Insulated Concrete Forms are foam molds that are filled with strengthened concrete to make up the exterior walls of your home. This technology has been around for decades, but has recently seen a spike in popularity due to its high level of energy efficiency and ease of installation. In fact, it is estimated that ICF technology will be used in 15-25% of new home construction by 2015. There are many advantages to constructing your home with ICF walls. Take into consideration these benefits of Insulated Concrete Forms before deciding if it is the right building technology for you:
No wood – Insulated Concrete Forms are constructed of foam and concrete, meaning your walls will not be unprotected to the mold and decay that which wooden structures are inclined. Mold cannot thrive on concrete, foam and steel.
Comfort – ICF walls are impenetrable front cold drafts and winds, thereby saving you money on your heating and cooling bills. It is estimated that a home built with Insulated Concrete Forms requires about 44% less energy to heat and 32% less energy to cool when compared to traditional frame houses. Your heating system will not have to work as hard and you can rest assured that your home is receiving the maximum amount of insulation possible. Because of the excellent insulation, ICF walls form a sound obstacle, keeping loud noises out. This is a wonderful characterize for those with loud neighbors or those who live near a busy highway.
Fire resistant – ICF walls are fire resistant for up to 2 hours. That can give the fire department time to put out any fire accidents without your home sustaining total damage. The ICF walls are a great fire obstacle and can give you and your family the time needed to safely exit the house.
Pest resistant – Because ICF walls are made up of a strengthened concrete chief, they are not hospitable to termites and other insects that can destroy a home built totally from wood.
Durability – A home built with ICF walls can resist a stronger wind and holds up in already the most harsh weather conditions, from tornadoes to hurricanes. Flying debris is no match for a strengthened concrete wall.
If you decide to build a home with Insulated Concrete Forms, you notice it costs about 3 – 5% more than a traditional wood frame home. However, this cost can quickly be recovered by the amount of money you save on your energy and utility bills. Furthermore, constructing a home with ICF walls will average that you’ll run into a high degree of difficulty when making structural changes to the home. You’ll have to cut by and remove concrete, which can be extremely difficult.
Make sure your contractor is experienced in constructing homes with ICF technology. With the popularity of Insulated Concrete Forms on the rise, it should be easier to find a company that specializes in this energy efficient and easy-to-install building method.