Understanding Insulated Concrete Forms – A Better Foundation
The foundation of your home is critical in making sure that your living space is protected and solidly built. It has to withstand the environment and whatever weather or natural events may come your way. It’s also charged with making sure your family is protected while they are in the home. The foundation is not something you want to use less than top-notch building materials on. Building materials have recently gone further than ever thought before and can now not only provide a firm foundation, but also environmentally conscious materials that help you to reduce your energy footprint and keep your home protected more than ever before.
One of those sustainable materials that are taking the building industry by storm is the Insulated Concrete Forms. An ICF home provides a firm foundation, sound insulation materials, and a home that can withstand many different natural elements that could otherwise destroy it. An ICH home is constructed by using concrete blocks with insulation between the layers of concrete. This not only helps to provide a steady foundation, it also helps to provide walls that reduce air and moisture from getting in, your heat and air from getting out, and reduces noise overall.
BLB Custom Building completed a 5,000 square foot custom energy efficient home utilizing the insulated concrete form (ICF) technology for both the foundation and exterior walls of the home. Click here to view the portfolio.
Take a look below at some of the many benefits you’ll reap in building ICF homes:
Improve Home’s Energy Efficiency
When it comes to heating and cooling your home, a truly energy efficient HVAC system can be difficult to achieve. In the peak of summer heat and winter cold, your electric bill can reach astronomical heights if your home is not well insulated. With an ICF home, you can avoid those spikes in energy bills and conserve more energy than you expend. These homes offer supreme insulation that surpasses that of the conventional wood-built homes. Not only does it help you conserve energy by being well insulated, your concrete block house also helps to reduce the size of HVAC equipment you need to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home.
The past year's hurricane season was quite active and deadly. Many storms wreaked havoc on the Atlantic Ocean areas and this season is already gearing up to be an active one. In the midst of these storms, deaths can occur from drowning, property damages, and the strong storms and tornadoes that come with these storms. It is imperative that as you build your home or renovate one, that you improve the ability to withstand these types of weather events. This is especially true if you’re in a state or area that is prone to tornadoes and hurricanes. Insulated Concrete Forms can create tornado proof housing to withstand those dangerous winds and debris flying around during storms. These types of homes can help create a weather-resistant structure that is its own safe house for any storm. An ICF framework can withstand winds up to 250 mph and will keep your family safe during any situation.
Another great benefit to an ICF home is that it is friendly to the environment around it. These homes reduce waste on construction sites as everything is recyclable. It is also produced without any dangerous chemicals so that helps to reduce the impact on the ecosystem. You’re also conserving trees as this is made from concrete and foam, not from cutting down the trees that are much needed to keep a balance in the environment.
Eliminate Dangerous Mold and Moisture
When it comes to keeping your home safe inside, you want to reduce the impact of mold and moisture being able to get into the home. When comparing an ICF home with house wrap, the ICF homes will always be a better deterrent for preventing moisture from getting inside the home. When mold does appear, it can be dangerous and cause breathing issues for those sensitive to it. That’s why it’s important to have a home structure in place that can prevent that expensive moisture from getting in and destroying your home and air quality.
Easy Maintenance and Repair Process
One major final benefit to living in an insulated concrete forms home is that of the easy maintenance and repair process. There is virtually very little maintenance needed to keep your ICF home up and running as opposed to painting the wood or siding, having to replace siding, or having to replace termite-ridden wood.
Working with an ICF home is a great way to keep your home on a firm foundation, reduce your energy waste and consumption, and keep your family safe and protected from any event that may come.
Guest Blog Contributor: Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.