Rainscreen Construction Principle (Part II)

Rainscreen Construction Principle

Rainscreen Construction Principle basic idea is to have an exterior surface or cladding layer that can break the force of sideways, wind load, water movement, resulting in preventing water penetration into the building’s structure. For most of the buildings, from modern to traditional ones, water is the biggest enemy. However, producing a complete watertight cladding system is challenging. Thus, manufacturers started working on the rainscreen construction principle decades ago to provide better protection for the constructions in the city. Rainscreen comes in different styles and types. One of the most popular types is the ACM panels or ACP materials used widely in the modern era. These particular products offer numerous advantages along with their waterproof characteristics.

In the rainscreen construction principle part 1, we discussed the basics of these practical systems and their structure that engineers designed for better watertight characteristics. This article covers essential information about this principle that anyone in the building industry must know.

Rainscreen Construction Principle Types

The rain screen construction principle is based upon two distinct and separate barriers on the building’s cladding. The outer barrier controls most rainwater while the inner leaf performs multiple functions, including moisture and air barrier, insulation, and the structural wall. The outer section allows the water to penetrate through open joinery, and the volume of the penetration depends on the design principle. This is where two distinct types of products come into the picture: the Drained/Back-ventilated and Pressure-equalized/Compartmented systems.

Both rainscreen systems are available in ACM panels cladding materials and different siding for the facade. They use the principle of controlling water leakage without stopping it from penetrating through the exposed outer surface completely. However, the internal design of both systems functions differently based upon the approach. Moreover, the Rainscreen construction principle has been generalized and consolidated into one unified product in specifications combined with both types’ characteristics. For complicating and confusing matters, the water, and air resistance standards from the traditional building cladding systems are applied to these modern designs and specifications of the exterior material’s exposure. Placing the water and air tightness codes on the outer surface of the barrier contradicts the underlying fundamentals of the Rainscreen Construction Principle. Now let’s get to the fundamental of each system.

Pressure-Equalized/ Compartmented Rainscreen

In this article, we focus on the Pressure-equalized rainscreen principle, which is very design intensive. Please read the third part of this article to learn about Drained/Back-ventilated systems for ACM panels.

Pressure-equalized systems are susceptible to design variations and deviations from their design principle. The openings in this system are created uniquely for both static and dynamic pressure equalization allowance across the rainscreen. The essential factor that separates this system from the D/BV principle is the design and the use of the compartmented method within the cavity. The reason behind the compartment is that the pressure equalization can only happen within limited periods and in the case of controlled volume behind the Rainscreen system. This equalization is essential due to the none-uniformity of wind loads, constantly changing across a single cladding of a building.

The vent numbers and their geometry calculation depend on the cavity volume, allowing sufficient airflow in and out of the internal equalized area quickly enough to respond to the ever-changing wind loads. This promotes the pressure differences between the ACM panels or other types of panels used in the system and the internal compartment pressure resulting in equalizing the air pressure on the external cladding and the inner sides of the building facade. If the conditions exist properly, forces causing water movement will decrease; if not, they will be eliminated.

The effective area of the vent holes in this type of rainscreen construction principle depends on three factors which are:

  • The airtightness of the air barrier on the inner section
  • The stiffness of the cladding material and its inner leaf
  • The volume of the compartments that make up the internal air space

The compartments are the essential elements of a proper pressure-equalized rainscreen principle. They come with crucial properties, characteristics and functionalities. Followings are the reasons why these elements play an indispensable role in the PE systems:

  • They control lateral and vertical airflow.
  • They size the volume of the space that the vent openings must be designed for facilitation.
  • The most crucial role of compartments is limiting water infiltration and controlling the water drainage when air-pressure disequilibrium occurs.

The characteristics above show that rainscreens with non-compartmentalized cavities cannot be pressure equalized. However, many of this system’s construction factors and elements are almost similar to the drained/back-ventilated rain screen construction principle. Still, they have several significant and essential differences, which we have discussed in the third part of this article.

Rainscreen Construction Principle (Part I)

Rainscreen Principle

Rainscreen principle is an industrial product that is used widely in residential and commercial facilities for various purposes. This product utilizes the open rainscreen principle and is a subset of the screened-drained classification of wall designs. It incorporates all essential characteristics that the building industry requires. Additionally, the authentication of the open rain screen is its capability of equalizing air pressure and ventilation allowance.

What is The Rainscreen Principle?

The rainscreen product and principle, as today’s industry knows, owes much of its development to such men as Birkland and Garden. However, the terms open rain screen principle, and rain screen appeared in the 1960s. These respectful men examined five primary forces that cause rainwater infiltration in a wall. They also looked at the existing wall designs and materials that used cavities and interior drainage to control water departure. Thus, they found that if all of the five forces behind the water infiltration through a cladding can be eliminated or controlled, then the rainwater or the water present on the wall will not penetrate the building.

It is essential to note that it is not conceivable that architects or building designers can prevent the exterior section of the facility from getting wet nor guarantee that no openings will develop to permit the entrance of the water. However, researchers prove that incorporating an air chamber into the wall or joints where the air pressure is equal to that on the exterior can prevent rainwater infiltration. In essence, the external layer is an open rain screen that damages the wetting of the facility’s primary wall or air barrier.

