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Best insulation for a mix of brick & wood?

There's a lot to be found about insulating brick, and about insulating wood...but what's the best solution for interior insulation for a combination of both? This is for a wall in a multi-wythe brick home, and this particular area has some wood framing in it (the wood frame goes to the roof of a portico). (See photo)

My instinct is to use rigid foam, pressed up as close as possible to close conductive loops. But clearly, there will still be lots of air in the wood-framed area.

What's your take on this?

photo.JPG89.1 KB
Asked by Kimberly Howell
Posted May 21, 2014 11:01 AM ET
Edited May 21, 2014 12:02 PM ET


3 Answers

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Brick wall with wood - 2.jpg
Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted May 21, 2014 11:41 AM ET


This type of wall is best insulated on the exterior -- for example, with EIFS. If you want the exterior of your house to remain unchanged, you will probably have to just swallow hard and pay the energy bills required to keep these bricks and timbers dry.

My article on old brick buildings (Insulating Old Brick Buildings) addresses the problem of embedded joists and embedded beams. Your problem is similar.

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted May 21, 2014 11:46 AM ET


Thanks, Martin. I was afraid that would be the answer. We're in a landmark district, so changing the outside is a non-starter.

And as for that article--I've read it several times, and it's one of the major guidelines in planning our renovation. Thanks for sharing your knowledge so freely.

Answered by Kimberly Howell
Posted May 21, 2014 11:54 AM ET

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