Does Exposed Brick Wall Make a Rowhouse Drafty?

Exposed brick walls can exude a rustic charm and lend a timeless appeal to any rowhouse. Their raw and unvarnished surfaces tell tales of history and create an inviting ambiance that often captures the hearts of homeowners and visitors alike. However, amidst the admiration for their aesthetic beauty, concerns about their functionality may arise. One common question that arises is whether or not exposed brick walls make a rowhouse drafty. In this exploration, we will delve deeper into the relationship between exposed brick walls and the potential for drafts in rowhouses, examining both the advantages and disadvantages of these brick surfaces in terms of insulation, airflow, and overall energy efficiency. By gaining a comprehensive understanding of this topic, homeowners can make informed decisions and implement the necessary measures to ensure both the visual appeal and comfortable living conditions within their beloved rowhouses.

Does Exposed Brick Make a Room Colder?

Exposed brick can add a unique and rustic charm to any room, but one common concern is whether it can make a room colder. In fact, they can actively help in stabilizing internal temperatures. This is due to the fact that heat isn’t able to transfer through brick easily or quickly, even without insulation.

Brick walls have a natural ability to absorb and store heat. During the hottest days of summer, a brick home will remain cooler compared to other materials. This cooling effect is more noticeable on lower levels where the brick walls have direct contact with the ground, allowing even more stabilization of internal temperatures.

However, it’s important to note that brick alone isn’t sufficient to provide insulation in extremely cold climates. In areas with harsh winters, additional insulation may be necessary to prevent heat loss.

They’re particularly beneficial during hot summer months, as they can help to keep a room cooler, especially on lower levels.

The Thermal Properties of Different Building Materials: Comparing How Brick, Concrete, Wood, and Other Materials Affect the Temperature of a Room.

The thermal properties of building materials, such as brick, concrete, wood, and others, refer to how they influence the temperature inside a room. Different materials have varying abilities to conduct, absorb, and store heat energy. These properties are important as they impact the energy efficiency, comfort, and overall performance of a building. By analyzing and comparing the thermal characteristics of these materials, architects and engineers can design structures that maintain optimal room temperatures and reduce energy consumption.

Adding insulation to exposed brick walls is crucial for energy efficiency. While the raw charm of exposed brick may make you feel warmer, it actually contributes to significant energy loss. To combat this, incorporating rigid foam insulation board, covered with siding, onto the exterior walls can effectively retain warmth and reduce heat loss. By addressing this insulation issue, you can save valuable energy dollars and enhance the overall efficiency of your home.

Is Exposed Brick Bad for Insulation?

Exposed brick walls may make a room feel cozy and add a touch of rustic charm, but when it comes to insulation, they can be quite inefficient. Despite the warm aesthetic they provide, these walls are notorious for robbing homeowners of significant energy dollars. Without proper insulation, heat easily escapes through the porous nature of brick, causing unnecessary energy loss and higher utility bills.

To combat this issue, many experts recommend adding rigid foam insulation board to the outside walls, which can then be covered with siding. This combination serves a dual purpose – not only does it keep the entire wall warm by reducing heat loss, but it also improves energy efficiency, resulting in substantial savings on heating bills.

Rigid foam insulation board is an excellent choice for insulating brick walls due to it’s high insulation value and easy installation. It possesses impressive thermal resistance properties, effectively blocking heat transfer from inside to outside. By creating a barrier between the brick wall and the exterior, this insulation method provides a much-needed buffer, preventing the cold air from permeating into the living space.

Moreover, the addition of siding further reinforces the insulation. Siding provides an additional layer of protection against the elements, shielding the foam insulation board from moisture, wind, and other potential damage. With this combination, brick walls can finally become more energy-efficient, allowing homeowners to enjoy not only the charm of exposed brick but also lower utility bills and improved comfort.

Different Types of Insulation for Brick Walls: Discuss the Various Options Available for Insulating Exposed Brick Walls, Such as Spray Foam Insulation, Cellulose Insulation, or Fiberglass Insulation.

  • Spray foam insulation
  • Cellulose insulation
  • Fiberglass insulation


However, it’s important to note that there are differing opinions on this matter. While Chris Alexakis highlights the potential risks of exposed brick, others argue that when properly constructed and maintained, it can enhance the aesthetic appeal and character of a building.

Is Exposed Brick a Bad Idea?

Exposed brick has been a popular design trend in recent years, with many homeowners embracing the rustic charm it can bring to a space. However, building contractor Chris Alexakis warns against the potential dangers associated with exposed brick. One of the main concerns is the presence of flammable materials in the mortar joints between the bricks. These materials, such as sawdust or sand, can act as fuel if the brick is exposed to a fire.

Furthermore, exposed brick may also be more prone to moisture damage. Without a protective layer, the brick is directly exposed to the elements, including rainwater and humidity. Over time, this can lead to deterioration and compromise the structural integrity of the wall, potentially causing problems such as leaks or cracks.

Additionally, the rough texture of exposed brick can make cleaning and maintenance challenging. Dust, dirt, and other particles can accumulate in the crevices, making it difficult to keep the surface clean and free from allergens. This can be a concern for individuals with respiratory issues or allergies.

Moreover, the aesthetic appeal of exposed brick may diminish over time. As it ages, the brick may fade or become discolored, losing it’s initial charm. Restoring the original appearance of the brick can be a time-consuming and costly process.

Alternatives to Exposed Brick: Explore Other Design Options That Can Achieve a Similar Look to Exposed Brick Without the Associated Drawbacks, Such as Brick Veneer or Faux Brick Wallpaper.

If you’re looking to achieve the rustic charm of exposed brick without the limitations, there are some alternatives to consider. Brick veneer, for example, provides a similar look by creating a thin layer of authentic brick on your walls without the heavy weight or structural concerns. Another option is faux brick wallpaper, which replicates the appearance of brick through high-quality printed designs, offering a cost-effective and easy-to-install alternative. These alternatives allow you to embrace the aesthetic appeal of exposed brick without any of the drawbacks typically associated with it.


While it’s true that brick is a porous material that can allow drafts to pass through, other factors such as insulation, weather sealing, and the overall condition of the building play a significant role in determining the extent of draftiness. It’s essential to evaluate the specific circumstances of each individual rowhouse to gauge the impact of an exposed brick wall on it’s thermal comfort. Professional advice and thorough assessment are crucial in making informed decisions regarding any potential insulation or weatherproofing measures necessary to mitigate drafts and maintain a comfortable living environment.

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