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  • Writer's pictureMark Turnquest, CIPM


Homeowners in hurricane and tornado prone areas are now making concrete structural walls to stand up to fierce storms. Tests have shown that ICF walls can withstand flying debris from tornadoes and hurricane with wind speeds of up to 250mph.

ICF stands up to hurricane force winds easily, due to the mass of concrete in the exterior walls.

The average 16" x 48" ICF, when filled with concrete, weights about 400 pounds (6" core) or 75 pounds per sqft of wall. That's heavy enough to withstand even the strongest wind. Concrete walls are also a superior choice for withstanding storm surges. Breakwaters and Seawalls around the world are made from the material.

ICF structures have another advantage, they are tied to the footing or foundation slab with structural reinforcement steel.

While frame walls use hurricane ties and/or anchor bolts to meet code minimums, ICF wall footing connections are stronger. Sometimes the walls are poured monotonically with the footing, eliminating the cold joint, likewise, all of the wall components above the footing are connected in a solid monolithic mass, eliminating flex, fatigue and weak points.

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