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Community and Q&A

ICFs exposed for 6 years?

christopherw | Posted in General Questions on

What can be done with ICF walls that have been left exposed for 6 years? Are they repairable? Would they structurally sound or would they need to be torn down, etc? Normally I’d spend a lot more time researching this before asking dumb questions, but I’m in a situation where I need to find out quickly. Many thanks!

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  1. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #1

    Concrete is pretty tough stuff- it would still be structurally sound after 60 years of benign neglect, but maybe not after 600 years.

    If the EPS is has been exposed to solar UV radiation during that period the surface layers may be a bit crumbly but it doesn't have to be peeled off and replaced. You may have fewer exterior finish options than with a fresh ICF, depending on the condition of the EPS.

  2. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #2

    There are no structural concerns. The structure is the concrete, and the concrete can't be harmed by exposure to the weather.

    When it comes to the EPS insulation, use common sense. How does it look? Is it sound? Or does it crumble to the touch?

  3. christopherw | | #3

    Thank you!!

  4. jackofalltrades777 | | #4

    The UV exposed ICF rigid foam will turn yellow and get dusty from sun damage. This damage will actually protect the rigid EPS behind it. When you are ready to finish the exterior, you will probably have to rasp the rigid foam and then hose it down with a good stream of water to clean it. That should give you a nice clean layer to attach stucco or whatever finish you have. You might lose maybe a 1/4" of rigid foam due to the damage. Nothing major.

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