Engineers have reasoned that the air pressure difference existing between the exterior and the interior of the wall system results in air currents that carry the moisture or water into the building’s Cladding. Unfortunately, at the first stage of rainscreen development, manufacturers could not produce products to provide a strategy to relieve air pressure differences that the Cladding was experiencing. If any building designer created a moderate pressure, it was incidental. Air pressure was the cause of water infiltration that many had not considered at the time. However, years of research and studies have shown that this force is the dominant contributor to water leakage.

Structure of a Rainscreen

As told, rainscreen provide air ventilation due to their unique structure. This product features three primary components:

  • A screen or outer layer.
  • A pressure equalization chamber with a perfect sealing system on all sides except at the vent.
  • A vent or opening that connects the air chamber to the exterior.

More specifically, for countering other forces that can cause air infiltration, a rain screen has other practical features. Therefore, manufacturers create products that have a more comprehensive design to develop the rainscreen principle fully. The structure of a fully developed main screen contains:

  • Screen or Cladding- the screen is a durable material that is exceptionally non-porous and is generally in the form of a panel. This section of a rain screen allows the water to run off both sides of the product.
  • Open Joints or Air Vents- this section of a rain screen includes gaps for ventilation. The product features a labyrinth type of interlocking dry joints for controlling momentum, surface tension, gravity, and capillary action forces. For better sealing and more efficient protection, it is possible to use wet seals such as caulk behind the Cladding.
  • Air Flow Toward and Out of PECs (Pressure Equalized Chamber)- the primary wall of the rainscreen products is divided into much smaller self-contained chambers. Each PEC size is determined precisely and as airtight as possible. The more profound and more extensive the section is, the more air intake is required. Thus, bigger vents will be needed.
  • Chamber Baffles- these are the sidewalls of the pressure equalized chambers that should resist the pressure and wind loads inside the section. Thus, they need to be relatively airtight. Chamber baffles can be any divider such as a structural connector or clips that support the Cladding.
  • Air and Moisture Barrier- these barriers create an airtight blockade between the chambers and the inside of the facility. They must be strong adequate to handle the exterior loads from wind and pressure. Some materials can double the air and water barrier for better sealing characteristics.
  • Drip Edges, Flashing, and Drainage Channels- drip edges and flashes funnel water out of the pressure equalized chambers and run away from the facility. In addition, rainscreen panels may have feature channels that evacuate liquids that drain along the surface or the back sides of the cladding material such as ACM panels.
  • Waterproof insulation- This particular section is optional, and many manufacturers do not utilize them for creating and installing buildings rainscreen panels.
  • Inner Wall Structure

If you want to know more about Rain screen principle, you should read the Rainscreen Construction Principle (Part II) article.

The Best Properties of ACM Panels

The Best Properties of ACM Panels

The Best Properties of ACM panels are what the building industry requires to improve cities and facility’s attractiveness and durability while satisfying construction regulations and standards. Aluminum composite materials or panels are modern construction and decorative products first invented in Germany in the 1960s. These materials take other traditional material’s place, such as cement and wood, in the market.

The best properties of ACM panels made other substances no so significant in the construction industry. Additionally, older and traditional materials are not environmentally friendly products, and they get damaged or even destroyed easily. Thus, architects and builders need new and valuable products to improve facilities with higher quality and resistance. ACM panels are the ideal solution since they provide a wide array of benefits.

What are Aluminum Composite Panels?

Before getting to the best properties of ACM panels, it is essential to know what exactly are aluminum composite panels. Like other composite panel materials, these products are made up of three necessary yet thin layers, including two Aluminum layers and one primary core material. Customers demanding projects can change the core substance since it can vary the product’s fire exposure behavior. For example, the core material may be a solid mineral or honeycomb filling, but the standard ACP products feature polyethylene or considerably combustible polyurethane substances.

The combustibility of the core material made issues for the past few years. Thus, manufacturers decided to change the core material for exterior cladding applications to prevent feature disasters. ACM panels are practical for applications where the project requires a mix of high structural materials. As a result, manufacturers create products with different yet high quality by using the correct core substance. The quality and the best properties of ACM panels have made various companies and manufacturers invest in the production process. The world statistics estimates that more than two hundred companies are active in the aluminum composite panel industry, and the numbers are still growing day by day.

Know the Best Properties of ACM Panels to Understand Their Value

As told, many companies and manufacturers spend their money on developing factories to create ACM panels. However, customers often want to know the reason behind this large-scale investment. ACP materials come with various advantages that made them famous. The best properties of ACM panels include:

Lightweight Characteristic:

ACM panels are one of the most lightweight construction materials in the building industry. This property of ACP materials makes them the ideal choice for cladding applications. Additionally, compared to other traditional materials such as brick, stone, and even other composite materials, ACM panels are considered the lightest.

High-Quality Surface:

Manufacturers and factories coat and cover ACM panels with two kinds of substances which are fluorocarbon and polyester. These two substances allow developers to create a high-quality product with a perfect surface. Additionally, aluminum composite panels are hard to break and can handle harsh external conditions for decades.

