Although the thick walls of a brick home can help protect the inhabitants from the cold, you should consider adding insulation to help your home retain heat more efficiently. Improving the insulation benefits you and the environment, and the initial investment cost will quickly be recouped through the energy bill savings that you will make. There are a number of different measures you can take to insulate your home and these are detailed below.
Step 1 - Insulate the Attic
Increasing or replacing your attic insulation is one of the quickest ways to improve your home's energy efficiency and keep the house warm in winter and cool in the summer. Don't overload the insulation though — the house needs to be able to breathe a little to prevent moisture build up. Inserting baffles between the insulation and the wall joists will allow the air some freedom to move.
Baffles can be made yourself from heavy cardboard or bought from a home improvement store and should also be placed on the attic floor. Check the depth and state of repair of the existing insulation. If any areas are stained with animal droppings, you should replace the insulation and ensure that the surrounding area is completely dry. Wear gloves and a mask when handling any soiled materials and place it all in a bag before taking it through your house.
If there is no soiling, you can place a new layer of insulation directly on top of the old one. Cover the insulation with plywood boards to prevent it being trampled on if you need to access the attic. Make sure that the insulation does not get packed together under the plywood. It will work best if the air can move through it.
Step 2 - Insulate the Basement
If your brick home has a basement then there are a few steps you can take to improve the insulation down there. Seal the walls to close any gaps or cracks and help prevent water ingress. Even if the basement is not converted to be used as an additional room, you can improve its insulation by applying rigid foam wall insulation to wooden boards on the wall then cover them with a thin layer of insulation plastic. Use glue to stick the wooden boards to the wall then a tack gun to secure the insulating plastic to the foam insulation.
Step 3 - Add Weather Stripping
One of the main areas for improvement in any home is the sealing of windows and doors. Go round the home checking the seals and apply weather stripping or replace caulking as required. If there are gaps under your doors, you can install draught-excluding metal or plastic strips to them.
Step 4 - Check the Garage Door
Check whether your garage door closes securely and has insulation. If it doesn't, you should look into getting it fixed or buying a replacement that has insulation included. Apply vapor barrier backed insulation to the walls of the garage by attaching it to wall studs with a tack gun. Seal any joints with caulking.