External insulation for brick wall.


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Old 08-14-07, 10:11 PM
J
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External insulation for brick wall.

I have an hundred year old brick house. The interior plaster and lathe is applied directly to the brick wall which is at least two bricks thick. These walls get cold in the winter. I would like to put rigid foam insulation on the external wall and then cover it with stucco. If that could work, it would really make it warm.
Would that work? I'm in a dry, western climate, but do think about condensation problems. Would a vapor barrier paint be sufficient to deal with moisture?
If it would work, how would I do this work myself?
Also, I have a wall on an addition which is cement block, it's even colder and really needs insulating.

Thanks.
 
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Old 08-15-07, 04:48 AM
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Rigid foam gives minimal insulation value, and stucco, none, so hopefully there is another solution to your problem. It is difficult to envison a load bearing wall built entirely of bricks. Bricks are usually considered veneer grade only. Is it possible to post a couple of pictures on a site such as photobucket.com so we can see further what you have?
 
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Old 08-15-07, 06:40 AM
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A 100 year old house could very well be solid brick. Fairly common back then, it was only when labor rates and brick cost started climbing that other types of backup were used and brick was used strictly as a veneer.

If it were me, I would look at insulating from the interior. If you use 2" polyiso, the aged R value is about 12. We do this quite commonly when we renovate old commercial buildings with solid brick walls. Gives you a chance to update electrical, don't have to worry about waterproofing around windows, can put up a good vapor retarder, you retain the brick look on the exterior, generally cheaper, etc. Down side is you loose some interior area.

In either case, if you are comfortable working with metal framing, I would suggest using Z-furring channels to attach the finish; they're shaped like a Z, thus the name. Gives you more complete coverage with your insulation, rather than an 1 1/2" wide thermal short at each wood stud. I don't have a link to them, but you should be able to Google it; most metal stud manufacturers have them.

Good luck.
 
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Old 08-15-07, 06:17 PM
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External?

Bruce, I'm not sure if your suggestion about the z channel was about putting up external insulation or internal insulation. While I really appreciate your response, frankly, you are talking at a level of expertise that I don't have.

There is foam board (at Home Depot) which gives you R-13. I figure if it is on the outside of the wall I get all that thermal mass. Space inside is an issue, although I know it would be cheaper and easier to do. The whole global warming thing has got me thinking not about how to do it cheaper, but how to do it right. However, I don't want to go to the trouble of putting it up on the outside and then find out I've degraded the brick by creating a moisture barrier.
 
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Old 08-15-07, 06:57 PM
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I'm of the same opinion as Bruce regarding the interior insulation... but I think I'd recommend you look into Dow WALLMATE Slotted Insulation. It is available in 1.5", 2" and 2.4" panels, which have grooves that allow you to install vertical furring that, which attached, both secures the panels to the wall and provides a surface for drywall to hang on.

Insulating the (winter) warm side of the home is likely the best way to go if you want to keep the heat in. Unfortunately this probably opens up a whole can of worms that you never intended on opening- electrical, drywall, baseboard, window and door trim, etc. But apart from framing up new exterior walls inside the home, this is really the best solution.

Wallmate has to be special ordered where I'm at, so you probably won't find it in many stores, but you can Google it if you're interested in the prospects. Good luck!
 
 

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