Contractors mainly use insulated concrete forms in constructing foundation walls in storied buildings. However, these materials are becoming increasingly popular in building other types of walls. You can use them in new construction or a remodeling project. If you are thinking of using ICF, you probably have many unanswered questions. Keep reading to get some answers to your questions.
1. What Is ICF?
ICF refers to construction blocks made from two polystyrene foam walls separated by concrete poured between these walls. The polystyrene foam walls are first placed in position during the construction process. Then, the concrete is poured between the walls. Additionally, each of these blocks interlocks with one another to make up the walling system. They are an excellent replacement for plywood forms and wood plank foams in construction.
2. How Does the Cost of ICF Compare With Other Materials?
You spend a lesser amount of money per square foot to buy ICF material than when buying standard wood frames. That means reduced costs of construction. However, the total cost of ICF will depend on the local labor costs and other additional expenses. Another cost-benefit of installing ICF is that the forms are energy-efficient. That means you'll incur lesser energy costs when you use them in your home.
3. Are ICF Materials Better Home Insulators?
Insulation concrete formwork ICF builders suggest using these materials for new homes in cold climatic regions, like Canada and northern parts of the U.S. Although not all ICF materials meet the legal insulation standards for these regions, some do.
These materials seal very well because they comprise two walls of polystyrene foam between which concrete is poured. The result is better insulation than conventional wall building materials. Thus, homes built with this material have reduced heat losses, and consequently, owners incur reduced energy bills.
4. What Is the Lifespan of ICF Construction Materials?
ICF can last for more than a century. Furthermore, these systems do not need much maintenance because the foam is durable. While other materials get damaged easily by natural forces, ICF can withstand these forces, including flooding and fire damage. That makes them ideal for building in coastal areas and seismic zones.
5. Do You Need to Install Vapor Barriers When Using ICF?
Polystyrene foam walls resist entry of vapor. As such, you don't need to install vapor barriers when constructing your ICF home.
Indeed, ICF offers superior benefits over other construction materials. Find an ICF contractor near you to get help when buying and installing the materials.