Logix ICF Logo

Parging Failures on ICF Walls: Why They Can Happen And How to Prevent Them

Print
Email

Parging is a popular strategy for protecting an ICF home’s exposed perimeter at grade — right where the waterproofing ends and the exterior veneer begins.

Yet sometimes parging can fail over time due to cracks or spalling.

The majority of parging failures usually happen either because of an improper application or because an installer unfortunately took some money-saving shortcuts.

In this post, you’ll learn the correct procedure for applying parging to ICF walls, and also find out a few alternative methods for perimeter protection.

Why Parging Failures Happen on ICF Walls

Probably most parging failures happen because step of installing protective fiberglass mesh was skipped when applying the parging material.

To apply parging with a fiberglass mesh the installation process requires a second step and additional costs.

So, to save time and money, unfortunately some installers may simply apply the parging material and skip the reinforcement mesh step.

Unfortunately, this practice can result with a parging material that is fragile and more vulnerable to damage.

Years after the home is built, these issues can become a headache for the homeowner. With time, the unreinforced parging material (such as DuRock B2000) can crack due to damage from grass mowing equipment, hockey sticks and pucks, baseballs hitting the wall, and other regular wear-and-tear.

These cracks can then allow moisture to seep through deep into the wall, and the subsequent freeze-thaw cycles eventually damage the bond between the parging material and the ICF foam. And once the bond loses its integrity, the parging can eventually spalls off the wall.

How to Prevent Parging Failures

To prevent parging failures, you should apply the parging material AND the waterproofing membrane beneath it properly. Below, you’ll find the recommended steps for installing waterproofing and parging correctly.

Waterproofing Installation Technique

  1. Terminate the waterproofing at the right level: The waterproofing membrane should be terminated at least 2 inches above grade.
  2. Fasten the top of the membrane: In extreme hot and cold climates, it’s best to fasten the top of the waterproofing membrane. However, sealing the top of the membrane is the best additional insurance to protect you from parging failure even in moderate climates. You can use either of the following options to seal the top of the waterproofing layer:
    • A caulking product like Resisto sealant for damp and dry surfaces
    • A membrane strip such as Soprema Grip F

Don't miss a thing!

Subscribe for the latest in the ICF world, exclusive content, insider industry news and limited edition webcasts.

Caulking seal with waterproof membrane

Proper Parging Application Technique

Applying the parging material properly can save the future owners of your homes a great deal of headache. Below are the four key steps you should follow when applying parging to prevent its failures in the future.

  1. Overlap the top of the membrane: You should always overlap at least the top 2 inches of the waterproofing membrane. This step keeps the membrane securely attached to the ICF and prevents moisture from getting in.
  2. Apply a skim coat first: It’s a good idea to first apply a thin skim coat of parging. Then, you can embed fiber mesh into it for greater strength.
  3. Embed fiber mesh: Integrate pre-cut pieces of fiber mesh into the first coat of parging. Doing so will strengthen the coating and prevent spalling.
  4. Apply a second coat: With the first coat and the fiber mesh installed, you can now apply the second (and final) coat of the parging material.
Parging

Parging Alternatives For Perimeter Protection

Parging is a common approach to perimeter protection; however, it’s not the only suitable strategy. Here are some alternatives to parging you should consider for an ICF home’s perimeter protection:

  • Fiber cement panel
  • Prefinished metal
  • Pressure-treated plywood

Wrapping It Up

Parging failures can happen and their root cause often lies in corner cutting and improper installation.

If you want the parging coat to withstand wear and tear over the years — and keep your customers happy — it pays to follow the simple steps we’ve discussed above when applying waterproofing and the parging coats.

And remember, there are other materials you can use instead of parging for your ICF homes’ perimeter protection. 

Share Post

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest

Save for Later

Email
Print
Logix Brands Editorial

Logix Brands Editorial

Delivering the latest in the ICF world, exclusive content, insider industry news, tips and insights into building better with Logix ICF. 

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Most Recent

More For You

Get a Free Quote

Whether you’re an experienced ICF installer or considering ICF for the first time, we can help. Simply complete this short form for a free quote (or to ask any question at all!).

By submitting the form, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and our Privacy Policy. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Contact Dealer

Contact Information

By submitting the form, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and our Privacy Policy. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Projects

Building Soon

Whether you’re an experienced ICF installer or considering ICF for the first time, we can help. Simply complete this short form for a free quote (or to ask any question at all!).

By submitting the form, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and our Privacy Policy. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

General/Technical Inquiry

Whether you’re an experienced ICF installer or considering ICF for the first time, we can help. Simply complete this short form for any general or technical questions.

By submitting the form, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and our Privacy Policy. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Almost there...

For unlimited access to all of our technical and marketing resources, please enter your information. We will also email you a copy of each of the items you select for quick future reference.

By submitting the form, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and our Privacy Policy. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Logix Brands Logo

Don’t Miss a Thing!