are behind 2 inches of foam, because the sheathing alone will provide enough support for cladding fasteners. Care is taken, however, to align staples vertically so as not to compress the battens. This preserves the structure of the horizontal open cores, which allow for air exchange between vertical bays.

In construction, furring strips are thin strips of wood or other material to level or raise surfaces of another material to prevent dampness, to make space for insulation, or to level and resurface ceilings or walls.

Furring refers to the process of installing the strips and to the strips themselves. Furring is a U.K. term for wood strips which are usually 50 mm wide, tapered and fixed above wood roof joists to provide drainage falls below roof boarding. Furring strips themselves are typically referred to as battens in the U.K. and sometimes the material is called strapping in the U.S.

As indicated above the furring strip is used to provide space between the substrate and the finish of the structure. For exterior applications in construction whether residential, multi-family or commercial, furring strips are used to create a drainage plane and air space over the WRB (weather resistive barrier) and behind the cladding.

As defined above the furring strips are typically wood. There are also metal furring strips, PVC Strips, hat channels among others. All of these furring strips have the same functionality and take a saw, grinder, or a mechanical method to cut to size; which can become labor intensive and typically has two workers assigned to produce, one to measure, one to cut.

When you use a wood furring strip to create a barrier between wall and cladding you are creating a barrier that is powerless to moisture absorption. This moisture can get trapped behind siding and can cause rot, mold, and mildew. Wood furring strips also tend to not include warranty and can cause cracking, warping and splitting.

You must request a variance to use OSB in a rain-screen application before installing the sheathing. Furring strips (nominal 1- by 2-inch dimension lumber (19 mm by 38 mm)) or nominal 2- by 2-inch dimensional lumber (38 mm by 38 mm) are placed over the building paper directly over each wall stud. The thickness of the furring strips or (2 by 2s) must be sufficient to avoid having the siding nails penetrate the felt or house wrap. Horizontal boards (usually nominal 1 by 4 inch dimensional lumber (19 mm by 89 mm)), spaced to coincide with the exposed shake or shingle length, are placed across the furring strips to give an open space between the backside of the shakes or shingle and the sheathing. The space is vented at the top and bottom and must be screened to keep out insects. The top may be vented directly into the soffit to connect the air-flow with the attic ventilation. Flashing must be installed around doors and windows just as with any siding system. 153554b96e

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