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JimJML HOME IMP, General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 27
Experience:  I have over 12 years experience in General Building Construction
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is it possible to insulate the exterior walls of a solid brick

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is it possible to insulate the exterior walls of a solid brick house with foam or any other material. we have a house that is more than 100 years old and the walls are very cold.
also, how do we know that it's solid brick?
Hello and thank you for your question. Yes it is possible to insulate your exterior brick walls with insulation. If you're hiring a contractor, spray foam wall is the way to go. They will drill small holes on the top part of your interior wall and inject a liquid that will expand into foam in the slot between the beams. They will than shave the excess and patch the holes.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.


first company claimed the house is 'solid brick' with no more than 3/4 inch space between outside brick and interior wall. therefore can't insulate outside only the attic.


second company claimed it is possible to inject the foam into the exterior walls through the mortar, it will rise and do its job. expensive to do - quoted us around $250 per sq. foot! also he said he would fax us a quote - he did not measure, just looked at the back wall.


we have not heard about doing it from the interior. what would you suggest in our case and also what could the cost be for the method you describe?



1.If your house was constructed with just furring strips fastened to the brick wall than yes it cannot be insulated. Check by drilling a 1inch hole in the sheetrock and look in with a flashlight to see how deep it is.



2. If you try to do the job from the job from the outside you will run into a alot of problems. For one, the mortar joints are often no wider than one-half inch. I dont believe there are any insulation tools that would fit in that spot. Even if it did I would not expect the insulation to fill all the voids.


3. I would also concintrate on installing better windows if you havent done so already. That BY FAR is the best "bang for your buck" in reducing energy costs

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

it seems that we do not have enough 'space' between the walls to do this. we did install new windows last winter. besides insulating the attic, is there anything else to do, especially the back wall. we are 5 houses away from the ocean and the back of the house is open with no protection from the elements.

No any insulation installed on such a small space will not make a bit of difference. After the windows and the attic that is pretty much all that you could do to see a noticeable difference.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

2 short and last questions.

One contractor suggested to apply foam to the joistings(?) in the basement. i.e. the 45 degree angle where wall meets ceiling. He said it is very important to do so. the basement is unfinished. do you think its a must do?

finally, I heard from a company that does energy audits for 31/2 hours charging $600, that its very important to make sure there are no hazardous conditions like carbon monoxide, etc. existing in the house BEFORE you insulate i.e. make it 'air-tight' so to speak,

do you agree?

I wouldn't think that the foam in the basement will make much, if any, difference in the efficiency of the house. Secondly you should have CO detectors in your house anyway just to be safe. The way you described your home I wouldn't think there will be any other ways to make your home more efficient that would be cost effective.
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