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How to cover foam around foundation?

This topic contains 13 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Skillman 4 months ago.

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  • #632558

    xtal_01
    Pro

    I have been searching for weeks and still no answer.

    I have a thickened edge floating pad in VT, about 3000 sq ft. Insulated under (except under thickened edge and post locations), around and a couple ft out (16″ below grade). Long story behind this but in short I was talked into it 4 years ago when we started building the house. I did a standard frost wall with foam under the floor and up the inside edge on the house.

    I wish I could just break it all up and start from scratch but that really is not realistic ($$$$$$). I had even thought about excavating a trench and trying to pour a wall. I think the ground would collapse out at the edge and I don’t know how I would back fill inside with the floor already poured.

    Anyway, we just got into the house (still needs a lot of finishing) and it is time to put up the shop. 50 x 60 with 16 ft ceilings, loft in the center area (attached sketch).

    I need to cover the foam. Needs to be a material OK for ground contact, needs to be strong enough to take a hit from a mower or weed trimmer. Water even got under a couple pieces … they floated up and off they went.

    My first idea was to put Hardie backer … 12″ down, 4 ft up … and cover it with stamped concrete.

    Then I was told Hardie and all other cement boards (called several factories) can not be used below grade (ground contact).

    I did find one that was ground rated …. $100 per sheet! I need about 70 sheets!

    So maybe just put the stamped concrete on the foam? Mechanically not as strong. Lots of warnings about hanging that much weight (even putting metal lath over the foam) off nails … can’t put a bottom J since it will just rust out underground.

    Rubber coatings and aluminum flashing are just not durable enough.

    Any ideas??????

    Thanks …. Mike

    #633113

    xtal_01
    Pro

    Just an update … still looking for a “good” answer.

    I had an “eco green” builder stop by on the weekend (friend of a friend).

    He said all they do is use either a rubbery coating or aluminum coil flashing material.

    Neither seems very durable to me. I asked if he had gone back after a couple of years to look at how it held up ….hmmmm …. no he had not.

    Anyway, still hoping someone out there can give me a practical answer!

    Thanks ….. Mike

    #633129

    keko
    Pro

    there are brush on foundation coatings one is called insulcrete not sure if is still available but you might want to look that up.

    #633131

    xtal_01
    Pro

    Thanks …. I will definitely take a good look at this product!

    I was just a bit worried that a “brush on” coating may be a bit think and not give good mechanical (impact) resistance but this may be thinker than I think … looks like you can put on several coats.

    Mike

    #633171

    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Pro
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    Old school would be to cover the foam with treated plywood extended at least 6″ below grade.

    We now use Nudo Groundbreaker to cover the foam on our projects. It is about 75 bucks for 50 feet of the 12″ rolls.

    http://www.nudo.com/p_groundbreaker.php

    It is fairly quick and easy to install and does not look to bad when done properly.

    #633178

    xtal_01
    Pro

    My wife actually found this while doing our search.

    The literature says …… “GroundBreaker™ safeguards the foundation from hazards such as lawn mowers, weed trimmers, insects and moisture. After all, since the weight of your house rests upon the foundation, protecting it should be of utmost importance!”

    Is this true? How strong is this stuff? I know nothing will take a real “hit” but for example my weed eater will easily dent and go right through coil aluminum (done it). Will this plastic hold up?

    I thought about pressure treat but just think it looks “unfinished” and it will still fall apart in a few years (I had a deck with pressure treat plywood on it …. lasted only a couple of years and all the edges came apart).

    Thanks …… Mike

    #633182

    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Pro
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    My wife actually found this while doing our search.

    The literature says …… “GroundBreaker™ safeguards the foundation from hazards such as lawn mowers, weed trimmers, insects and moisture. After all, since the weight of your house rests upon the foundation, protecting it should be of utmost importance!”

    Is this true? How strong is this stuff? I know nothing will take a real “hit” but for example my weed eater will easily dent and go right through coil aluminum (done it). Will this plastic hold up?

    I thought about pressure treat but just think it looks “unfinished” and it will still fall apart in a few years (I had a deck with pressure treat plywood on it …. lasted only a couple of years and all the edges came apart).

    Thanks …… Mike

    It is basically FRP (Fiber Reinforced Plastic) the same as they use in milk houses and kitchens. It is quite durable and does hold up well. A rock thrown by a mower will probably crack or puncture it but it is strong.

    As far as the Treated Plywood, you need to use a burial grade treated and not the standard available at most places. it would be the same thing they use for wood foundations.

    #633184

    xtal_01
    Pro

    Awesome!

    Thanks for the advice.

    The deck I built ( and it was about 10 years ago) was about 24″ above the ground. it was even covered. The plywood decking didn’t even last 5 years.

    I actually have only seen one plywood foundation. Always wondered how well they would hold up.

    I actually live right beside a wetland. Even in the best of times the ground is like a sponge.

    Thanks again … Mike

    #640211

    Did you think about useing aluminum or steel flashing to wrap over it and down to the surface to provide your protection you are looking for .

    Always willing to learn .

    #640213

    xtal_01
    Pro

    I am just afraid that anything short of concrete that comes in contact with the ground will rot or rust).

    Aluminum after a few years will disintegrate.

    Even galvanized steel rusts away. I was just looking at a barn yesterday that had a new galvanized roof put on last year. I can already see spots of rust on it. If it were in the ground and always moist, I can’t see it lasting long.

    Thanks …. Mike

    #640223

    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Pro
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    Awesome!

    I actually have only seen one plywood foundation. Always wondered how well they would hold up.

    Thanks again … Mike

    I did a wood foundation back in 87 and one in 2001. both are still going strong. The real key to a wood foundation is the detailing. I have fixed a couple that were not done correctly. Thee backfill should be all rock from the footing to within a few inches of grade and the endwalls need to be blocked well. In the ones I have fixed, neither was the case. the ones i fixed were not the ones I built. As with anything, the durability of the structure is only as good as how well it was installed.

    #640230

    roninohio
    Pro
    New Franklin, OH

    From the picture it looks like most the foam is already gone.
    Will you have to repair that? I think the frp would work good and then put some gravel up to it. Use week killer around the building instead of the weed eater?

    #640246

    xtal_01
    Pro

    Yes, some of the foam is damaged but only the top few inches. It goes down 18″ below grade.

    I will need to repair this before cover it.

    I actually have started using weed killer.

    I am thinking …. weed killer … landscaping fabric … gravel.

    If I do this all around, I should need minimal maintenance.

    Thanks … Mike

    #640313

    I am just afraid that anything short of concrete that comes in contact with the ground will rot or rust).

    Aluminum after a few years will disintegrate.

    Even galvanized steel rusts away. I was just looking at a barn yesterday that had a new galvanized roof put on last year. I can already see spots of rust on it. If it were in the ground and always moist, I can’t see it lasting long.

    Thanks …. Mike

    Some of that rust is just surface . It takes a long time to disintegrate . But I can understand your concerns with using metal material .

    Always willing to learn .

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