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Canadian National Chapter British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan/Manitoba,Ontario and Nova Scotia

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  #1  
Old 11-05-2007, 11:30 AM
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Question Is it possible to insulate double brick house without gutting?

Is it possible to add insulation to a double brick house without gutting the interior walls? House was built in 1927, and I doubt it was insulated, and I'm looking to keep a bit of my heat inside as much $$ as fuel is.
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Old 11-05-2007, 09:49 PM
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how do you mean by "gutting" ?? there is a expanding foam/spray on method that is supposed to be effective, but it requires tearing off the drywall. there used to be ways of doing it with a similar expanding insulation but it was pumped in through small holes in the exterior of the house that were easily patched. as yours is brick, that option(if it still exists) wouldn't work unless its possibly to do it from the inside. really there is nothing that i know of that doesn't involve some sort of "gutting" or re-cladding the exterior.
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Old 11-06-2007, 11:15 AM
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Yeah, by gutting I mean stripping interior walls to the brick, I don't want to remove the original lathe & plaster, especially because I don't want to disturb the 80 year old trim.

I've heard rumors of injecting foam from the attic, but nobody has first hand details yet.
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Old 11-06-2007, 12:23 PM
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i'm in the middle of remodeling a 1912 home, 2 storey + attic is being utilized now as well. its being completely gutted and rebuilt, insulated with "Spray Guard" a spray foam giving a 95% heat retention for 3 inches. i'm not sure if the "through the attic" method is used anymore, but if it is, good luck!! as for the 80 year old trim, our friend MDF can duplicate that in ways one couldn't imagine!!
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Old 11-06-2007, 01:39 PM
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I don't think so. It's douglas fir or red cedar or something similar NEVER been painted. I don't think MDF could ever replicate that!
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Old 11-06-2007, 01:49 PM
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Depending on your roof pitch, crawling in that close to the eaves might be tight. Try cutting a small hole in the lathe and plaster in between the studs, as close to the top of the wall without damaging the trim and blow in the insulation. ( like blowing insulation in the attic ) Depending on how close to the ceiling you were able to cut the hole, you might have to stuff some fibreglass insulation just to fill in the gap to the top plate of the wall. Then just patch the small hole used.

Without destroying all the lathe and plaster and possibly damaging the trim by removing it, I can't see what else you can do.
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Old 11-07-2007, 11:18 AM
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That's what I was thinking of last night, SMIGGS. Attic access is no problem, roof is 12-12 pitch, walk-up attic. It's like a 3rd floor, about the same amount of space as the second floor in our old 1.5 storey house. One room in the attic was formerly used as maid's quarters.
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Old 11-07-2007, 11:28 AM
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Depending on if the wall is a 2x4 of 2x6, the wall may not be thick enough to cut a wide enough hole to blow the insulation in. I'm not too sure on the spray foam though. I can't see needing a big hole to spray the insulation in.

If you can get away with using a round hole hog, ( plumbers use them ) and drill a small diameter hole thru the top plate (s) and spray foam the wall cavity, that would be the way to go.
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Old 11-07-2007, 06:35 PM
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problem with that is the speed of expansion, and the stuff is sticky. if it expands too fast it'll block off the void, then you'll end up with cold spots.
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Old 11-08-2007, 11:28 AM
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Did some googling, apparently slow expanding foam is the way to go. (see link)http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/askt...237906,00.html

Found other sites saying this may not have a reasonable payback, but I think we're going to get it quoted, after we get the house rewired in a couple weeks (currently **** & tube).

BTW Smiggs, it's not 2x4 or 2x6, the exterior walls are 2 or 3 layers of brick, with pockets for the floor joists. They then nailed 3/4" or 1" strips of wood to the brick, then did the lathe & plaster over top of that. So at best, I have a 1" cavity to insulate. They drill a hole about 3/4 of the way up the wall and inject the liquid which expands into foam. Adds some R value and makes everything air tight.

For brick houses, it seems recommendations are in order of importance: 1. insulate attic 2. make sure doors and windows seal well 3. insulate walls

Most of our attic is insulated, just need to fix up a couple spots. We have some new windows, and good condition older storm windows.
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Old 11-08-2007, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loudfords
BTW Smiggs, it's not 2x4 or 2x6, the exterior walls are 2 or 3 layers of brick, with pockets for the floor joists. They then nailed 3/4" or 1" strips of wood to the brick, then did the lathe & plaster over top of that. So at best, I have a 1" cavity to insulate. They drill a hole about 3/4 of the way up the wall and inject the liquid which expands into foam. Adds some R value and makes everything air tight.
My bad.

I would think spray foam would be your only way to go without disturbing the trim and plaster.
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Old 12-28-2007, 03:12 PM
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Update: Old windows aren't as good as I thought. I plastic wrapped the door and old windows on the 2nd floor. On the main floor I got some "draft-stop" caulking on the big windows (I'd do more but it fills the house with nasty fumes) and clear silicone on 3 little windows that don't open. In the basement I sealed all the windows with white caulking (cheap) to keep some heat in there. Got a programmable thermostat too to keep the heating bills down.

Still don't have a cost on foam. Need to convert to gas furnace before next winter, currently oil. I have a digital thermometer I'm moving around the house to check temperatures of various parts of the house. Going to price out new windows and door for the 2nd floor too.

I've talked to some more people, and some are pulling out the lathe & plaster on exterior walls and just using rigid or sheet foam and then drywall (without restudding). I will gut and stud and insulate the bathroom though, as part of a more major bathroom redo.
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Old 12-28-2007, 04:59 PM
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if you're going to remove the old lathe/plaster (which i totally reccomend!!!) i would suggest checking out spray jones or spray guard insulation methods. its an expandable spray in foam that goes in between the stud cavities. there's no need to re-stud, nor do you need a vapor barrier. the house we're remodling just got done a couple of months ago...cost 11g's for about 2300 sqft.
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Old 01-02-2008, 11:32 AM
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My whole problem is with a double (or triple) brick house, there are no studs on the exterior walls, just a 3/4-1" gap between the back of the lathe and the brick.
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Old 01-02-2008, 05:04 PM
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oh ok...i was picturing it already framed on the inside. boy, you're really in a predicament!! is there any spaces between the layers of brick that you could get to??
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Old 01-02-2008, 05:04 PM
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