LINCOLN, Maine — Penny Nash could feel the difference as soon as she got through the door.
“When I walked in, it felt warmer,” Nash, 47, said Sunday. “Usually when I walk in, the heat comes right on immediately. This time it didn’t.”
That’s probably because town code enforcement officer Jerry Davis and Public Works Department director David Lloyd spent about four hours Sunday insulating Nash’s trailer and a neighboring trailer on Taylor Street.
The two are among a half dozen residents who have volunteered, as part of a town program, to help insulate the homes of senior citizens, residents with disabilities or people who cannot afford to insulate their homes themselves.
Town Administrative Assistant Gilberte Mayo’s initiative has its roots in the state’s Keep ME Warm Program, in which the state distributed simple home heating insulation kits to residents. Three volunteers from St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Winn, all retirees, helped insulate homes last year.
Mayo began the program in September, when heating oil costs were at record highs, because she and other town officials said they feared for residents who couldn’t afford to pay to heat their homes.
“We have helped out people before, Dave and I, over the last several years, but this is the first time it’s been part of a program,” Davis said Sunday.
One year, Lloyd and Davis gave leftover firewood to one trailer resident in town and insulated the underside of the trailer, Lloyd said.
Davis and Lloyd repaired the metal skirts to the trailers and wrapped them in black plastic, securing the plastic with screws and wooden slats. This helped prevent or lessen the draft running under the trailers, they said.
“Open areas are obviously spots where the wind can get in,” Lloyd said. “If you fix the metal and add the plastic, you get twice the insulation you had before.”
Nash, who said she is partially disabled and couldn’t do the work herself, was grateful for the assistance.
Davis and Lloyd said they are willing to help insulate other homes, but are concerned that a heavy snowfall or other inclement weather will soon make it impossible.
Wherever possible, the homeowner will buy the materials used, Mayo said. She is also looking for donations, businesses or social service agencies that would help provide insulating materials. Anyone interested in donating time, money, advice or supplies to the insulation program, or who needs help insulating a home, should telephone Mayo at 794-3372 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any major home heating deficiencies discovered will be referred to Penquis or other social service agencies that can help, Mayo has said.
Nick Sambides Jr. is one of the volunteers insulating homes in the Lincoln area.