Rainscreen Systems and Drainage

A rainscreen is the exterior weather-facing surface of an exterior wall detail that stands off from the moisture-resistant surface of the structural backup wall.

A veneer that doesn’t stand off from the moisture-resistant surface of the structural backup wall to create a cavity is not a true “rainscreen;” it's just a veneer.

A rainscreen drainage plane (drainage mat) creates a separation between the backside of the cladding (stucco, manmade stone, siding, etc.) and the exterior surface of the moisture-resistant material on the structural backup wall of a rainscreen system.

The function of the separation is to allow any moisture in a liquid state that passes through the cladding to have an unobstructed pathway from a high point where it enters, to a low point of the wall where it can safely exit the rainscreen system.

The traditional way of dealing with moisture problems in a rainscreen system was to make them waterproof. Time, testing and experience have shown that making a wall waterproof is a nearly impossible task. Even if you get everything exactly right during the installation process, materials break down, ground settles, cracks develop and eventually, walls will leak.

Rainscreen System Drainage - It's About Time!

Eliminating moisture problems in a rainscreen system is "About Time!" It doesn’t take a lot of water inside the building enclosure to cause a great deal of damage. The results of moisture intrusion into a rainscreen system are sustainability issues, energy loss and an increased risk for occupant health problems. The solution is getting the moisture out of a rainscreen system as fast as possible with a rainscreen drainage system.

MTI has the right rainscreen drainage products to complement your rainscreen system. Whether the veneer is stucco, manmade stone, EIFS or anything else, we have a drainage system that will get the moisture out of your rainscreen system and allow for air movement in the building enclosure. The slideshow illustrates just a few of the possibilities of rainscreen drainage systems available with MTI products.

MTI's superior "true channel" drainage mat technology and our "tunnel weep" technology keep rainscreen systems sustainable.

A Sustainable Rainscreen System Involves Real Drainage!

Real waterproofing involves real drainage. Over the last 20-30 years we have experienced a myriad of moisture-related problems in rainscreen systems. The increased use of rainscreen technology by designers has seen more than its share. There are many reasons for moisture problems in rainscreen systems. Some of the most common issues include:

  • Tighter building envelopes increased mold and rot problem
  • Many modern materials created unintended moisture barriers
  • Increased insulation led to condensation problems

Rainscreen systems with a wide variety of veneers are sustainable when combined with the right rainscreen moisture management system.  MTI’s many “true channel” rainscreen system drainage products enable us to create the right drainage system for your rainscreen system!

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