Installing Insulation

I have an old brick house that has been stripped of all walls except the outside brick wall and the open stud wall. I want to seal all air holes from the inside and install insulation in between the stud wall and the brick wall. How should I seal the air holes, and what kind of insulation should I use?

Essentially, you want to do the job backward, starting with the brick wall and working your way in. The problem is that your stud wall is already up and you can't attach anything to the outside of it. First you must understand that it is necessary to have a 2.5 cm (1 in.) air space between the brick and the rest of the wall. This space allows water to drain out of the wall and allows the brick to dry. That is why it is not wise to shoot any of the insulating foams right up against the brick. Make sure there are flashed holes at the bottom of the wall to drain the wall outdoors. Your problem is that the wind will move around in that space. Normally there is a weather barrier, such as building paper, or an air barrier, like house wraps, separating that air space from the sheathing and stud wall. So your challenge is to create a barrier that does not touch the brick, will be waterproof but permeable, and not let the air blow into the fiberglass. Try squeezing in some rigid foam panels between the studs. (Treat the exposed side of the studs with wood preservative before squeezing in the panels.) Then fill the wall with fiberglass and finish with a good vapor barrier.

More From Reader’s Digest

  • Rigid-Foam Insulation-1Rigid-Foam Insulation-1 I installed an addition to my house this past summer using rigid foam panels. The end result is that where the old and the new walls meet there is exposed brick on the inside of the house […] Posted in Home Improvement
  • Furnace Filters-2Furnace Filters-2 My house was built in 1954 with brick exterior walls and plaster interior walls. The house is extremely cold in the winter, particularly near the plaster walls. I have added insulation to […] Posted in Home Improvement
  • Wall DiscolorizationWall Discolorization I have noticed some discoloration on the north wall in my house. The discoloration comes in streaks running vertically from the floor to the ceiling. What can I do to remove them? Posted in Home Improvement
  • Basement InsulationBasement Insulation The insulation in my basement runs only 75 cm (30 in.) down. I plan to finish the basement, which means tearing down the walls. Should I insulate them from top to bottom? If so, should […] Posted in Home Improvement
  • Covering Stucco With VinylCovering Stucco With Vinyl I have a 30-year-old house with stucco exterior walls. I want to cover the walls with vinyl siding, but I have no idea what is between the stucco exterior walls and the interior drywalls. […] Posted in Home Improvement
  • Polystrene PanelingPolystrene Paneling I am refinishing my basement. I have installed white polystyrene panels, but I am not sure whether or not I should install 2x4s directly over the polystyrene panels or if I should cut out […] Posted in Home Improvement