Durability:

One of the best properties of ACM panels is their durability. Every construction material should long last, and ACP manufacturers are aware of that. Thus, with the mix of zinc, magnesium, copper, and aluminum, they create stable products for cladding. This specific advantage of these panels shows up in advertisement projects where durability is in priority.

Fire Resistance:

Modern era construction regulations require so many different properties and factors. One of the common significant factors is the level of fire resistance of the building. Thus, if homeowners use fire-resistance materials, they can benefit from lower taxes. Modern Aluminum composite panels are covered with fire-retardant materials, which make them more fire-resistant products. Therefore, even if the product catches fire, it will not spread to other portions of the facility.

Sound Insulation:

Due to the sound pollution increment in the modern age, buildings require cladding materials to improve sound insulation and provide a more relaxed area for occupants and workers. Aluminum composite panels are the best materials for noise reduction purposes. This property is due to the arc type core in these materials, taking the sound waves and providing acoustic properties.

Thickness:

ACM panels are available in different thicknesses to satisfy any demanding project. Their gauge can be changed equivalent to the customer’s usage. Additionally, the core substance can affect the depth and the width of the panels. The overall thickness of ACP material varies from 3 to 6 millimeters. Generally, for cladding systems, manufacturers produce these materials with a thickness of more than 4 millimeters.

Flexibility:

ACP materials are famous for their flexibility and easy fabrication process. Manufacturers can easily bend, cut, fold and shape them. Thus, designers and architects can create limitless exteriors for buildings depending on the customer’s desires. Even if a piece of ACM is damaged and requires replacement, the homeowner can change only the panel with a problem since it is easy to install.

Among the best properties of ACM panels, other characteristics can be considerably beneficial for the construction industry, including being cost-effective, weather resistance, corrosion resistance, environmentally friendly, flat, and available in various colors and finishes for more satisfying designs.

How Can You Paint Aluminum Sidings?

Paint Aluminum Sidings

Aluminum Sidings are popular cladding material covering a wide range of applications from industrial to commercial construction projects. Due to aluminum siding’s various advantages, including extreme weather durability, minimum maintenance requirements, and aesthetics, designers prefer to utilize them instead of choosing other types of cladding materials. These sidings can last for a long period of time, but when buying a home with aluminum sidings facades, customers may encounter surfaces with peeled paint. However, this issue should not be a concern, and by using some painting supplies and elbow grease, painting these products will not be a daunting task. Thus, it is more cost-effective to paint the material rather than replacing it with a new siding. The painting process is relatively straightforward, and most homeowners can do it without professional assistance.

Equipment and Tools Required to Paint Aluminum Sidings

There are some few tools and pieces of equipment that are necessary to complete the aluminum siding painting process, including:

  • oil-based primer- for sealing any porous surfaces and allowing the paint to cover the aluminum siding better
  • acrylic exterior paint- for better bonding on the aluminum
  • synthetic fiber brushes- are the only brushes that are practical when working with acrylic paint
  • lambswool paint roller- can maximize coverage of the surface area
  • ladder- for reaching and having access to the higher parts of the cladding
  • plastic paint bucket- are helpful when using a ladder during the job since the painter can hang it nearby using its handle
  • plastic paint trays- are necessary for paint rollers
  • drop cloths- are used for keeping the area clean

Steps to Paint Aluminum Sidings

Some essential steps should be followed precisely when considering doing the aluminum siding painting without any help from experts, which we will introduce in this section. Each stage has its unique role in the process overall. Thus, if the painter perfectly finishes all phases, the aluminum siding will regain its beauty.

First Step: Prepare the Aluminum Sidings for Painting

Similar to any renovation application, painting aluminum sidings require preparation. This stage starts with scraping off paints that are already peeled by using paint scraping tools. Then it is essential to remove any noticeable mildew by utilizing a combination of ten parts water to one part bleach. If the aluminum siding is particularly dingy, it is better to buy or even rent a power sander to sand down the material. Experts recommend using eighty grit sandpaper for the first round, followed by 220 grit sandpaper for the second-round sanding.

Second Step: Apply the First Coat of Primer Paint Aluminum Sidings

The second stage is to apply the first coat of primer precisely. The painter must plan to begin the painting process when the weather is dry and mild for preventing rain, debris, and dust from destroying the finish. The process is more straightforward to do by using a paint roller and applying the primer evenly, rolling back and forth twice the roller for achieving a smooth surface. This procedure will take a few seconds per 0.09 square meters. It is crucial to work in one direction during primer applying, whether from left to right or right to left to maximize the drying time and help the painter work more efficiently.

Third Step: Applying the Second Coat of Primer

Now that there is already a first layer of primer, the painter must add the second coat. However, this must be done after the first layer is dried. Primer often takes about three to four hours to dry thoroughly. Thus, it is better to plan the process day accordingly.

Fourth Step: Start to Paint Aluminum Sidings

It is essential to use long and even brush strokes while painting from top to bottom during the process. In this way, it is possible to adjust any drips along the way. For better results, it is better to paint in the same direction as the aluminum siding, meaning if the product is horizontal, the painting course should be left to right, and if the siding is vertical, paint it up to down. If there is any sign of visible lines in the paint, the painter is doing the job too slowly. Taking breaks in between each side will ensure a smooth and finished surface.

