Old 06-18-05, 10:59 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a

I am looking into building a home and it seems like a neet concept to use this polysteel forms on the exterior walls.
have any of you seen or used this method?
you can see it at polysteel.com
I have seen the modle home they have in my area and it looks pretty good.
the have been around for 25yrs but it seems like the concept just never really took off.

anyway, input would be helpful before I start to deal with them.
Old 06-19-05, 05:45 AM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Taylors, SC
Posts: 9,261
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Insulated concrete forms are not uncommon. They are often used for forming basement walls. They seem to more popular up north, from what I have seen.
Old 06-19-05, 12:13 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 5,650
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post

Polysteel is one of a number of Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF) suppliers. This is a relatively new method of constructions (last 15 years or so).

To date, most of the uses seem to be by DIYers in my area with most contractors and builders sticking with concventional concrete masonry (60%) or poured in place(40%) with removeable forms.

The contractors that have used the system have had few problems with the system since they understand the logistics of pouring concrete and bracing walls of wet concrete containing corners and openings.

The DIYers have had problems with blow-outs from pouring too wet concrete too fast and shifting of the forms as they are filled. Discontinuities such as corners and windows cause unbalanced loads that can exert forces much more that most people expect. Because of the nature of the system straightening a wall of wet concrete is next to impossible. DIYers seem to think you can move the wet wall just like you beat a stick wall into place.

There is also some concern about the quality of the concrete placed. Some of the stripped ICF walls I have seen had a lot of honeycombing, segregation and cold joints that normally come from improper placement. Rate of placement, sequencing of placement and improper vibration are typical sources. These are areas of long term weakness and possible leakage. Unfortunately, in most cases (99% of the time) these are not seen with ICFs. Traditional methods do not cover up the errors.

The system offers great insulation properties. With identical R-values this type of system will outstrip the thermal properties of a lightweight wood stud wall due to the superior dynamic and mass properties of the ICF system that are similar to other heavy walls.

If you go with an ICF system makes sure you have a good knowledgable crew to set the forms and place the concrete. Do not attempt to attack this without pumping the concrete since the placement sequence is important.

Good luck with a good system.

Old 06-19-05, 01:17 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
thanks for the input
we are going to have the installer pour the walls and the bsmt floor.
I will be doing the drywall and some of the interior painting so I hope as a distributer/installer they will have a good working knowlage of the items you mentioned above.
I will ask them for some references of people who have had there homes done in our area just to get some feedback from them.
I did check the local BBB and there does not appear to be any complaints so far.

thanks for the info.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title: