A barrier wall is an external wall assembly that prevents the intrusion of water and air into a building. The exterior cladding acts as the major drain plane. An ideal barrier wall system should feature a high-quality cladding material that is impervious to vapour, water, and air. The effectiveness of the barrier wall systems depends on the integrity of the construction joints and outer surfaces. It is prudent to hire professionals to ensure that no air vapour or water leaks to the cavity of the barrier wall and causes destruction.
In comparison to other solid wall assemblies, a barrier wall is a relatively cost-effective option. Although the initial cost of the barrier wall system is relatively cheaper, these systems require high maintenance. The constant exposure to weather elements such as rain and winds can damage the seals, leading to failure. Therefore, barrier wall systems require regular inspection, maintenance and repairs.
The common materials used to construct barrier wall systems include insulated metal wall panels, precast concrete panels, solid metal wall cladding. With numerous materials to choose from, selecting the best barrier wall system can be challenging. Below are some essential things you should consider when selecting a barrier wall system.
Cladding is a material that provides thermal insulation and protects a structure from external conditions. It is attached to the primary structure to form a layer. A suitable cladding material should be impervious. Vapour and water cause damage to unclad structures.
Here is the most important part. The impact of environmental factors on the different cladding materials varies significantly. For instance, precast concrete is made using nonabsorbent materials. Therefore, it is a suitable choice for a barrier wall system. On the other hand, wood is prone to rotting and moisture penetrations. Therefore, wood can only be used in a rain screen system.
The installation of a barrier wall system may seem like a straightforward task. However, it must be thorough. For the system to successfully protect against air and water, the joints must be well-sealed. Similarly, the installation of caulking and gaskets should be impeccable. Water vapour can take a toll on the building envelope if the water leaks into the wall cavity. Ultimately, it can cause a detrimental effect on your structure.
The climate is an important consideration when choosing an ideal barrier wall system. The amount of rainfall will significantly determine the suitable protection for your building. If the areas receive heavy rainfall, the system should offer strong moisture resistance.