5 posts / 0 new
Last post
brick home from the 50's

I have a brick home from the 50's with no wall insulation. There is red brick, a void then sometype of yellow back fiber board then drywall(2 sheets). I want to insulation but.....

I have read if i do so the brick will not dry out after it rains, properly and im not sure what type of insulation. I was thinking foam but i want to do it. any suggestions and thought?

Re: brick home from the 50's

I think there are some words and/or letters missing from your post. Let me guess what is missing. Your walls have a yellow fiberboard of some kind attached to the exterior side of your studs with bricks outside of that. You have 2 layers of sheetrock on the interior side of your wall studs and no insulation between the sheetrock and the yellow fiberboard.

There should be a gap between the yellow fiberboard and the bricks, The bricks sit on their own footings and foundation and every so many courses, a metal strap is attached to the fiberboard and set into the mortar between two bricks. This supports the bricks. Along one of the bottom courses of brick below your floor line, there should be an unmortared vertical gap between the bricks every 2 or 3 feet. These are weep holes.

The tops of the bricks should be open but under the soffits. This allows air to flow into the weep holes at the bottom, go up the inside of the bricks and exit at the top and out the soffit vents. This keep the bricks dry. No matter what you do, do not let any insulation get into this gap or block the weep holes. You can do just about anything else as long as this gap and the weep holes and soffit vents remain clear.

If you use foam in the cavities, you will need to make sure it can't expand into that gap. The best way would be to tear out the sheetrock, insulate with faced fiberglass batts, with the wings of the facing stapled to the inside edges of the studs and not to the inner face of the studs. The wings should overlap a little when stapled in place and any air gap in the cavity should be on the exterior side of the cavity, not on the interior side as often done.

Then one layer of 1/2" sheet rock should finish the walls. By removing the existing sheetrock, you can address any other issues that you may need to fix, i.e. wiring or plumbing, out of square windows or doors etc.

Re: brick home from the 50's

Thanks... Did miss a few...

Sounds like way more work than I'm up for. Other things to deal with. No easy fix other than a rip out?

Re: brick home from the 50's

No, this is the way to go. While the walls are open you can fix the electric, pipes, home stereo and alarm.

Re: brick home from the 50's
HoustonRemodeler wrote:

No, this is the way to go. While the walls are open you can fix the electric, pipes, home stereo and alarm.

And as a former owner of a house built around the same time on the other side of Pittsburgh, I would highly suggest you take that chance to replace some wiring. The cloth wrap will be very frayed if still there at all.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.