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I have a cabin with an insulated concrete foundation. The foam insulation is exposed. What would be the best finish to use to coat and protect the styrofoam? Paint? Stucco?
I'm thinking you are referring to Insulated Concrete Forms ( ICF ) ?
The exposed portion above grade does need to be covered for a few reasons.
The foam material is vulnerable to UV degradation and needs to be protected from this. It's also part of building code ......the foam needs to be covered for fire reasons. Another reason is the exposed foam is vulnerable to physical damage so requires some type of protective wear layer.
Painting won't do.
Several methods can be used for covering the ICF including a cementitious stucco material or the current method of using a Textured Acrylic Finish ( TAF ) type of system which also could include portland base.
In this case I would recommend contacting the company who did the foundation installation or sold the ICF for referring someone who is experienced with coating their product.
2 cents worth.
Thanks for the ideas, all. Hope the pic came across. It's in West Virginia and I don't know the history except that it's around 10 years old. There used to be a coating of some sort over it that has since flaked off.
you can probally contact someone in your area who does synthetic stucco as in one of the name brands dryvit, sto, or parex. of course there are many other name brands out on the market but 20 years ago when I was doing it they were the three major name brands. this will involve them sanding down the foam board which will remove all the surface damage done by the uv, as well as smooth out the surface. then they will bed in a fiberglass mat in a cementeous layer giving a smooth continous surface, then put on the finish layer giving a nice finished surface and some of the more popular colors will even come close to matching the wood you put on above