Disaster resilience is one of the foremost benefits of using ICF structures to build your home. But what is it about these walls that holds houses in place in some of the worst storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes imaginable? Two words: core strength. How it works is simple: ICF walls are made from hollow, rigid foam blocks, which are filled with rebar reinforcements and concrete for support. The outside can be anything from concrete or drywall to insulating or waterproofing materials. What’s important in these cases is the inner structure. ICF walls use interconnecting ICF blocks and internal rebar and concrete for strength. And, if you live in an area that sees multiple severe weather events a year, this can be a literal lifesaver. Let’s take a closer look at how these sturdy walls do their jobs.
In a storm or hurricane, your home can sustain a lot more damage than you might expect. Flying debris, extreme winds, fires and, depending on where you live, an earthquake’s seismic damage may all hit you in unique and terrible ways. This is the kind of sudden and harsh damage a home with wooden supports often can’t stand up to.
ICF concrete walls and roofs stand up far better under the impact of debris and heavy winds. Concrete reinforces their cores, for walls that can withstand more than 200mph winds. In cases where homeowners have elected not to build new homes, they may often build storm shelters from these same materials.
Homes built with concrete are also recognized by insurance companies as being fire resistant. Fire-wall tests have documented ICF blocks withstanding exposure to flames up to 2,000 °F for up to four hours at a time without failing. For comparison, wood frame walls collapsed within an hour, on average. This is also the reason why insurance companies give out lower premiums for houses built with concrete.
Build With ICF Blocks: It’s A Matter Of Safety
Alright, Florida residents, it’s time to be honest: the Sunshine State sees more hurricanes every year than most other cities. On average, the continental United States sees one-to-two hurricanes per year along its eastern coast. Of those hurricanes, 40% will hit Florida, which is a shocking statistic when you consider your home is meant to last you a lifetime.
With 37 hurricanes since 1851, you need a backup plan to keep your home safe if you’re going to live in Florida. Building with ICF blocks is that backup plan. Visit us today or get in touch to find out more about our top-rated insulated concrete form construction, and let’s build you a home to last a lifetime.