Fifth Step: Add a Second Layer of Paint

After waiting a minimum of two hours, it is time to apply the second layer of paint. This stage can help the painter to correct any mistakes or flaws that occurred during the fourth step. For instance, any bumps present in work can be removed by using the sanding system. It is better to buy more paint than the painter thinks are needed. An extra gallon can be practical for additional coat or touchups, if necessary.

Sixth Step: Inspect the Work for Finding Issues

Once applying both coats of paint is finished, the finish must be left to dry for at least two hours. Then the painter must check and inspect the work, looking for spots that may be missed, drips, and bumps. If there is a sign of the old aluminum siding finish beneath the paint, consider applying one more layer of finish to ensure the process is done in the best quality.

How to Recycle ACP Materials?

Recycle ACP materials

ACP materials popularity is continuously growing within the construction industry due to its various advantages, including low price, energy efficiency, recyclability, and construction functionality. These materials have a unique design to satisfy renovation and rehabilitation projects in ventilated facades. ACP solutions can adapt to all fields of building and architectural applications. In this article, we will mainly introduce and concentrate on the recycling process of these panels. However, before getting to the process introduction, it is better to know the preliminary information about the characteristics and properties of aluminum composite panels.

Basics of ACP Materials

As it is evident, manufacturers utilize aluminum to produce ACM panels. Aluminum metal is a common element in nature, making it easier to find and extract for further utilizations. This material is located in many silicates, and then manufacturers extract it from the bauxite mineral and apply a complex procedure to obtain pure aluminum. Due to its low density and corrosion-resistant characteristics and being a perfect conductor, it is a suitable element for various industrial processes. Among its typical uses, aluminum materials’ mirror-like appearance helps designers create modern and sleek designs. Thanks to its physical properties, manufacturers can combine aluminum with other materials to produce new products, including ACM panels.

Uses of the ACP Materials

The most common usage of ACP materials is in ventilated facades. These cladding materials feature several layers that stand out for their effectiveness in solving insulation issues and make them a type of coating system for building’s exterior. Due to their physical properties, buildings can achieve efficient thermal behavior. The most notable thing about these ventilated facade systems is that they allow the construction to have a chimney effect between its exterior layers. The chimney effect generates continuous ventilation in the chamber while maintaining a stable temperature, resulting in greater energy efficiency than more conventional cladding systems. Thus, during winter, air circulation slows down and preserves the heat, while in summer, the heat gets evacuated, and the circulating air is renewed.

Recycling Process

The ACP materials are entirely recyclable, and despite their cost, the manufacturers of the world try their best to recycle these materials and not to throw them away directly. The high inherent value of aluminum materials is a significant economic stimulus for its recycling. Aluminum composite panels scarp can repeatedly be recycled without decreasing their value or diminishing their physical properties. Additionally, the energy that manufacturers utilize to complete the recycling process is a mere fraction of primary production requirements. The process involves a few but essential steps and requires machines to meet the recycling procedure. The method of aluminum composite panels recycling working as follows:

Crushing: The first step of recycling is cutting the aluminum composite panel into smaller pieces. This is done to provide easier workflow due to the large size of these panels. Without cutting ACP materials, there is no way to start the recycling procedure.

Grinding: Due to the perfect adhesion between the aluminum and the core material which holds the panels together, it isn’t easy to deal with these pre-cut pieces of ACPs. Thus, it is essential to grind these tiny particles into powder by utilizing special grinding machines to make them easy to separate.

Circulation Water Cooling: It is crucial to note that the grinding process can generate considerable heat which will lead to burning some pieces, resulting in reducing the separation rate. Thus, manufacturers utilize a circulating water-cooling system to reduce the temperature during the grinding stage of the panels.

Sieving Stage: The sieving stage, which features a vibrating screen, involves sending the small pieces without grinding them back to the grinding mill for further grind process. The produced powder will follow its process by continuing to the next stage.

Electrostatic Separation: The last step of recycling the ACM panels is utilizing the electrostatic separation method. According to the different conductivities between the core and aluminum, the electrostatic separator can easily divide the core material from the aluminum composite materials.

Machines Used for Recycling ACP Materials

Waste aluminum composite material is the most valuable raw material to recycle for complete PVC and high productivity characteristics. One of the machines used for the purpose is the recycling machine named YX-800, a device with a high handling property. This machine is mainly used to process and recycle scrapped ACM panels that often come from old outside walls of buildings, decorative panels for interior walls, notice boards, billboards, renovation, and portable house projects.

How to Install Aluminum Sidings

aluminum sidings

The key to having a successful aluminum siding application is precise management and planning. Proper siding installation is ideal for ensuring the cladding product lives up to its reputation for quality. The method of applying aluminum siding and soffit is essentially the same for renovation and new construction projects. However, occasionally, individual instructions for different application is required. In every type of application, care and maintenance are prioritized to prepare the project’s structure properly. It is also crucial that the builders and installers review the local building standards and codes before taking the first step in installing aluminum sidings.

