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On insulating/air sealing an old stone or brick homes

1819 Views 8 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Windows on Wash

First post - a question. Apologies for being clueless; I was not able to find an answer via searching the forum.

I'm house shopping in an area with lots of old stone and brick houses (100-150 yrs old) that are drafty and energy inefficient. Can these homes be made airtight without using spray foam and without removing the wooden framing?

Is it possible install foam panels between and inside the framing, creating thicker walls but achieving airtightness and greater R-value? Wouldn't that trap the wooden framing in a cold and moist space between the (Taped) foam panels and the stone wall, creating a mold risk?

Can rigid foam panels be installed between joists using spray foam at the edges, to minimize the use of spray foam and still achieve some airtightness?
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Thank you both.

The house will be outside of Philadelphia; It gets cold and it gets hot. We're in Climate zone 4.
What is the wall construction in terms of layers?
Well, I am looking at a number of houses, and I have not opened them up. Most are constructed around 1900, some before some after. I guess if I knew the exact layers of construction, my question would be easy to answer.

The typical house is stone or stone/brick and has reasonably thick walls. They appear to leak air. Energy costs are generally high - 400-600 dollars/month.

My question is just that if you have a stone wall house, you obviously cannot go through the stone to put in rigid foam insulation. So unless you want to take the frame out also, you have to go between joists and on the inside of the frame - but can that even airseal a house?
How do you air seal an existing stone house? If it dries outwards, I suppose you can seal from the inside; if it dries inwards do you have to seal against the stone, using something like spray foam?
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