Are there other types of foundation walls?

Yesterday we looked at Poured Reinforced Concrete foundation walls where forms are set then filled with concrete to create a basement wall.  Remember, everything sits on top of Footings that are always below the frost level.  Occasionally you will hear people talk about “Frost Walls” and wonder what they are.   A Frost Wall is typically only 4’ tall creating a crawl space, not a full usable basement.  Frost walls’ footings are just barely below the freezing point so they work just fine.

Not every foundation is a Poured Reinforced Concrete wall.  Today let’s take a look at an ICF foundation wall.  The term ICF means Insulated Concrete Form so, ICF is a lot easier to remember and say.

I going to guess that somewhere you have seen ICF’s either being delivered or being used.  Today’s photograph shows you that an ICF is a bulky Foam form that is stacked one on top of another building a foam wall.  The hollow parts in the middle are then filed with concrete creating an ICF wall.

The principle is identical to a Poured Reinforced Concrete wall except with ICF’s the forms are never removed; they become an integral part of the basement’s wall.  One foundation uses one type of form and the other uses a different type of form.

ICF’s have several advantages:

  • Ease of use – the big foam blocks are easy to work with as they are so light weight
  • Insulation – ICF’s create a foundation wall that is fully insulated, this is fantastic if the basement is going to be finished off into living space

ICF’s do have disadvantages:

  • Expense – ICF’s are expensive.  Actually all products that use some form of Foam are expensive.

Tomorrow we will look at other types of foundation walls.

Share this post