Yay, we got cellulose insulation in one wall! Yup, only one. Last week we attempted to blow-in cellulose insulation into three walls of the main part of the house—the back extension we’re waiting on till we get a new heating system and ducting.
Everything was going smoothly. First, they did the wall facing the sidewalk. Then in the afternoon they drilled tested holes in the front part of the house. From our office on the third floor we could hear them yelling, “Brick!” over and over. What?! Our house is built of bricks?
After further investigation we discovered the front and inner wall of the house are lined with bricks. Referred to as “brick nogging” the walls cavity between the framed timbers were mortared with bricks. Bricks were used as a wind barrier and an early version of insulation. Benefits also include fire-proofing, “thermal mass” making temperature fluctuations less rapid, and a way to block pests. (inspectapedia.com)
So what do we do? Nothing. The only solution would be to remove all clapboards and the bricks so we could blow-in insulation. This process would be incredibly labor intensive and probably NOT worth it.
With the one wall done I hope the house feels a bit warmer this winter. I’ve already notice the house is quieter and less street noise. But I do think once we get our fireplaces properly sealed, interior shutters installed and a new heating system the house will be just fine.
An example of brick nogging at Peter Augustus Jay House in Rye, New York via flickr.