Insulation of the Outer Wall of a Brick House

The issue of thermal insulation of the building facade is extremely important. We will help you understand the intricacies of insulating a brick house from the outside, consider the features of modern technologies, materials, and various installation methods.

The advantages of outdoor insulation 

Thermal insulation of external walls is the best method of thermal insulation at home. This is the only way to preserve a comfortable microclimate in the house and not sacrifice the cherished square meters of premises. 

The technology is distinguished by the following characteristics, which can become decisive selection criteria:

  • reliable protection of the supporting structure from sudden temperature changes, overheating, and freezing;
  • prevention of the appearance of defects, condensation, mold, fungus, and parasites;
  • excellent noise reduction;
  • reducing the load on the foundation;
  • exclusion of heat loss during the healing period;
  • long service life.

Types of facades for brick walls 

A wet facade is a simplified finishing technology that involves applying water, glue, plaster mixtures, and insulation. It differs in a rather simple installation process, a wide choice of design, and inexpensive cost. The outer layer of plaster is painted with special paints. 

Main advantages:

  • Durability;
  • Low weight and material consumption;
  • Ease of maintenance;
  • Effective steam removal;
  • High rates of heat and sound insulation.

A standard wet plaster façade cake consists of the following elements:

  • Load-bearing wall;
  • The adhesive layer (base and finish) and insulation boards;
  • Mushroom fixing dowel;
  • Primers;
  • Reinforcing mesh;
  • Plasters

A suspended ventilated facade is a technology for decorating the appearance of a building, which includes the presence of a layer of insulation, elements of the supporting structure, and cladding.

It can effectively and permanently protect walls from the influence of natural factors, increasing the level of heat and sound insulation. The ventilated gap prevents condensation and moisture from trapping on structures. 

Ventfasad has several advantages:

  • excellent thermal insulation of the walls reduces heat loss during the heating season;
  • ease of construction and installation;
  • long service life;
  • the ability to install the system at any time of the year;
  • fire safety;
  • high functionality in a different range of climatic conditions.

One of the most popular cladding methods is siding. Its use protects the house from the influence of climatic conditions, temperature changes and transforms its appearance. 

Why choose to side? 

  • the affordable price of panels;
  • long service life;
  • simple installation and operation;
  • panels are not subject to decay, insect attack, fungus development, etc.; 
  • moisture resistance, resistance to wind and ultraviolet light;
  • environmental friendliness;
  • a wide range of design solutions.

Thermal insulation of almost any kind can be perfectly hidden under siding – sprayed, rigid slab and in the form of mineral wool mats. To avoid dampness of the insulated walls, the facade cake should look like this:

  • Wall;
  • Insulation;
  • Hydro vapor barrier;
  • Subsystem;
  • Siding.

Types of thermal insulation materials for a brick wall 

Manufacturers offer a huge selection of materials. The most popular are:

  • Mineral wool – has a high coefficient of thermal conductivity, sound insulation, strength. Does not require complex installation, resistant to negative natural phenomena, vapor permeable. 
  • Polystyrene is the leader in the market of thermal insulation materials. Its budgetary cost, ease of installation, strength, increased density, moisture resistance, and durability are distinguished. In addition, the foam is not susceptible to the influence of chemicals and mechanical damage.
  • Extrusion polystyrene foam is also foam, but thanks to special production technologies, it reaches a greater strength. Among the advantages are zero water absorption, durability, chemical resistance, environmental friendliness, ease of installation: disadvantages – flammability, low steam permeability. At the same time, it is a very expensive material.

Mineral wool insulation technology 

There is an adhesive and frame fastening method.

The technology of working with the use of glue consists of the following stages:

  • Determine the evenness of the walls and, if possible, eliminate the imperfections.
  • Using a laser level along the perimeter of the facade, determine the line for attaching the starting strip. Fix the profile with dowels.
  • Cover the wall surface with soil mortar.
  • Prepare the adhesive and spread it evenly over the entire surface of the material.
  • Apply cotton wool to the wall, press down, fix with dowels.
  • Install subsequent rows with a half offset, staggered.
  • The final stage: reinforcement of the insulating surface, plastering, and painting.

