by Ian Gielser

Installers of ICF now have a great opportunity to share, network and compare notes on how to improve performance and efficiencies of the art of installing ICF. In the quest to provide readers valuable and useful information, we have invited Ian Giesler, a well known pioneer in the ICF industry to moderate and contribute to this column. This is the place that members of the installation fraternity can share techniques, solve each other’s problems and improve the overall quality of ICF installations. We believe this will be a great contribution to those “in the trenches.” 

–The Editors

My partner and I recently visited a project site in Mississippi. This ICF building has been sitting nearly two years unfinished. The owner is not sure how to proceed with this building. The ICF walls have significant bulges, wavy walls, voids and sagging window headers. We were asked to provide guidance to the owner so that they can complete construction. For the bulging areas, we suggested to try rasping the foam with a homemade foam rasp. This homemade rasp is made by taking gang nail plates (that one would see connecting the members of a truss together) and fastening them on a 2x such that the sharp teeth protrude outward instead of inward. Build a handle or purchase a trowel handle and screw that on the opposite side and you now have a rasp that is capable of removing up to a ¼” of foam on a single pass. This tool is great for cleaning and smoothing areas that may have sustained a blowout. The cost of the truss plates are minimal and the 2x material is from scrap.

We would like to make this column a valuable resource for all and will encourage your participation. As you read about someone’s desire to solve a problem and you have already remedied that same problem, take the time to submit your solution. As we all know, there are many solutions to the same problem, so we will post the different options we receive in the next issue. We encourage the inclusion of photographs or drawings so we can print these alongside your descriptions. Submissions can be from any aspect of the installation business such as sales & marketing, estimating, logistics, insurance, billing, collections and more. All submissions must be accompanied by your name and company information. You may request to keep your name anonymous if you wish.

Do you have a question? An inventive solution to a common challenge or a problem published earlier in this column? Send it to If your submission is selected for publication, you will receive a set of the best ICF hand tools available courtesy of Tajima Tools along with a stylish hat from ICF Builder.