Replacing Disposable Homes with Durable ICF Construction

ICF Home California

Fox Blocks insulated concrete forms (ICFs) provide a safe, durable, long-lasting solution to home design in regions impacted by severe weather and wildfires. In the event of a natural disaster, ICF homes provide superior protection to both the house and its occupants. Importantly, ICF construction reduces the cost to repair and rebuild after a natural disaster, compared to combustible and less durable wood-frame homes - saving both insurance companies and homeowners money.

Thousands of Homes Destroyed Annually by Natural Disasters

Hurricanes and wildfires destroy thousands of homes each year. In 2017, Hurricane Harvey damaged 204,000 homes. Then, in 2018, the Camp Fire in Butte County, California, destroyed 14,000 homes.

Increasing Numbers of Natural Disasters Challenge Insurance Companies

Insurance companies must prepare themselves for the impact of increasingly more severe weather events and wildfires. After a hurricane or wildfire destroys or damages a house, most homeowners file claims with their insurance company to rebuild or repair. The impact of the many claims after a major disaster can devastate an insurance company.

Builders Use Wood to Construct Most Homes

On average, contractors use wood to build 80 to 90 percent of homes in the United States. Builders select wood because it provides a readily available and renewable product that allows for quick, light, and easily customizable construction. However, wood homes often can’t provide the integrity or strength to resist an attack from either severe winds or wildfires.

Insurance Companies and Homeowners Both Benefit from ICF Construction

In hurricane- and wildfire-prone areas, rebuilding homes with more durable and disaster-resistant ICF, instead of wood, can limit future insurance claims and payouts after a natural disaster. Of more significance, ICF homes can protect a family from the devastation of losing their property and even their lives. In some regions, in the USA, insurance companies are recognizing the benefits of ICF construction and are offering substantially lower rates.

Rebuilding Your Home with ICF in Hurricane- and Tornado-Prone Regions

ICF home remains standing after Hurricane Katrina swept away the whole area with 20-foot storm surges.

A wind-resistant home must achieve a continuous load path to the ground and resist the impact of flying debris. Unfortunately, building a wood-frame home to these standards is expensive and labor-intensive. In fact, building a wind-resistant wood-framed home may cost 25–30 percent more than standard wood-frame construction.

Why Choose Fox Blocks When Rebuilding in Hurricane-Prone Regions

Fortunately, Fox Blocks provide homeowners a superior solution to wind-resistant home design when rebuilding in hurricane-prone regions. Fox Blocks, with steel-reinforced concrete, can withstand severe hurricane and tornado winds exceeding 200 MPH, and projectile debris flying over 100 MPH.

Furthermore, trained professionals can easily and quickly construct a Fox Blocks home because Fox Blocks combine five construction steps into one, including insulation, attachment, insulation, air barrier, and vapor retarder. The all in one wall assembly greatly hasten project delivery by removing the need to hire and coordinate multiple trades while achieving all of the wall assembly's goals.

Rebuilding Your Home After a Wildfire with ICFs

Three ICF Homes survive a devastating fire in San Diego, CA

When rebuilding after a wildfire, the design of the home must include superior fire-resistance - both the sake of the homeowner and the insurance company.

Fire-resistant homes must include passive fire protection. Passive fire protection guards a family and protects the house by controlling the spread of smoke and fire. It includes smoke barriers, firewalls, fire partitions, and horizontal assemblies. Passive fire protection lessens the spread of fire and smoke through vertical openings and prevents the collapse of a house. Passive fire protection saves lives and money when a fire happens.

Of concern, the combustibility of wood, along with difficulties in reducing the spread of flames during a fire, make construction a fire-resistant wood home challenging to builders. Of importance, the vulnerability of wood-frame homes to fire damage increases during the building process, before placement of fire protection over the frame.

Why Choose Fox Blocks When Rebuilding in Wildfire-Prone Regions

Fox Blocks ICFs provide a superb choice for passive firewall protection when rebuilding a home after a wildfire. The 6-inch Fox Blocks produce ASTM E84 values for flame speed below 25 and smoke development lower than 450. Also, the Fox Blocks achieve an ASTM E119 fire rating of four hours (twice the two-hour requirement).

Five Other Benefits of Fox Blocks ICFs When Rebuilding After a Hurricane or Wildfire

  1. Energy-efficient Fox Blocks, with an R-value of 23, surpass ASHRAE/ANSI 90.1 energy code demands. In fact, homes constructed with ICF exterior walls often require 44 percent less energy to heat and 32 percent less energy to cool than similar wood-framed homes.
  2. The high thermal mass of Fox Blocks helps to create a high-performing, energy-efficient home. High thermal mass products absorb and contain heat energy, which stabilizes temperature shifts within the house by slowing the rate of heat transfer.
  3. Sound transmission tests report that less than a third of sound travels through ICF walls compared to wood-frame walls packed with fiberglass insulation. Fox Blocks attain a Sound Transmission Classification (ASTM E90) of 4-inch=STC 46, 6- and 8-inch = STC 50+.
  4. Fox Blocks contain little to no VOC.
  5. Fox Blocks solid continuous monolithic concrete wall, with a perm rating below 1.0, stops moisture infiltration and the growth of mold, mildew, and rot.

In regions prone to hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires, Fox Blocks ICF wall assembly provides an excellent alternative to wood-frame construction. Fox Blocks ICF homes ensure more protection, to both the house and its occupants, against severe wind and fire events than wood-frame homes. Additionally, Fox Blocks produce more energy-efficient, noise reducing, healthy, and durable homes. Contractors will also find Fox Blocks easy and quick to install with less labor than wood homes.

Please contact Fox Blocks professionals on how rebuilding with ICF after a natural disaster can benefit both insurance companies and homeowners.