Measuring for the Ideal Aluminum Sidings

All facilities can be broken down into shapes of triangles, rectangles, and a combination of both. The area that requires sidings is determined by measuring the width and the height of the building, including windows and other portions. Then the installers should sum and total all the measurements for the demanding areas while not deducting the windows and doors. Including the doors and windows will allow for determining the waste factor. If these portions are substantial such as garage and sliding doors, some deduction could be necessary. For further assistance on measuring and choosing the ideal aluminum siding for the facility, customers should contact reliable contractors.

Installation Guidelines

Before starting installing aluminum sidings, it is essential to review several standard rules for siding applications. These cladding products, like other constructional materials, contract and expand due to temperature changing. The amount of expansion and contraction can vary depending on the building’s location. Thus, accounting and considering these factors is crucial for preventing the products from buckling and damaging, affecting the facility’s overall appearance. The followings are the rules which are critical for an appropriate aluminum siding installation.

  • The siding materials should not be stored in a location where temperatures exceed 54 centigrade degrees.
  • The panels that are already installed should have a free momentum space to move freely from side to side for preventing contraction and expansion damages.
  • Installers should push up from the bottom until the lock makes a complete engagement with the below part during the installation process. They should not force the products up or down when fixing them in position. Stretching the board upward can pull the natural radius out of the siding and cause friction increment of the locks.
  • It is crucial to nail in the center of the slot and avoid nailing at the end of it. This step needs precision to prevent permanent damages on the sidings. If the nailing should be near the end of a slot to hit a stud, the installer should extend the length with a particular tool, such as a nail slot punch.
  • Never caulk the panels where they meet the receiver of j-trim, outside and inside corner posts.
  • Another noticeable factor is to avoid stapling or face-nailing through the siding due to the expansion and contraction of the products with the outside temperature changes.
  • In renovation and residing projects, removal and furring of uneven old sidings will probably be necessary.
  • For new development projects, it is recommended to dodge using green lumbers as the underlayment. The stability and straightness of sidings depend on what lies under them.

Tools and Equipment to Install Aluminum Sidings

There are some essential tools needed for proper aluminum sidings installation such as hammer, fine-tooth saw, chalk line, tape measure, level, and square. Additionally, for protection purposes, using a safety glass is necessary. The followings are other essential tools that can become handy when installing aluminum sidings for any project:

Utility Knife: This tool can be practical in the installation process due to the easy fabrication process of the aluminum sidings. The utility knife can cut, score and trim the products.

Tin Snips: Using good quality tin snips and compound aviation-type supplies can help increase the speed of shaping and cutting aluminum sidings.

Snap Lock Punch: Punching lugs in the cut edges of siding materials can be done with a snap-lock punch. This tool is practical for the finishing course of the top of the siding and underneath a window.

Nail Hole Slot Punch: For providing an allowance for expansion and contraction, a hole elongation is needed. For creating the hole, installers should use a nail hole slot punch.

Unlocking Tool: The unlocking tool is utilized to replace or remove aluminum siding panels. For using this particular tool, the installer should insert the curved end under the end of the board and hook it into the back lip of the lock. The experts pull down and slide the tool along the length of the siding to disengage the coil and use the same process to relock the panels.

Cutting Aluminum Sidings

Following standard guidelines is essential when cutting aluminum sidings. Utilizing safety goggles is always critical for cutting and nailing procedures. As with any building project, installers should use safety equipment and follow safe development disciplines. In cold weather, the cutting operator must install the fine-toothed blade backwards on the saw for a cleaner, and smoother cut with a circular saw. Avoiding closing blades entirely at the end of a stork can result in a cleaner and neater cut when using tin snips. Then the fabrication continues with a utility knife or a scoring tool with scoring the siding face up with medium pressure.

How Strong Is Aluminum Composite Panel?

aluminum composite panel

The aluminum composite panel is an industrial building product that is practical for cladding and facade applications. The building facade is the first element people notice when they see a construction, including home and commercial facilities. Every building design should have a unique soul, and it must represent the owner and a specific brand. Most of the facilities in the modern era have a perfect plan and soul, and due to the availability of different materials, architects can expand and improve their designs equivalent to the needs of the current time. However, products made from materials such as wood and steel are not very easy to work with for better creativity. Additionally, these materials have drawbacks such as fading of paint and heavyweight, making them challenging to install and maintain long-term usage.

Due to the growth of architecture ad modern materials, it is easier to have creativity when designing a facility. One of the practical substances which relieve the overall process of creating claddings is aluminum. Utilizing aluminum composite panels is an efficient way to add a modern touch and elegance to a building by producing shapes and patterns that were not easy to create decades ago. They are elegant, stylish, and easy to work with, but they have a wide array of benefits and advantages for which landlords and building owners must consider using them. The following are the primary characteristics that make ACP materials strong and efficient for any construction project.

ACM Panel is a Perfect Material with High Durability for Creative Solutions

Manufacturers can create shapes and designs with aluminum composite panels that are harder to produce with other facade materials. These panels will help architects and builders to create a look that is aesthetically pleasing and highly functional. Every construction material has to have high durability, and by combining it with zinc, copper, and magnesium, aluminum can become very durable and robust. Aluminum panels can be cut, drilled, bent, perforated, folded, and fabricated without losing their fundamental integrity. Due to the flexibility and durability of these materials, they have become ideal choices for all types of projects which require almost thirty years of life span.

