We live in a 1912 row house that I believe has joist pockets that allow sound and mice to travel freely between me and my neighbors' houses. For instance, my neighbor hired pest control to deal with his mice last winter and one of the dying mice staggered into my living room, clearly in distress from the poison. Assuming my hunch is correct and the joist pockets are to blame, what's the best way to repair them so that mice AND sound are abated? I've already rejected spray foam since mice can chew through it and it lacks sufficient mass to block sound.

  • It's certainly not clear to me what you mean by "deteriorating joist pockets". If my understanding of your problem is correct, mice and noise are the LEAST of your concerns. Joist pockets support the joists which in turn support the brick walls. So it sounds like your home is on the verge of collapse!!
    – jwh20
    Aug 20, 2020 at 13:11
  • This is a common problem (sound and mice) in old row houses, they are structurally sound, but there are gaps between masonry and joists that allow passage of mice and sound. Perhaps deteriorating was too strong of a word. Edited that out. Aug 20, 2020 at 13:34
  • Had to look up what "joist pockets" are. @jwh20 From what I saw online, they support the floor joists, not the brick wall itself (hopefully), but still a serious problem, you are right. Regarding the critters, I've successfully used ultrasonic pest deterrents with some degree of success. The OP might need several in strategic locations, but they do work. Aug 20, 2020 at 13:34

1 Answer 1


The right way to do that would be to use metal flashing, fabricated to go around the joists and abut the pockets. Fill the spaces with metal screen or coarse steel wool (to discourage rodent teeth), followed by the foam for sound deadening, then seal it up with the metal flashing, bent to go flush against the brick and nailed into the joists.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.