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Styrofoam Concrete Forms

Styrofoam Concrete Forms

In the last 30 years, Styrofoam concrete forms have emerged as a competitor to traditional wooden concrete forms. The success of foam as an alternative is owed to many properties, many of which seem to be continually improving as the process for producing foam matures. Though Styrofoam concrete forms can sometimes be more expensive than other building materials, the advantages of using foam add up to be very attractive to many builders.

The Advantages of Styrofoam Concrete Forms

Firstly, foam forms are not removed after the concrete is poured. This simple fact can eliminate much of the work involved with finishing a concrete surface, and also allows concrete the recommended curing time, allowing it to reach its maximum structural integrity. In environments where hurricanes, strong storms, or even earthquakes are a danger, the structural integrity of concrete can go a long way towards saving a home.

Concrete has a naturally high thermal mass, but operates even more effectively when coupled with highdensity foam. According to some manufacturer specifications, walls built using ICFs insulated concrete forms have an Rvalue of 20 or more, compared to R11 wooden construction houses. ICF walls also attenuate sound much more than many other building materials do, though windows and doors must be selected and installed carefully to take advantage of the noisereducing properties of ICFs.

In some cases, using Styrofoam concrete forms can simplify building processes, as well. For example, the thermal insulation properties of ICFs can protect concrete from both freezing and premature drying due to evaporation. ICF walls also require little interior finishingin many cases, a simple coat of plaster may be enough to finish the wall.