Inappropriately Weatherized Houses

The Story

Many new techniques for weatherizing houses have fallen short of preservation standards. Many homes are undergoing updates that deteriorate the historic fabric of the structure.

The Threat

Due to global climate change, recent spokes in energy costs, and the economic recession, the methods for weatherizing houses have become detrimental to the historic fabric of these houses. The building supply industry has accelerated marketing of materials, some of which are not advantageous for existing and historic buildings, especially replacement windows.

 “Weatherization is a priority for Maine homeowners and over one quarter of Maine’s housing stock was built before 1940,” stated Executive Director Greg Paxton. “Many of the building materials and weatherization techniques being marketed right now may not be advantageous for existing and historic buildings in terms of cost savings, architectural integrity and structural durability. That’s why it is urgent for us to highlight this issue on this year’s Most Endangered List.”

 The Solution

Equally effective and much more inexpensive solutions can achieve the same performance improvements while not risking damage to the historic structural systems. In the case of windows, many solutions exist such as installation of storm windows, shades and curtains, wood stoves or thermostat adjustment are viable options.