Exposed ICF foundation

I inspected a home with an ICF foundation today and based on my research, I understand that you want to protect it from UV radiation (I suspect this is the reason for this metal flashing type material). Initally I thought it was just that, flashing, but I am having trouble confirming if the ICF foam insulation needs to be protected from the outside from, snow melt, for example.

Clarification on this subject would be appreciated. Google has been only somewhat helpful.

Hard for me to ascertain details from the pics, not sure what I’m looking at, unusual flashing for here anyways, have always seen it covered on the exterior, but yes UV protection and also rodents. They love burrowing in that stuff.

Sorry about the not so great pictures. Basically there is exposed foam and a “flashing” that sticks out from underneath the siding. The flashing sticks out at about 45degrees like you see in the second picture, as if to shed rainwater, but obviously this will not keep out ground water and all of the lovely snow weve been having.

Ive asked on google about if ICF requires external covering, such as drywall, but I am having trouble getting a clear answer. I saw people saying it could be uncovered for up to a few years, that is needs UV protection, but nothing about water (or rodents for that matter, of which there are plenty on this 12 acre property), or that the top surface may need to be covered with a vapor barrier. This is my first encounter with ICF. My gut tells me that there should be some kind of barrier, to protect the foam, and I suspect this is an improper installation that will require correction.

I believe the foam is breaking down in the top photograph and exposing the plastic fastners inside.

> Blockquote

First 2 items when I did a Google search.
It’s styrofoam. I would be more concerned with the concrete inside since that is what is holding up the house. Just saying.

In short, yes it needs to be covered with something.

:astonished: wow, facepalm moment here…
Thanks Michael for the guidance. I don’t know how I didnt find those, definitely are clear answers. I clearly need to work on my search engine muscles.

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Yes, the ICF or any time you have any type of foam board, it needs protection from the elements and physical damage. What you posted a picture of is a an exposed ICF, lacking proper detail and thus deteriorating. The detail can vary greatly and needs to be prescribed by the architect/engineer. Since we do not prescribe repair protocol, simply defer for correction. The ICF wall lacked proper protection from water intrusion, weather elements, and physical damage… lack of proper protection may allow water instruction, insects, property damage, blah blah… recommend a qualified licensed contractor repair… just like that.