PO Box 3681 Station Terminal, Vancouver, BC, V6B 3Y8



Office Hours: Weekdays 9AM-5PM

Solutions to ICF Rebar issue

    Nov 17, 2022

    2 min


Will there be a remedy if spacing on ICF rebars occurred?


ICFs, otherwise known as Insulating Concrete Forms, are foams that can create a solid reinforced monolithic concrete wall. It is a popular alternative framing method to traditional wood-frame housing, especially for contractors looking to build comfortable and environmentally friendly homes. 

ICF works similarly to CMU (concrete masonry unit); they need to be reinforced with horizontal and vertical rebars before filling with concrete. Vertical rebars structurally support the wall from collapsing, while horizontal rebar prevents cracks from developing. If the rebars are spaced too far apart, either the horizontal rebar or the vertical, they may result in cracks resulting in more significant construction problems in the long term. Therefore, those looking forward to building homes using ICFs must ensure that the steel frames inside are correctly installed and based on the engineer’s specifications.

Now, what might happen if you have the wrong spacing installed if the ICF and forms are already in place? Will there be a remedy? Can ICFs still be used? Or should they just be disposed?

Well, the good news is that considering the time, yes–as long as the rebar and concrete pouring on ICFs don’t take place yet–ICFs can still be used without compromising the quality and durability of the wall. 


Using concrete reinforcements that work equally well with rebars like Helix Micro-Rebar and Buckeye’s UltraFiber 500.

Helix Micro-Rebar is a steel pin fiber reinforcement that can help fix rebar problems. It is a cost alternative to rebar, mesh, and other additives, providing strength, durability, and crack control. (Steel Fiber West)

Buckeye’s UltraFiber 500, on the other hand, is a fiberglass/cellulose mixture that provides secondary reinforcement in concrete in terms of temperature and shrinkage crack control. Here are some advantages of Buckeye’s UltraFiber 500:

  • Reduces the formation of intrinsic cracking in concrete. Based on a report, Buckeye’s UltraFiber 500TM  in concrete results in 85% fewer cracks than concretes without fiber. 
  • Reduces concrete permeability and absorption
  • Improves concrete freeze/thaw resistance
  • Improves concrete durability
  • Provides enhanced hydration, which improves concrete strength properties
  • Improves concrete impact resistance
  • Improves concrete shatter resistance
  • Improves bond strength between rebar and cement paste

Both Helix Micro-Rebar and Buckeye’s UltraFiber 500TM  are mixed with concrete and then poured into the ICFs. These fiber reinforcements are helpful remedies for any ICF rebar issues your contractor may encounter in the future. The decision to use Helix or UltraFiber 500 may now depend on your homebuilder and your budget. 

Rebar is vital in ensuring the long-term durability of the monolithic concrete wall. However, if issues with it arise, solutions are always available. If these issues are encountered while stacking ICFs, never ignore the problem. Investigate, Research, and Resolve the issue immediately. 

This article was last updated on Jul 8, 2023