Aluminum Composite Panel is a Strong and Lightweight Product Comparing to Other Composite Materials

Aluminum Composite panels are among the classification of the lightweight material while being extremely strong, making them perfect for cladding systems. Compared to steel claddings, aluminum is 66% lighter, a perfect and suitable alternative for architects who used to utilize steel for their projects. Most manufacturers compete to create more robust and lighter ACM panels to provide for contractors or building companies.

Low Cost of Maintenance

The cost and effort of maintaining ACP cladding systems are almost nonexistent compared to wood, steel or solid walls. If the construction project is located in a rural area, aluminum composite panels can receive a cleaning process twice a year; they should be cleaned once a year for urban areas. In low rainfall and coastal zones, once a year is appropriate. However, if the material exists in heavily industrialized areas, twice a year will do the job. Additionally, the cleaning process for aluminum composite cladding is relatively easy. For removing the soil, cleaning experts must use water rinse with moderate pressure, and in the worst case, other chemical solutions can clean the material thoroughly. It is essential to contract and consult with a distributor or contractor before considering hiring a cleaning expert for the cladding.

Cost-Effective Solution While Being an Efficient Material

Due to the very light characteristic of aluminum composite panel, there is no need for many fixing points, which lowers the labor and material cost and makes them a cost-effective solution for a building facade. Additionally, the installation and fabrication methods are easy for these panels resulting in lower maintenance and labor cost.

High Functionality of Aluminum Composite Panel

Manufacturers create a large variety of aluminum composite materials for cladding systems and panels while providing efficient functionality and suitable characteristics for building standards such as thermal, sound, and wind insulation, earthquake safety etc. Some of these functional properties lower the energy cost for the building owner. Other characteristics are anti-graffiti and easy cleaning, corrosion-resistant and recyclability.

Corrosion-Resistant Characteristic

ACP materials receive a pre-treating process for having a protective film to keep allowing them to have corrosion-resistant characteristics. However, aluminum panels themselves creates a thin layer of oxide when exposed to air, making the facade resistant to rusting and damaging. If the building is located in some extreme humid location, a special coating and maintenance are required to protect the product from further damages.

Non-Combustible Aluminum Composite Panels for Construction

Some of the aluminum composite panels are classified as non-combustible materials for construction while respecting fire-resistant standards and regulations. When exposed to a temperature as high as 600 degrees Celsius, aluminum melts, but the essential thing is that they are inflammable. As a result, these materials are environmentally friendly construction products that do not generate toxic gas even when a fire occurs.

Is it Cheaper to Replace or Paint Aluminum Siding?

Aluminum Siding materials have become efficient options for deciding the perfect cladding product for the facility. Depending on the building’s location and other factors, this type of siding can be an excellent choice. Aluminum sidings are available in various finishes and gauges for different projects. These exterior panels come in both vertical and horizontal formats to allow designers to have complete freedom in creating the overall appearance of a home. They provide excellent insulation and corrosion-resistant properties and save the building owner a considerable amount of cooling and heating costs over their life span. These panels are insect-proof, waterproof, and fireproof, along with their various advantages, meaning that they will maintain their beauty and essential characteristics without severe damages. Thus, they are typically low-maintenance options and require lower care than most other siding types.

Homeowners that already have old sidings are always thought of Replacing or Painting Aluminum sidings and choosing the best option for the purpose. Both methods, replacing and painting old sidings, are the most popular options for upgrading exterior cladding materials or repairing the cladding. Before making the final decision about the house’s exterior, it is essential to know the fundamentals of both methods.

Painting Method

Painting the existing Aluminum Siding is an efficient way to transform the look and feel of the facility. However, it is imperative to remark that it is a significant undertaking and is almost physical and costly. But the method has its unique advantages as well.

Pros: The first advantage of painting the siding is that the method is way cheaper than replacing it with a new vinyl material. However, this method comes in sacrificing long-lasting beauty, energy efficiency and overall maintenance. The cost of painting the product is 60% less than replacing it with other materials. The great thing about painting them is that the homeowner can do the job without hiring and paying someone else to do it. When the homeowner decides to replace the product with other materials, it is essential to keep in mind that there are limited products available in the inventory. With the paint color customization, it is possible to pick a wide range of finishes to customize any hue to match the existing products. Professional painters utilize the appropriate shade to prevent further damages to sidings, including collapsing and buckling from additional heat absorption.

Cons: The cons of painting the aluminum siding starts with the requiring prep works. The homeowner must wash the cladding material thoroughly. Any dirt left behind on the old materials will make a considerable mess and damage the painting equipment. The process can consume a ton of water. Thus, it requires hand washing methods which are time-consuming. The subsequent preparation is to prime the material, vital for sidings that are porous and pitted. Then the painter should start the process with a hand paintbrush or a paint roller which higher the risk of making the cladding look even worse than it was. The most substantial drawback of this method is that it is a short-term solution and will not last long.

