Home>Discussions>INSULATION & HVAC>Went to insulate found walls are full of brick now what's?
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Voltron
Went to insulate found walls are full of brick now what's?
Voltron

I own a 4 bedroom, former stage line inn house built in 1810. The old stage line developed over the years to become a 4 lane noisy US highway. Since buying my home I have long wanted to redo the interior in the bedrooms and upgrade insulation, electric and noise integrity in the process. My plan was: 1. to strip the primitive plasterboard that has ages of wallpapers and paint layers that are curled and cracked beyond rescue. 2. Rerun electric and get rid of wire mold on the base boards. 3. Fill the walls with closed cell spray foam 4. Finish walls with quietrock to help shut out the highway. The bedrooms are on the second floor in the 4 corners with a central landing in the middle. So as I dug into the wall in the Guinea pig first room I was shocked to find brick inside of the exterior facing walls. As the attached photos show the brick is a single layer pieced in between studs and main structural beams like facia or the original walls of the 1810 house. As the pic shows, while antique and primitive, the house is frame construction. So now the ?s. Upon this discovery I have stalled the project to collect knowledge . Some say pull the brick and proceed as planned. Some have said pulling the brick may be catastrophic and cause the structure to relax and crack all the plaster on the first floor. Another opinion was to put half inch foil coated foam board in the minimal gap that remains between the brick and the stud surfaces to which the quietrock will be anchored and foil tape the seams. Doing this at least I would at least be getting a draft tight vapor barrier while only achieving piddly R3 insulation value. So TOH any suggestions,ideas,opinions?

Much appreciated
Erik Molitor
North Brunswick NJ

sissy
Re: Went to insulate found walls are full of brick now what's?
sissy

have you called someone to check the structure .I used to live in NB in geargetown Apartments a long long time ago .Don't remember the place you are talking about

Jack
Re: Went to insulate found walls are full of brick now what's?
Jack

The brick was commonly used for insulation in framed homes of that era, they are not structural and can be removed. I have also heard it said that it was used to stoop bullets, but that may be a myth.

Jack

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Went to insulate found walls are full of brick now what's?
Sombreuil_mongrel

Hi,
the brick fill was called "nogging"; I have it in my house(ca. 1850's). It is the very best sound-deadening if you live on a busy street.
The brick does provide some measure of sway bracing, but it was really put there to make the house more solid, vermin- and fire-proof, etc. A lot of balloon-framed houses have a few courses of brick at the base of the walls to make the basement-to-first-floor framing fireproof, as otherwise the joist and stud bays are totally open. If you feel driven to remove the nogging, bear in mind that you should install some variety of firestopping there at the bottom. I am a fan of Roxul insulation batts for old houses.
So, that's probably the reason for the wiremold. I kept my nogging, and just tightened up my windows.
Casey

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