LINCOLN, Maine — One down, at least three to go.
The Lincoln Winterization Program, in which elderly, ailing or underprivileged residents who qualify get their homes insulated for free, kicked off Wednesday with a Wasau Circle trailer getting insulated by Jerry Davis and David Lloyd.
The volunteers insulated pipes under the trailer, caulked seams to doors, resecured a loose door, put an insulation blanket around a water heater, and skirted the trailer with black plastic, Davis said. They also caulked and used polystyrene foam on cracks and holes on the trailer’s sides.
“We made it pretty much windproof,” Davis said Thursday. “The homeowner was very appreciative.”
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 in 2007.
Mayo began the program in September 2008, 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.
The work Davis, the town code enforcement officer, and Lloyd, the town’s Public Works Department director, did on Wednesday helped keep cold drafts out of the trailer, keeping it warmer inside as the mercury falls.
The materials used were donated or paid for by grants and donations Mayo secured. Wherever possible, the homeowner will buy the materials used, Mayo has said. She also is 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.
Five other volunteers will help Davis and Lloyd with at least three more clients who have qualified for aid, Davis said. Mayo also still is seeking clients to help.
“Gilberte gets the grants and we do the work,” Davis said.
“I like to help people out who can’t really afford to help themselves to keep warm this winter, cut down on the heating and electric bills and put less burden on them,” Davis said. “I am lucky enough to have a job and healthy enough to do it.”
People who want their home insulated should contact Mayo as soon as possible, if only to give the volunteers a break. The sooner the work is scheduled, the more likely it is that the volunteers won’t be working in freezing temperatures.
A state-certified weatherization technician, Nick Sambides Jr. is one of the volunteers insulating homes in Lincoln.