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Inselbric Asphalt Siding

Inselbric panels

This giant apartment building in Newport, NH is covered with Inselbric panels. It's possible they were installed before 1940. This wall faces south and the sun has damaged some of the surface. But the other three sides of the building look brand new! Copyright 2017 Tim Carter

Inselbric Asphalt Panel Siding

Inselbric is a discontinued siding product. It was made in a similar manner as today's asphalt shingles.

The product name is often misspelled. A few other common misspellings are:

  • Insulbrick
  • Inselbrick
  • Insulbric

It's important to realize this fascinating product still protects tens of thousands of homes, sheds, barns and business all over the USA and possibly Canada.

It must be remembered it first came to market in October of 1931 and soon dominated the marketplace because it was easy to install, attractive, and was truly maintenance-free. Gone were the days of scraping peeling alkyd paint from wood siding.

Inselbric Trademark

Here's the official US Patent and Trademark Office record of the Inselbric trademark.

For this reason homeowners and businessmen bought millions of square feet of this magic material.

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Interlocking Asphalt-Saturated Wood Fiber Panels

This asphalt siding is an ingenious product. It's about 1/2-inch thick wood fiber panels with interlocking male and female grooves an tongues.

inselbric insulbrick inselbrick

Here's a closeup shot of the side of an Inselbric panel. You can see it's about 1/2-inch thick. Note the asphalt and ceramic granules. Copyright 2017 Tim Carter

Another key point is it goes together exactly like traditional hardwood flooring interlocks. This interlock feature stopped wind-driven rain from harming the structure.

A point often overlooked is the wood fibers were saturated with hot asphalt and colored mineral granules were carefully placed on the panels. This asphalt made it waterproof.

Using lost technology it could be made to look like brick, stone or even wood.

Inselbric Styles and Types

There were five primary styles:

  • 3D-INSELUM
  • INSELSTONE
  • INSELSYDE
  • INSELBRIC
  • INSELWOOD

By far the most popular was the INSELBRIC and INSELSTONE.

Aluminum Siding Kicked It To The Curb

Most building products have their day in the sun. Sunset for this magic siding product happened in the 1960s. Aluminum siding took the marketplace by storm and the returning veterans from WWII didn't want their new houses covered with the material they grew up with.

The demand for all the Insel products dropped off quickly and it was all over.

I wish I could go back in time to see how they distributed the colored ceramic granules as they made the INSELSTONE panels. The 3D effect created by the shadow lines is unbelievable.

advertisement for Inselbric

Here's an advertisement for Inselbric from a May 1954 edition of LIFE magazine. The product was pushed aside in the 1960s by the insane aluminum siding craze. Inselbric had a great 30-year run. Copyright LIFE magazine - Fair Use Doctrine usage

Inselstone Meredith, NH

This is a detached one-car garage covered with INSELSTONE. There's a good chance this material was put on in the 1930s based on its location on Parade Road in Laconia, NH. The material up away from the splatter zone is in brand new condition. Copyright 2017 Tim Carter

inselbric inselbrick inselstone

This is a close up of the INSELSTONE on the Parade Road garage. Pay attention to the striking detail that create shadows as if the panel is 3D. Wouldn't you love to see the manufacturing process that so carefully scattered the colored ceramic granules? I know I would. Copyright 2017 Tim Carter

 

inselbric insulbrick insulbric inselbrick

Here's some of the magic material on a tired home in Meredith, NH on Dow Road. This is a unique photo because the small entryway is covered in the brick pattern yet the main house is covered with a different asphalt siding product. Copyright 2017 Tim Carter

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5 Responses to Inselbric Asphalt Siding

    • It's great material. The INSELSTONE is especially attractive. I'm trying to locate a photo that shows the stunning detail and shadows they created with the colored granules. Magic......

  1. Hi Tim - I too always thought the name was in SUL brick because it had a certain amount of insulating properties. It was great stuff! The century home I had had been re-sided with it over ship lap siding.

    • Albert,

      Absolutely! The panels are wood fiber saturated with asphalt. You bet they'll burn.

      But so will wood siding, vinyl siding and any other flammable material.

      If a house fire is lapping out the windows and doors that much to ignite the outside siding, then it won't take much for the structure to be a total loss.

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