Are rainscreen cladding systems airtight and watertight?

It might surprise you to learn that rainscreen cladding systems are neither completely airtight nor watertight.

In a nutshell: 

  • Rainscreen cladding systems protect a building’s outer wall from rain and UV damage
  • Rainscreen cladding is not completely airtight or watertight
  • Gaps within the system provide a ventilated cavity that helps remove moisture, preventing damage and rot

Yes, of course, the outer panels will protect the building from the full forces of the elements. But 100%? No. That’s not the system’s role.

Ultimately, it’s the job of the building’s backing wall and sealed windows to prevent water ingress and keep the building air-tight.

So, why is it called rainscreen cladding?

Simply because it will repel the majority of rain and moisture. And while we’re on a weather theme, it will also protect the building from the damaging effects of UV rays.

Any moisture that does get in is removed by ventilation – by the same gaps that stop the rainscreen cladding system from being airtight in the first place.

Want to find out more?

Submit new questions 

Would you like to see your questions answered? Submit them to us and we'll let you know when we've found the answer. 

Submit questions