If indeed, there is no real and true comparison and all I can be said about the use of ICF is to point out its many features that lead today’s professionals to employ it in everyday use.
There is One Limitation
Before lining all the benefits from using ICF construction, it is important to note that there is one glaring limitation. Unlike concrete block construction, ICF requires applying a protective endurable finish material. Concrete block can be painted to left bare. Additionally, the initial cost for using an ICF is considerably more than traditional construction methods. But this is only the initial cost. To employing ICF construction, a homeowner will see a great return on their investment within the first five years. In fact, some documented cases indicate that this return was recouped within three years through a variety of savings directly associated with the use of insulated concrete forms.
Energy Cost Savings
ICF construction contributes to greater energy cost savings for homeowners employing its use. ICF produces high-performance R-values without the need for any other air filtration system. This is permanent performance and does not degenerate over time. ICF allows for thermal load shifting away from peak periods producing lower costs to both heat and cool a home.
Since there is no need for air filtration, this translates into no dust – or allergens. ICF results in no wall cavities that would allow for existence of mold and mildew or bugs and rodents. Therefore, no need exists to introduce harmful toxic materials or employing any pest control gassing techniques.
High Strength and Resistance
ICF construction provides quite reliable – and documented – wind resistance. Additionally, it is highly fire rated. The strength remains intact with no weakening. Not only will ICF not rot or decay, it is termite resistant as well. It is quite strong retaining a great degree of impact resistance. There are no maintenance requirements for insulated concrete forms.
Developed Peace of Mind
Homeowners of structures built using ICF can relax in comfort knowing the material lends itself to high sound attenuation, allows for excellent room temperature management without any specific maintenance requirements. ICF construction may, in some areas, contribute to lower insurance costs.
Insulated Concrete Forms are subject to a vast array of different design applications making it quite a flexible material. Because of its construction, designers and architects can depend upon its energy efficiency and structural integrities when making proposals and estimates to contractors and/or homeowners. Its high fire rating, sound deafening properties and ease of installation are also factors favorable toward popular pricing. ICF has been fully proven over time and complies with all acceptable cast-in-place concrete wall codes nationwide.
Homeowners should request use of ICF from builders depending on its permanence, strength and energy-savings features that will well be worth their initial larger investment compared to traditional cinder block construction material.