Rainscreen cladding is the external weathering element to multi-layer rainscreen wall systems. The rainscreen façade is drained and back-ventilated to protect the structural wall from the adverse effects of the sun, wind and rainwater. The design of the joints and the cavity between the façade and the structure result in an equalisation of air pressure between the cavity and the exterior, thus inhibiting the drive of airborne moisture across the cavity. In some systems a vertical EPDM gasket seal is located in the vertical joints. A breather membrane is usually fixed to the structure before the rainscreen system is applied.
Rainscreen systems are appropriate for masonry, concrete, timber frame and concrete frame construction. A grid of vertical or horizontal aluminium extrusions is fixed to the façade, creating a minimum air gap of 25 mm. The rainscreen units are then clipped to the support system. The rainscreen cladding units may be manufactured in terracotta or from a wide range of other materials including stone laminate, stainless steel, copper, aluminium or zinc. Rainscreen units are shaped to shed water out of the open-drained joints, and individual units may be removed for maintenance or repair. A range of colours and dimensions is available in terracotta units to create the required aesthetic effect. Terracotta rainscreen cladding is fire resistant and durable, requiring virtually no maintenance except for occasional cleaning.