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Cold Weather Pouring with Advantage ICFs

October 18, 2011

Cold Weather pouring
Written by Colin Showalter
Follow Colin on Twitter: @Colin_PlastiFab

After a 2 month hiatus to allow some compelling guest authors to participate in this blog I am back. Thanks to Corey and Greg for some interesting topics this summer.

Living in Canada, another question I frequently get asked at trade shows and other places is “how cold of temperatures can I pour concrete into ICF blocks?”

Concrete construction during cold weather conditions requires special consideration to ensure that the concrete achieves the desired strength prior to freezing. Conventional concrete form walls can be constructed in all seasons; however, during cold weather months special measures must be taken to prevent the concrete from freezing. The special measures may include the use of windbreaks, insulated formwork and/or heaters. These extra measures can greatly increase construction costs.

Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) offer the ability to pour concrete into your walls at temperatures colder than that of conventional concrete forms due to their high insulating properties. This ability can drastically extend your construction season, possibly allowing you to pour all year round. In Very cold weather conditions, minimal precautions may be required, especially at wall penetrations and edges.

Many studies have been done on this topic and they have all concluded basically that concrete can be placed in ICF walls at temperatures much lower than that allowed for concrete walls using conventional forming systems.

Unfortunately I cannot give exact temperatures because people reading this may be in different climates around the world. However, I can say that using ICF blocks instead of conventional will prevent freezing and reduce or even eliminate the need for a heated enclosure. Covering the top of these forms is essential to retain all the heat of hydration.

Many building officials who are not familiar with ICF blocks may require ICF wall pours, to follow the typical cold weather concrete practices that were developed for conventional concrete forms. Cold weather concrete practices may vary between jurisdictions. Be sure to check with your local official before pouring concrete on a cold day in your area. Also check with your ready-mix concrete supplier to see what options they for concrete being poured in cold weather.

For more on Advantage Insulating Concrete Forms visit

Coming soon: What to use for Rebar in my ICF forms?





4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 15, 2013 3:14 pm

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