ICF Basements 101: Everything You Need to Know Before You Build

Pasted image 0 3

Why Build a Basement Wall With Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) Blocks?

Building a basement with ICF walls, like Fox Blocks, provides superb durability, integrity, and insulation for a below-grade wall. ICF basement walls minimize thermal bridging and reduce heat loss through the foundation.

The thermal mass and moisture resistance of ICF also creates a comfortable and healthy indoor environmental quality (IEQ). In addition, ICF is resistant to many natural disasters, including fires. ICF basements are of tremendous benefit to builders, particularly ones built with Fox Blocks, because they are simple and fast to construct, which saves both time and money.

Benefits of Building Your Basement with ICF Blocks

1. Climate Comfort

The insulation qualities of ICF basement walls keep a home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Insulated concrete forms have high thermal mass, provide a continuous air barrier, and have a high R-value that keeps a basement comfortable and cozy.

2. Moisture Resistance

With a basement waterproofing membrane like liquid flashing, and a reliable drainage system, ICF basement walls significantly reduce the possibility of moisture intrusion. Moisture control is crucial for either a conventional and ICF walkout basement because of the potential of mold and rot. Mold is an issue because it produces irritants and allergens. Touching or inhaling mold or mold spores can cause allergic reactions.

3. Financial Savings

ICF basement walls dramatically reduce energy use, which saves homeowners money on monthly heating and cooling bills and use smaller downsized HVAC equipment reducing new construction costs.

4. Disaster Resistance

ICF basement walls have the structural integrity to protect the home and occupants from tornadoes, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events.

5. Lower Insurance Premiums

Because of the integrity of ICF, homeowners with ICF basement construction may have lower insurance premiums.

6. Increased Durability

ICF basement construction resists rot and insect infestation. Importantly, ICF’s resistance to degradation minimizes the need for maintenance and repair of a home, which further saves homeowners money.

7. Reduced Noise

ICF basement walls create a quiet space perfect for a media room or home office because of high STC ratings. A reason many movie theatres are now built out of Fox Blocks.

8. ICF Walls Save Space

ICF basement walls conserve room area, compared to installing insulation on the interior of a wall system. 2 ⅝” vs 4” wood or steel stud with non-continuous insulation.

9. Healthier Environment

ICF walls don’t contain formaldehyde or other volatile organic compounds (VOC) that could affect indoor air quality. VOCs compromise indoor air quality

10. ICF Basement Cost

A basement built with ICF walls are the same cost or less than a comparable insulated concrete or block basement wall.

Utilizing Fox Blocks for Basement Construction

The Fox Block Series is an ICF wall system that performs well on both above and below grade walls. The Fox Block Series comes in a variety of shapes that include two pieces of 1.5 pcf density modified 2 ⅝ inches expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam panels. The panels are locked eight inches apart with molded plastic ties made of polypropylene (PP) regrind resin.

Utilizing Fox Block Series, along with a waterproofing product, for basement wall construction creates a below-grade insulated concrete wall that is energy-efficient, moisture, disaster.

Advantages of Using Fox Blocks

  • Fox Blocks are energy-efficient and exceed ASHRAE/ANSI 90.1 energy code requirements, which greatly reduces energy use and saves money.
  • The Fox Block system includes a vapor retarder which contributes towards a moisture-resistant basement foundation. For below-grade walls, the Fox Block system requires a waterproofing membrane and a reliable drainage system to ensure moisture-resistance.
  • Fox Blocks, with steel reinforced concrete, are disaster-resistant and can withstand tornado and hurricane winds of over 200 MPH, and projectile debris traveling over 100 MPH.
  • Fox Blocks are durable and resistant rot and mold.
  • Fox Blocks create a quiet and healthy environment for the occupants of the basement.

Importantly, the Fox Block Series is quick and easy to install, which saves builders time and money. The Fox Block is an all-in-one wall assembly. It combines five construction steps into one, including structure, insulation, air barrier, vapor retarder, and attachment. This feature significantly accelerates project delivery by eliminating the need to coordinate multiple trades, while achieving all of the wall system’s objectives.

Constructing a Fox Block basement wall involves stacking and interlocking the blocks together, end to end. Clips and rebar secure the blocks in place, then the blocks are filled with concrete. The Fox Block Series for basement wall construction is a fast, simple wall system that creates a below-grade insulated concrete basement wall.

Contact a Fox Blocks Professional

Fox Block Series ICFs perform well on both above- and below-grade walls. Before you start construction on your basement contact a Fox Blocks sales representative to answer all your technical questions.