Most of our work is centered around Cape Cod, but a few years ago (right before the COVID-19 pandemic), we ventured into the Berkshires near Great Barrington, Mass., to install a red-cedar shingle roof on a home that was under construction. Normally, we roll out Cedar Breather woven nylon mesh over the sheathing before nailing down wood shingles to improve ventilation and drying potential underneath the shingles, but for this project, the general contractor had specified a rigid rainscreen product called Ventgrid12. We had never heard of it, but we were game for a challenge. It turned out to be quite simple.

Ventgrid12 is a semi-rigid, 1/2-inch-thick (12.7 mm; hence the “12” in the name) 4-by-8-foot panel made from recycled plastic. Designed for interior and exterior use on floors and walls, the 32-square-foot panels have an open grid design that allows for both drainage and ventilation. Weighing only about 8 pounds each, they are easy to handle, and they have an 8,000-psf load capacity—plenty strong for use underneath wood shingles.

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