2012-11-16 / Health & Medical

New High R-Value, Eco-Friendly Insulation Comes to Maine

After 9 years of testing in older buildings throughout the upper Midwest, RetroFoam, a new superinsulation technology, is available to homeowners in Maine. Injected from outside, it fills gaps and cracks around existing wall insulation - or it can completely fill empty cavities that are not insulated at all. Perhaps the best news is that RetroFoam is totally environmentally friendly. And its performance reduces the chances of related hazards like mold, allergies, and fire.

Until today, expanding spray foams were the only way to achieve superinsulation, but their use is often inappropriate for existing houses. Firstly, though the average home loses the most heat through the walls, retrofitting for spray foam requires a costly, lengthy and messy tear out project. Also, the high cost of these foams and their potential health hazards have put off both consumers and construction professionals. “In researching the differences between RetroFoam and “spray foam” products, it’s apparent that RetroFoam will fast become a leader in the renovation market,” says Eric Hallee, Vice President of Chase Custom Homes. “The environmental benefits have real meaning to the consumer. RetroFoam doesn’t have the potentially harmful vapors. It is very impressive that installers do not need protective gear.”

The quaintly named insulation contractor, Home Snuggers, Inc., is a family business in Windham that recently was awarded RetroFoam installation and distribution rights for Maine. “We’re very pleased to be associated with RetroFoam and its leading edge in sustainability and green technology,” says Mark Walker, Home Snuggers’ General Manager. “Our focus is solely on retrofitting existing homes and buildings throughout southern Maine. Years into the future, as far down the road as anyone can see, energy costs are not going down. We plan to be there with healthy, affordable products, and the integrity of a good neighbor in the community.”

Scientific testing ranks RetroFoam highest in R-Value per inch of anything for existing homes. It’s also a Class I fire retardant. Installation usually takes one day. And it’s injected from the outside so there’s no interior preparation needed. Dan Edwards of Bridgton had their home “snugged“ in November. “We’ve noticed a difference in our heat use already,” said Edwards. “We’ll probably use at least one less tank this year. And the house is quieter – a plus here on Rt. 302.”

Deborah King of Cape Elizabeth spoke of one cold, sunny morning, “I walked into the office and exclaimed, ‘It is so hot in here. You have to turn the heat down.’ Apparently the RetroFoam is working: the heat wasn’t even on!” According to Walker, Home Snuggers still has openings in their autumn schedule for new customers. But, it would seem, not for long.

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