Why You Should Use ICF for Your Storm Shelter

March 04, 2019
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Having a structurally sound storm shelter is crucial to ensuring the survival of any who decide to use it during an emergency. A storm shelter can be constructed from a variety of different materials, but ICF is the best. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why insulated concrete forms (ICF) make the most effective and efficient material for storm shelters anywhere.

1. ICF is FEMA Approved

The Federal Emergency Management Association follows the ICC-500 regulation for storm shelter safety, laid down by the National Storm Shelter Association and the International Code Council. In order to meet these guidelines, a storm shelter needs to provide its occupants with near-total protection during severe weather events like tornados and hurricanes. To do this a storm shelter needs a continuous load path, which ICF provides.

2. ICF Keeps You Safe from Debris

Flying debris is a big threat during storms. ICF structures protect against debris by being incredibly durable. They have been tested and proven to withstand impact from flying debris that is traveling up to 100mph. This is crucial especially in the Midwest and other tornado-prone areas where flying debris is the main cause of death during severe weather events.

3. An ICF Storm Shelter Can’t Be Lifted or Overturned

Because of the interlocking design of ICF, the roof, walls, and foundation are all locked together in a continuous load path. This prevents any part of the tornado room from being torn or lifted off thus exposing the occupants inside to the life-threatening elements they sought to avoid. It’s also impossible for moisture to leak in from any direction because of this interlocking, completely sealed off design that ICF provides.

Don’t Build Your Storm Shelter with Inferior Material

Choosing the wrong material for your storm shelter can cost people their lives. Don’t take chances with traditional materials like wood or aluminum that can be easily damaged and torn apart by serious storms.

ICF is the only material you should be building a storm shelter with nowadays. When it comes to durability, safety rating, moisture resistance, and every other quality you would want a storm shelter to have, ICF just can’t be beaten.


Comments (1)

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  • No-avatar-62
    Fouthgeneration2 months ago

    I'd never use a flammable insulation inside a living space, even a tornado shelter...

    Use the ICF on the outside, fine, substitute conventional forms inside, remember the form edges need to be 'battered' to allow easy removal of the forms inside the space.

    poured sound concrete caps is beyond many DYIs skill sets, I'd suggest use of pre-cast core decking, set with a large teleboom lift. Again avoid use of toxic went heated insulation materials inside anything with people you love.

    Don't forget all the vapour barriers and build with a working "rain" screen roof,walls, and floor, and I'd even Vapour barrier the footings....
    Gravity floor drain to day-light, water kills far Americans then tornadoes do.

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