What is a Rain Screen (why you need it)

Rain screen is built-in with AL13® Panel and Plank Systems. What is it? Why do you need it?

Rain Screen

A rain screen is not a singular product, but a system of products on a wall that function together to manage moisture.

This wall construction system protects the sheathing from moisture that manages to get past the exterior siding or cladding.

What is it?

3 part breakdown

A rain screen system generally consists of the following parts:1) Exterior Cladding2) 3/8” Air Gap3) Water Resistant Barrier

Air Gap

80% open, 20% cladding system

A rain screen is an exterior cladding system where an air gap exists between the water-resistant barrier and the back of the exterior cladding system. To code, this gap must be 10 mm, or 3/8 inch, from the water-resistant barrier on the building and the exterior cladding system. This must maintain a ratio of being 80% open with only 20% of the cladding system impeding moisture and air flow at horizontal joints.

Pressure Equalization: Vented vs. Ventilated

When ventilation holes are integrated into the cladding system, the ventilation acts as a pressure-equalizing space where accumulated moisture can flow out while letting air flow evaporate excess moisture. That said, there are two types of pressure-equalized rain screen systems; vented and ventilated. A vented rainscreen is one where there is open ventilation on either the top or bottom of the wall, whereas a ventilated rainscreen is open on the top AND the bottom – allowing air to flow freely behind the system

Featured project using AL13® Panel System

Fareway Grocery Store

620 8th St SE, Altoona, IA 50009

  • TYPECommercial
  • COLORCC054 – Custom Grey
  • SYSTEMAL13 Panel

This is Fareway Stores a commercial project in us-iowa-ia featuring horizontal panel in CC054 – Grey.


Rigorous Testing

AL13 system components have built-in moisture management certified with AAMA 508, AAMA 509 (pressure equalized rain screen).