Replacing and Old Aluminum Siding

After knowing the Pros and Cons of Painting and Old Siding, it is time to introduce the advantages and drawbacks of Replacing the Existing material.

Pros: Many new materials for replacement cost a significant amount of money. However, manufacturers managed to create cost-effective products for homeowners who decide to achieve the best results with lower expenditure on their siding products. The key is to find contractors that offer affordable and reasonable quality aluminum sidings. It is essential to know that replaced material do not require painting and a regular maintenance process. They do not fade from sunlight, and they come with warranty thus even it is damaged due to different factors they can be renewed. However, low maintenance does not mean zero care, and atmospheric dirt can collect on the product over time. Hard rain can splash mud onto the material, but the good news is that it is easy to clean the new aluminum siding. They can add more charm than the painting method, and it is multidimensional. Unlike paint, this solution is long-term and can provide 5 to 25 years of service. It is possible to add an underlayment to increase the insulation properties and energy savings by replacing the damaged and old siding. Replacing method allows the homeowner to add details such as scallops and shakes to enhance the exterior and increase the luxurious appearance of the facility. They are easy to install and do not consume lots of money and energy, and provide safety on the ground.

Cons: The primary drawback of replacing method is its cost. At the same time, replacing old sidings is more expensive than painting. The look of quality siding is priceless, and the new exterior material will provide aesthetic appeal for decades. Factors that play a role in the higher price of the replacement methods include quality and length of the product, aesthetic upgrades, warranty and installation, area of the project, and the removal of the old products. However, it is essential to remember the cost for this method is a return on investment. It is a fact that the average return on investment on the replacement is 76.7%.

Complete Guide to Installing a Rainscreen

Installing a Rainscreen

Installing a Rainscreen panel is one of the most efficient ways to improve the construction’s envelope’s cladding system. It is a suitable building solution to fit into the modern sustainable, and good-looking architecture trends and provides more accessible installation systems than other cladding materials. Rainscreen systems mainly focus on insulation and moisture resistance properties. They prevent the rainwater from penetrating the facility’s structure, eliminating the risk of condensation-related issues such as mold and dampness. When the water ascertains a way to infiltrate the system, many problems may occur. Damp walls often lose thermal energy and lower the efficiency of the facility. Thus, every building requires a plan for installing a Rainscreen. The most remarkable thing about these materials is that they are practical for refurbishments and new-build projects while being cost-effective and require lower maintenance.

Before Installing a Rainscreen

Installing a Rainscreen requires preliminary steps to ensure if the system is suitable for the particular projects. It is essential to check with architects and local building codes before the procedure starting point. Following all construction codes that apply to the building zone is necessary. Builders should test the material’s sustainability for the projects since various factors and variables can exist during the installation process. Manufacturers always provide instruction for their products for different types of projects which is viral to follow. When the installation instruction differs from the standard codes, it is better to contact the contractor and check if it is still suitable to use Rainscreens for the purpose. Here is the list of before-installation steps that can help individuals in their project management.

  1. The first thing is to calculate the number of requiring cladding materials depending on the net finished dimensions.
  2. The characteristics and properties of the Rainscreen siding must accommodate the local weather conditions and climate.
  3. Using the end seal for covering the ends of existing grains on the new fabricated or cut panels is essential.
  4. The last step depends on the demands of the homeowner. If the homeowner expects permission, it is better to check local building codes and provide a report to ensure the project’s road map.

Steps of Installing a Rainscreen

Installing a Rainscreen whether it is Aluminum composite material or other industrial product, contains standard steps for achieving a better result. If the process is done with precision and by following the steps, the product can be at service for a long time without requiring regular maintenance. Here are the main steps for installing Rainscreen panels for a project that are essential to follow.

  1. The first step is to prevent moisture intrusion with house wrap installation in which following the vapor barrier instruction is essential.
  2. The next step is installing the baseboard, also known as furring strip, using constructional supplements such as stainless screws. During the baseboard installation, it is crucial to ensure the product level.
  3. Along with attaching the furring strips, they need to be aligned vertically on the baseboard’s top with 0.3 meters distance on the center.
  4. This step requires starter clip installation, which includes hidden siding fastener kits on the board. After installing the clips, they should have perfect alignment with the furring strips. Using a chalk line reel for creating a level line can be helpful.
  5. After using a level for ensuring the first board alignment, it is time to install the first Rainscreen Siding board on the clips’ top section.
  6. Designers always recommend placing the hidden siding fasteners into the groove section of the cladding.
  7. Experts drive the stainless-steel screw through the clasp into the strip at a 45-degree angle.
  8. The last step is to use a rubber mallet to align the cladding materials properly, and then builders should set the proceeding siding boards on the top of the fasteners. It is good to have in mind that two pieces of sidings abut against each other, using two pins can be helpful.

Other Factors to Consider During Rainscreen Installation

While installing the buildings on the buildings, some essential factors are considered to provide the panels’ maximum efficiency. Wavering these factors can decrease the system’s quality and can cause further damage to the structure, which will end up in repairing and expenditure increment.

Allowable Shrinkage: Installing a Rainscreen requires installation tightly for each board to leave the minor gaps between the products if shrinkage happens. Mediocre shrinkage needs to be measured. However, this factor varies depending on installation site, method of use, and climate.

