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ARCHITECTURE & BUILDING COMPONENT ID
AGE of a BUILDING - how to determine
ALGAE, FUNGUS, LICHENS, MOSS
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN BUILDINGS
BATH & KITCHEN DESIGN GUIDE
BEST CONSTRUCTION PRACTICES GUIDE
BRICK VENEER WALL LOOSE, BULGED
BRICK WALL DRAINAGE WEEP HOLES
CAULKS & SEALANTS, EXTERIOR
CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
COLUMNS & POSTS, DEFECTS
DECK & PORCH CONSTRUCTION
DEFINITION of DRY-IN or DRY-BOX
DEFINITIONS of ENGINEERED WOOD OSB LVL etc
DRYWELLS, FRENCH DRAINS for FLAT SITES
EIFS & STUCCO EXTERIORS
EXTERIOR WALL SIDING TRIM & FINISHES
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FOUNDATION CRACKS & DAMAGE GUIDE
GALVANIC SCALE & METAL CORROSION
GUTTERS & DOWNSPOUTS
ROOF ICE DAM LEAKS
INSECT INFESTATION / DAMAGE
KIT HOMES, Aladdin, Sears, Wards, Others
KITCHEN & BATH DESIGN GUIDE
LEAD POISONING HAZARDS GUIDE
LIGHTING, EXTERIOR GUIDE
LIGHTING, INTERIOR GUIDE
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
MOLD DETECTION & INSPECTION GUIDE
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
PAINT & STAIN GUIDE, EXTERIOR
PAINT FALURE, DIAGNOSIS, CURE, PREVENTION
PAINT FAILURE DICTIONARY
PORCHES & Sunrooms
PORCH CONSTRUCTION & SCREENING
RAILINGS, DECK & PORCH
RETAINING WALL DESIGNS, TYPES, DAMAGE
ROOF ARCHITECTURAL STYLES - PHOTO GUIDE
ROT, TIMBER ASSESSMENT
SEPTIC SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
SHEATHING, GYPSUM BOARD
FIBERBOARD SHEATHING, Celotex Homasote & Other
SHEATHING, FOIL FACED - VENTS
SIDING TYPES, INSTALLATION, DEFECTS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
STAIRS, RAILINGS, LANDINGS, RAMPS
STONE SURFACE CLEANING METHODS
STONE VENEER WALLS
STUCCO WALL METHODS & INSTALLATION
THERMAL EXPANSION CRACKS in BRICK
THERMAL IMAGING, THERMOGRAPHY
VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION in BUILDINGS
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
WALL CONSTRUCTION BARRIER vs CAVITY
WATER ENTRY in BUILDINGS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
This article describes brick wall lining or "insulation" in buildings, why it was used, what problems may occur, and the inspection methods and clues to detect brick lined walls in older homes (sometimes called Brick Nogging) and discusses the implications of brick wall liners in buildings. Non-structural bricks were used to line the exterior walls in some pre-1900 wood frame buildings primarily an air infiltration or wind barrier, possibly as "insulation" or for thermal mass, and possibly as a "sound proofing" method. Readers should also see THERMAL MASS IN BUILDINGS.
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Often these brick-lined wood-framed homes were built with balloon stud framing, no exterior sheathing (they used diagonal bracing), and exterior clapboards right on the studs. In homes framed in this manner, if the exterior wall cavities were left empty, the walls were drafty and uninsulated. Some homes, such as the Weisman home in Montgomery NY (shown above) and another home photographed by Arlene Puentes (shown below), were built with brick-lined walls, bricks being mortared in between the studs on all floors and even extending into the attic.
Other benefits of this design included fire stopping effects and added thermal mass to the building, making temperature changes less rapid and thus the house more comfortable. The presence of brick in wood frame wall cavities, such as in the photograph shown at the top of this page (Courtesy Joe and Beth Weisman) may help determine the age of a building.
The condition of the brick "nogging" may also be an important indicator of the building leak history.
Also see BRICK VENEER WALL AIR LEAKS for a discussion of modern insulation methods for brick veneer walls.
An owner of such a home usually finds out about the brick in the home walls at the first renovation or wiring or plumbing project. But a home inspector and home buyer might also be able to detect brick-lined walls and should be interested in what this construction method might mean to the new owner.
These bricks are not structural, and they were simply mortared in place between wood framed wall studs and rested on the sill plates of each floor. It would be unusual to find brick wall linings in interior walls unless at one time the "interior" wall was at one time a building exterior wall structure.
Brick Nogging was generally not intended to be exposed to view, and served the purpose of blocking wind that blew through older homes constructed without an exterior sheathing - clapboards were nailed directly to the structural frame. Typical wall construction was stud framing, 16" o.c., diagonal wood bracing in walls, clapboard exterior, rough masonry wall filler on all floors and extending into the attic. Interior walls were covered by plaster on wood lath.
Opening walls filled with brick nogging or other masonry will often reveal rough and varying styles of masonry (as it was not intended to be seen) that went in fast. The masons may have used a variety of bricks and rubble. I [DF] suspect that this construction method may have been adopted by builders who had observed the short life and pest infestation problems that followed colonial and later attempts at wall insulation using natural materials like straw and corncobs.
Websters Dictionary gives this definition: "Nogging: (?), n. Rough brick masonry used to fill in the interstices of a wooden frame, in building."
Because brick (or other masonry) placed in building cavities as a wind barrier and thermal mass source was in that use not intended to be exposed, you can expect to see the workmanship quite rough in appearance and inconsistent from one building area to another (as any and various masonry material at hand might be used) compared with masonry intended to be left exposed to view.
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