Using Insulated Concrete Forms to Improve Your Building

Building a new energy-efficient, quiet, and comfortable house is a great goal, but achieving these standards can sometimes be tough. Using insulated concrete forms in the construction process can help you achieve those goals. Read on to learn how.

1. Understanding Insulated Concrete Forms

Anytime you are pouring concrete for walls, a form must be constructed to hold the concrete in place until it cures. Traditionally, forms are made from wood, and after the concrete cures, the forms are removed and discarded. The wood is not reused in many cases because there is concrete on it, and it may have some damage from the moisture it absorbed during use. 

Insulated concrete forms are premade forms that are made from steel and have foam insulation board on one or both sides of the forms. The forms are put in place and filled with concrete, but they are never removed. The form becomes part of the new wall, improving the wall and offering benefits that a concrete wall alone can not.

2. Increasing Energy Efficiency

Concrete walls do a pretty good job of insulating the inside of a building from the elements. Still, a building with concrete walls may require some form of insulation on the interior walls before any wall covering is applied. 

Insulated concrete forms already have foam on both sides of the concrete wall, so adding the wall treatments and siding is as simple as putting it over the foam insulation. The insulation provides two full layers of insulation to the concrete wall, making the building much more efficient, and depending on the amount of insulation, it can outperform a standard wall with traditional insulation. 

3. Increasing Strength and Disaster Resistance

When you use insulated concrete forms for your walls, you are creating a reinforced and durable concrete wall. The metal form becomes part of the concrete wall and works the same way rebar or other metal reinforcement materials do. If you are building in an area that is prone to storms, this construction method can create a structure that will withstand incredible pressure from wind and rain. Check with your local building inspector about the requirements in your area when building with insulated concrete forms to meet all the code requirements of your city or town.

It is a good idea to find a retailer or dealer that has insulated concrete forms and sit down with them to discuss the product in further detail.