Siding Installation Pro Tip: What You Need to Know About Furring Strips

How is airspace created between rainscreen siding and the housewrap? By using furring strips. Furring is a process that has been around since the 16th century. Originating in England, it was developed to solve the problem of ships that were too narrow. They would lay another plank on top of the previous plank to expand the size of the ship. Essentially this is what is being done when you install furring strips for your Advantage Rainscreen Siding™.

Furring strips are one of the essential elements to ensure adequate ventilation of your siding.

What are Furring Strips?

Furring strips are long thin pieces of material usually made of wood or metal. They are used to make a backing surface for the siding to attach to. These strips create the drainage plane that is essential for rainscreen siding to be effective in the way that it was designed for. The drainage plane is what allows the siding to air out, making it last longer. In the absence of this plane, rot, mold, and decay could become a catastrophic problem.

How Should I Install the Furring Strips?

Furring strips should be installed vertically. Installing them horizontally might sound like an acceptable idea, but it’s unsuitable for what we’re doing. Even if you were to take the time to cut enough slits in the strips for drainage, there is still no guarantee that it’s sufficient enough for the rainscreen siding to ventilate properly. Honestly you’d be making more work for yourself, and that’s not what you want. Installing the furring strips vertically is the best option for proper ventilation. Make sure that after installation that there will be enough airflow present when the siding is placed on the strips.

Should I Cover the Furring Strips with Housewrap?

This seems like a sensible question. Housewrap keeps water out of the underlying structure of your home, so wouldn’t it make sense to wrap the furring strips as well? It would keep the water out, but it’s not necessary in this process. The only exception would be if you were to use metal furring strips, then they could be covered with housewrap, or tar paper, to slow down the possibility of corrosion. Leave the furring strips exposed so they dry out completely.

Furring is a process that has been around for hundreds of years. These strips create a solid foundation to attach the siding to and allows for a drainage plane so that gorgeous Advantage Rainscreen Siding™ last for years and years.

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