Voids in ICF's: thermal imaging?

Will concrete voids in Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF’s) show up using thermal imaging? Some types of ICF’s have a real problem with this.

Not likely, unless they are very large. Also too much insulation. Check with ITC or FLIR. They probably (likely) know something I don’t

where are you getting this info on icf’s?


From my experience it is not a problem with the forms, it’s usually the installers.

My 2c’s

it would always be the installers. the icf’s are engineered ok. alot of the icf’s are more narrow and have obstructions, so placing and vibrating and coming up in lifts are more difficult to control than in “regular” forms. which means that the worker-bees will get careless if unsupervised or untrained.

i’m wondering where the information is coming from saying that voids are a common problem. says who? i’m not being sarcastic, but am wondering if some organization has really looked into this or is it anecdotal?

It would also be the slump that is used. Too dry of a mix won’t vibrate down properly through all the supports and rebar creating voids, too wet of a mix and all the aggregate falls to the bottom and you lose your strength. Vibrate the ICF’s too much and watch a couple of yards of concrete blow out through your forms.

ICF’s are great (in my opinion) but its all in the installation (as is the case with many materials).

why do you think over vibrating would blow the form?
it’s a pretty rare day when a crew will pour a mix that is too dry!

I’ve seen it happen:shock:

I knew the job supervisor. He and I and the general had all worked with ICF’s before wtih no problem. The rep for this ICF company lived accross the street from the job. Slump was the first thing I brought up when I stopped by the job to say hello and saw them tearing off foam. They were not happy campers.

I’ve forgotten what the slump was but he had paid particular attention when ordering it. I saw the general at a meeting this spring and he didn’t even want to hear about it.

That said, I think most ICF’s are relatively problem free and are a good product.

The first LEED for Homes home in Boulder, even got a brick ledge…

so it was just this one incident? your first post says “some icfs have this problem” & it sounded like you had info about a trend.

why were they “tearing off foam”?

didn’t they pump this in? if it went thru the pump it should have been able to fill the icf cavity.

Poor description on my part. One incident, pumped mud, they were tearing off foam where they found voids (probing I think) and were going to form across the inside face with plywood forms and fill the area with concrete. This was about two years ago and I was there for 20 minutes. I can call the foreman and find out more if anyone really wants to know.