Concrete foundations and load-bearing walls are important, and ensuring they are strong and insulated requires specific processes from concrete contractors who know what they are doing. Honolulu’s Rugged Slopes Hawaii is here to share some information about how load-bearing walls are installed for the best, strongest results.
ICFs, or insulating concrete form systems, are wall systems that are builder-friendly, and they are a useful variation of poured-in-place concrete for load-bearing walls and foundations in new homes. Unlike conventional poured-in-place concrete wall systems — where plywood, steel, or aluminum forms are constructed as a mold for walls and then removed after concrete is poured in and hardened — ICFs stay where they are as a permanent piece of the wall structure. This functions as insulation for the concrete structure. This solid system comes with thermal properties that help with energy costs by providing insulation on both sides of the concrete, creating energy-efficient walls.
The materials used for the structures of ICFs are made with expanded or extruded polystyrene, with up to 20% consisting of recycled materials. Expanded polystyrene is made by expanding plastic beads in a mold, while extruded is made by expanding plastic resin and shaping through a die. Some systems are made from a hybrid of insulating materials such as wood fiber and cement.
ICFs come in either blocks or planks. Blocks are pre-formed and ready to stack and interlock, allowing for labor savings and a faster assembly process on-site. Planks are separate panels assembled on-site, but their compact packing allows for savings with shipping. Either way, the forms in ICFs allow concrete contractors to pour and set concrete in any weather, since the form insulates the concrete and allows it to cure without any effect from outside elements.
The concrete and masonry contractors at Rugged Slopes Hawaii are Honolulu’s top experts for foundations, retaining walls, stone walls, driveways, sidewalks, and more. They also offer excavation services as well as hauling for stone, concrete, mulch, and more. For more information on their extensive list of services, visit their website or call (808) 722-4918.