Cutting and Drilling: Using special tools such as premium carbide saw blades are recommended for cutting due to the rugged nature of Rainscreen panels. It is better to use point drill bits or foster bits to provide cleaner holes on the boards.

End Sealing: Most manufacturers ship their Rainscreen products with the end grain sealing process with clear wax, perfect for preventing any end checking and conflicting movement.

Finishing: Due to the physical properties of Rainscreens, most of the oil and water-based finishes do not dry appropriately after being applied. It is better to test different product samples on various boards to find the most efficient finish for the demanding project before starting the installation process.

What is a Rainscreen Cladding System?

Rainscreen Cladding System

Rainscreen cladding system is one of the most efficient cladding products in the modern era for construction projects purposes. The system is suitable and fits into the current trendy and sustainable architecture designs and consists of an easy installation system compared to many other cladding materials. Thus, knowing the advantages and functionality of Rainscreen products is essential for creating an appropriate exterior for a building. An inappropriate facade cladding insulation system can entail considerable energy loss in commercial buildings and private homes. In contrast with many inadequate cladding systems, Rainscreens products can favor energy saving due to its air cavity on the facility’s exterior section. With the combination of Rainscreen techniques with a proper facade insulation method, it is possible to provide the building with numerous benefits and advantages, such as increasing the sound and thermal insulation and other significant properties

How Does the Rainscreen Cladding System Work?

The Rainscreen cladding system contains a bearing wall, insulation surface with a layer with sufficient substance, and a fixed cladding material on the building, which utilizes a supporting structure. Due to this system’s perfect design, air cavity presence between the cladding material and the load-bearing wall allows the facade to have continuous ventilation. Depending on the projects, it is common to find an insulation layer between the cladding and the load-bearing wall. In some cases, the load-bearing wall itself can insulate the system, and in others, it is possible to place the insulating material inside the facility.

  • Load-bearing Wall: The cause of using a load-bearing wall is to ensure the stability of the facility. The design must create enough strength to support the cladding system’s weight and the wind load that transmits through the structure. The load-bearing wall can contain concrete, wood, or brick, among other practical materials. The essential factor is to ensure the wall supports can overcome the cladding material’s weight per square meter.
  • Air Cavity: The air cavity, which has an opening on the bottom and the top section of the exterior system, allows air’s constant circulation. Protecting the gaps must be precise and correct to prevent water infiltrations since water can decrease the insulating product’s efficiency. A ventilated flashing involves the facade’s lower opening to allow ventilation and avoid small insects’ entry. In contrast with the lower section, the top flashing or the upper beginning includes metal profile installation to prevent water infiltration while leaving the requiring space for continuous ventilation. For ensuring the air cavity efficiency, it is essential to create at least 2cm width in the cladding’s tightest part. Additionally, the minimal surface of ventilation can vary depending on the latitude of the facility.
  • Insulation Layer: The insulation layer can be both inside and outside of the building. However, it is better to install it on the exterior section of the load-bearing wall to ensure more efficient structural movements performance. When installing the insulation layer inside the facility, the surface is no longer part of the Rainscreen cladding system, and it will not benefit from the ventilation properties. Regarding the insulating material for this system, there are several options available. Designers choose the thickness of the material depending on the insulating capacity and the application requirements.
  • Cladding Material: Many materials are suitable for cladding, such as ceramic, wood, metal claddings, or even natural slate. The most crucial thing for choosing the cladding material is its resistant, durability and quality that completes the efficiency of Rainscreens.

Advantages

After defining and knowing the structure and functionality of Rainscreen cladding systems, it is essential to know the main advantages that these products provide for the buildings. Followings are some of the most noticeable benefits of these systems.

  • Avoiding Condensation and Humidity: The Rainscreen cladding system is perfect for reducing condensation and humidity both from the facility’s interior and exterior sections. The system’s air circulation is ideal for creating an extra protection layer and removing the possible water infiltration that can find a way through the joints.
  • Extending Lifetime of the Facade: The system that provides air cavity improves the cladding durability since it protects the products from humidity.
  • Reducing Structural Movements: The air cavity maintains the stability of temperature in the construction envelope and prevents the risk of cracks and other issues. Since the system is resistant to temperature changes, it is less liable to experience colossal expansion and contraction movements.
  • Thermal and Sound Insulation: With the combination of the insulation layer and the cladding system, the thermal and sound insulation improves significantly. Acoustic and thermal insulation has a significant impact on health since it decreases environmental pollution.
  • Energy Efficiency: The Rainscreen systems make the cooling and heating process much more manageable in warm and cold seasons and play an essential role in saving energy. Thus, the energy expenditure can decrease about 30% to 40%.
  • Low Maintenance: One of the considerable advantages of the Rainscreen cladding system is that it requires almost zero maintenance, especially when the designer chooses a material to withstand harsh weather conditions.
  • Adding Value to the Facility: The durability, energy efficiency, and low maintenance of the Rainscreen systems can recover the building’s initial investment. Thus, these systems are the perfect choice for new constructions and renovation projects in residential and commercial facilities.