One of the most important aspects of design and construction in recent years is that of energy efficiency. A great way to increase not only the efficiency of your home but also the thermal comfort as well is to properly insulate your foundation. With traditional concrete block or poured concrete construction, it is an additional and often tedious process to properly apply insulation. However, by using insulating concrete forms, the form work is also the insulation and no additional steps are necessary. The forms function similarly to traditional form work but instead of being removed after the concrete cures, the forms are left in place to insulate the wall against temperature differentials, creating a more comfortable and cheaper to condition space.
Things You'll Need
- 2-by-4-inch wood blocking
- Insulating concrete form blocks
- Metal reinforcing bars
Confirm the existing or previously poured concrete footing has metal reinforcing bars protruding. These will be round metal rods about 1/2 inch in diameter. You want to make sure they stick up from the surface of the footing so they will be part of the structure for the new wall. This will ensure the footing and wall are connected and will perform as a single structural unit.
Attach the wood blocking to the previously poured concrete footing. This blocking should be installed at the precise width of the concrete forms. The purpose of the blocking is to support the first row of blocks and prevent them from moving side to side during the installation process. After attaching the blocking around the length of the footing, place the first row of blocks within the blocking.
Add horizontal and vertical rebar as required according to manufacturer's instructions. There will typically be reinforcing bar that runs vertically and horizontally to ensure the wall has adequate strength in both directions. Continue adding more rows of the foam blocks, staggering their placement one half a block on each course. This is done to prevent the vertical joints of aligning, which could cause a weak point in the form work.
Pump concrete into the form work after all the blocks and reinforcing are in place. Let the concrete cure and leave the forms in place as insulation.
Tips & Warnings
- Proper placement of reinforcing bars is critical to adequate design strength for this foundation system. If you feel your experience with this construction system is inadequate, consult with a structural engineer or experienced contractor to assist with locating the bars in adequate locations.
- A free flowing concrete mix is required in this application to ensure the concrete completely fills the form work. If any air pockets remain, this will be a dangerous weak spot in the wall and is structurally unacceptable.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
Wiring a Basement With Styrofoam Blocks
Concrete-filled Styrofoam blocks are used increasingly as a building material that’s easy to position while offering built-in insulative qualities. The blocks can...
How to Form a House Foundation
A house foundation needs to go through three separate stages to form. The first is the footing stage and it requires a...
How to Install Styrofoam Basement Forms
Styrofoam insulated concrete forms are growing in popularity. They are used in basements to provide ample insulation and space to run utilities....
How to Make Large Foam Blocks
Foam blocks are all-purpose furniture pieces that can be used for foot rests, gaming chairs and in the construction of play forts....
How to Finish an ICF Basement
Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) basements are becoming popular in new construction, and for good reason. They provide excellent insulation values, great structural...
How to Fill a Concrete Block With Spray Foam
Installing foam in concrete block is a great way to insulate a house where there is no room to install insulation on...
Comparison of Concrete and Foam Building Blocks
Builders and homeowners are always looking for ways to save money. They also look to reduce anxiety about the resale value of...
Insulating your home's foundation can help make your home more energy-efficient while preventing moisture from seeping into the structure. There are several...
Problems With Styrofoam Insulation
Polystyrene, also known by the brand name Styrofoam, is a type of petroleum-based plastic made from a monomer called styrene. According to...