concrete forms are an alternative building method to conventional
methods such as wood-based construction and concrete home
construction. The method of building plain concrete walls
is labor intensive and requires the use of forming materials.
The advantage of concrete home construction over the framing
of wood houses is its amazing strength and durability,
however it's a poor insulator and requires a separate
furred out wall with insulation to achieve adequate thermal
performance. Insulated concrete forms provide a way to
get the strength advantage of concrete while increasing
the insulation of your home.
About Insulated Concrete Forms
The best insulated concrete forms
use high strength concrete and reinforced steel to add
extra structural strength to the insulated concrete forms.
This allows the insulated concrete forms to have superior
performance and the ability to withstand high wind and
fire. When building a concrete foundation, insulated concrete
forms are ideally suited for the many different applications
such as, cast-in-place concrete walls, non bearing walls
for foundations, below grade walls, exterior above grade
walls, sound walls, residential commercial and industrial
walls, retaining walls and radius walls. Exterior finishes
such as stucco, acrylic or cementitious, can be adhered
directly to the foam. After the concrete has set, the
insulation can be easily cut to allow concealed placement
of plumbing and electrical lines.
concrete forms are a factory molded foam insulation
that may be made from pure foams or cement composites.
- Pure foams can be expanded
polystyrene (EPS), extruded polystyrene (XPS), polyurethane
or polyisocyanurate. Most systems use expanded polystyrene
(EPS). Extruded polystyrene (XPS) is available only
in flat board shapes and is therefore, not used in
any block-type forms or other shaped molded forms.
- Cement composites may be a
combination of foam and cement (always EPS) or wood
and cement. Although insulated concrete forms (ICF)
are identical in principle, the various brands differentiate
widely in their shapes, sizes, cavities and component
How Insulted Concrete Forms
Work and the Costs
The way the insulated concrete forms
work, is through the use of lightweight hollow foam blocks
with interlocking tabs that allow the forms to self-align
without mortar. Once the foam foundation is in place,
it's reinforced with concrete. When the concrete has been
poured into the insulated concrete forms and has hardened,
the forms are left in place and provide lifetime insulation
and sound barriers.
concrete forms retail for a slightly higher cost than
traditional concrete foundation methods. The prices
for insulated concrete forms range from about $1-$4
per square foot. However due to the insulating properties
of the foam, you will continually save about 25-50%
per month on your heating bill.
Waterproofing Insulated Concrete
Spray on waterproofing requires
a protection board on the ICF due to its softness. Without
a protection board, the spray on coating can literally
eat the foam off the insulated concrete forms and decrease
the life expectancy of your foundation. It could also
leave a permanent unprotected path or area for moisture
and water to enter your foundation.
Dimpled Membrane provides the maximum protection for
your insulated concrete forms and is fast becoming the
preferred choice for waterproofing insulated concrete
can be fastened on any type of insulated concrete forms
quickly, easily and in any weather condition. If water/moisture
gets behind the membrane during the application or if
the membrane is applied on a rainy day, it will not
matter as the water simply falls down the air gap to
the drain tile for removal. In addition this guaranteed
waterproofing system keeps the wet soil off the face
of the foundation wall eliminating 100% of the hydrostatic
headwater pressure. It also provides the entire foundation
with a permanent barrier from moisture or water entering
your basement while allowing internal moisture to escape.
provides your insulated concrete forms with the important
protection they need so your insulated concrete forms
can do their job of saving you money.