1920 Era Homes Getting a New, Insulated Life

A local firm is taking the green route to sealing and insulating the rock wall and irregular concrete foundations that have been the bane of most of the area’s heritage homes for decades.

Enviro Foam Insulation has a spray foam made of recycled plastic bottles and soy bean oil that fills every nook and cranny of the city’s persistently damp and cold basements.

“The biggest drawback to buying or investing money into older homes is the leaky basements,” says Lloyd Schmidt of Enviro Foam Insulation, who started the franchise in 2008. “When they originally put these homes up the quality of the foundations was not what it is today and before that they used stone.”

Enviro Foam is sprayed directly to a wall where it binds like glue and acts as a vapor barrier. The foam expands once it’s applied and becomes hard in 3 minutes, adding structural integrity to any wall.

The company offers a two-year service warranty but Lloyd says the foam will last as long as the house, and can even increase the life expectancy of the house.

“The only thing that breaks it down is UV light, and this foam won’t be exposed to daylight.”

Lloyd says anyone who uses spray foam insulation will also see a dramatic decrease in their energy bill. “In some cases up to 80 percent on old homes like these.”

Enviro Foam Insulation was started by Steve Baines in Lethbridge, AB and is run by four brothers. The company has four franchises in Alberta and one in The Maritimes, with plans to add 30 more franchises across Canada by the end of next year.

Lloyd is near the end of his first full year in operation and says business is way better than he expected, considering the amount of advertising he’s done.

While Enviro Foam can be used for many applications, the city’s heritage home basements are one of his main focus areas. “Out west they’re spraying a lot of new homes. But here we’re mostly giving old homes a new life.”

For more information check out envirofoaminsulation.com.

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