Home>Discussions>INSULATION & HVAC>insulation behind brick wall exterior
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milkweed
insulation behind brick wall exterior

Bought a home that was built in 1974. It has wood studded walls with drywall, and brick veneer exterior, no insulation.
Coworker has a similar house and he paid to have foam pumped in two years ago, by a nationwide franchise company that advertises year round and has a scene in their commercials of insulating a brick veneered wall. Coworker was telling us how two drywall sections in his home were bowed due to the installers pumping in too much foam and he replaced those sections a year ago.

I thought I had read that brick walls need to have quarter of an inch spacing on the inside to allow condensation to drain, otherwise it may cause the mortar to begin cracking from freeze and thaw cycles over time. I have looked over the website of the nationwide franchise company and they don't provide those sort of details to answer my question. Can someone clarify for me?

HandyAndyInMtAiry
Re: insulation behind brick wall exterior

Why do you think you need insulation there? Most of the heat loss goes thru the roof. Insulate the attic first. Concentrate on areas that have small cracks and holes around the house. Get yourself a smoke pen and start checking doors and windows and other areas that are letting air penetrate.

There should be a gap between the back the brick and the asphault sheeting behind the brick. That is most likely what was used at the time the house was constructed. That is needed to keep the area dry. If you want to insulate the walls, tear off the sheetrock, insulate and replace the sheetrock with new. Sheetrock is only about $8 per sheet, and a company can do an entire normal sized house for about $1000. To install the sheetrock, they will be in and out in 1 day. Come back the day after to put on another coat of mud and sand that smooth.

I would do this way before I would allow someone to spray foam into an area that is supposed to have an air gap. What stops the foam while being inserted, from expanding too much and cracking the mortor joints? Nothing. And then you will have water intrusion.

Just leave the house the way it was designed. Old houses are designed much better then the newer ones. I am curious to see what some of the new, air tight houses will look like in a single decade from now.

Andrew

Handy Andy In Mt Airy NC

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