Unfortunately, mineral wool loses its insulating properties, freezes, and gradually collapses under the influence of moisture. To avoid such troubles, it is necessary to lay waterproofing under the cladding in the “pie” of the house’s walls.

Wireframe method

  • Make a wooden or metal lathing for cladding (keep in mind that the guide’s step should be 20 mm less than the width of the insulation).
  • Install mineral wool in the sections.
  • Secure with plastic wrap and clad with façade material.

Thermal insulation technology with extruded polystyrene foam

If you use this material, you need:

  • Assess the condition of surfaces, if necessary, eliminate defects, and clean from contamination.
  • Prime the wall to increase the adhesion of glue and brick.
  • Fasten the starting profile along the perimeter of the facade (do not forget about the laser level).
  • Prepare an adhesive solution.
  • Apply glue to the sheet.
  • Press the material moderately against the wall, controlling possible unevenness with a long strip or rule. 
  • Fix with dowels with caps. 

Stagger the rows. If you notice that gaps have formed between the sheets, fill them with polyurethane foam. 

Foam insulation technologies 

It would be best to start with the preparation of the base: eliminating various defects inherent in brickwork, giving the maximum surface evenness. There should not be large voids under the layer of insulation – the slightest mechanical effect on the facade can lead to deformation of the material.

The best method for attaching foam with your own hands is a combination of fixing with glue in the corners and dowels in the center. Of the little tricks, we note:

  • The slabs should be fixed in the direction “from the bottom up,” that is, from the foundation. The presence of a starter bar will ensure a reliable and high-quality installation.
  • The adhesive is applied directly to the façade.
  • If the sheets are spreading due to the unevenness of the wall, the resulting voids should be filled with glue or other filler (for example, when grouting tiles).
  • When adjusting the sheets, you need to slap with your palm and press them into place lightly. The edges should be straight. Work should be done carefully so as not to leave dents.

What other methods are there for external thermal insulation?

Consider two more solutions: warm plaster and thermal panels.

Warm plaster is distinguished by fire resistance, natural composition and breathable structure, high decorative and insulating properties, versatility, and affordable price. 

We recommend applying a layer with a thickness of at least 5 mm, then the effect of applying the material will not be inferior to the foam. The quality and properties of the plaster are determined by the components that may be included in the composition. For example, buyers prefer warm plaster with the addition of foam glass. 

Thermal panels are ready-made structures made of foam and water-repellent clinker. Their use allows you to cover defects and irregularities in the wall to provide maximum protection against moisture, wind, and other weather factors. The only drawback is the high price.

Polyurethane foam for home insulation

Polyurethane foam (PPU) is a gas-filled plastic material, which is a closed-porous foam. It can be obtained by mixing a polyisocyanate and a polyol, water, and carbon dioxide.

The peculiarity of the structure allows the material to be used for heat, steam, and waterproofing.

In addition, the advantages of this material are:

  • the lowest thermal conductivity – 0.029 W / m * K;
  • lightweight, which saves space and does not create a load on the building structure;
  • durability
  • ease of manufacture;
  • excellent adhesion to any wall base (brick, concrete, stone, wood, etc.);
  • low level of flammability;
  • no need for additional surface treatment before application, the use of hydro, wind, and steam protection;
  • resistance to temperature extremes;
  • the formation of a one-piece structure without gaps and seams;
  • Environmental friendliness.

Of the shortcomings – such a heater does not tolerate direct exposure to ultraviolet radiation and wears out quickly enough under the sun. It must be protected with plaster or cladding, the frame of which is installed before applying a layer of thermal insulation. 

Spraying technology

The components are pressurized into a spray gun, then applied in a thin layer to the wall. After a couple of seconds, a reaction occurs – a rapid increase in the volume of the solution. The resulting foam solidifies and forms a uniform coating of the thermal insulation. The polyurethane foam is applied in layers until that moment, completely repeating the geometric surface of the wall.


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