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{home and garden}

Max Insulation: A “Do Good” Business Model by Catherine Plume, photos Andrea Lee

M

ichael “Max” Grove is the proud owner of Max Insulation, a Capitol Hill-based business that specializes in making old homes comfortable and energy efficient. Grove knows and understands old houses. In addition to being a licensed general contractor he is certified in building science principles by the Building Performance Institute (BPI). This certification requires a thorough “whole house” understanding of the factors that make an old home comfortable, from evaluating building materials to mechanicals, insulation, internal air quality, and moisture. Grove notes, “It’s a rigorous program that requires a lot of testing and field work with specialists.” Grove has lived on the Hill since 2010. “What attracted me to the DC market was that 90 percent of attics in DC homes are under insulated. That’s not unusual as most Capitol Hill homes are 80 to 100 years old, and insulation wasn’t an integral part of their construction. But an under-insulated attic means that there is significant heating and cooling loss,” notes Grove. The US Department of Energy estimates that a home daily loses 30 percent of its (hot or cold) conditioned air through a poorly insulated attic. “Meanwhile, most accessible unfinished crawlspaces underneath DC homes are either not insulated or not insulated correct-

ly,” explains Grove. “These crawlspaces are a major source of cold and moist air that make homes cold, drafty, and raise the relative humidity inside. Nobody I know enjoys being cold in their own home.” Max Insulation provides whole-house weatherization to ensure greater comfort and improved energy efficiency. “The materials we use include fiberglass, cellulose, rock wool, open- and closed-cell polyurethane spray foam, and rigid foam board,”

Max with Nick Gibbs, Manager for Max Insulation

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notes Grove. “We work on attics, walls, and crawlspaces. We also build storage platforms in attics and install attic stairs. Additionally we do a fair amount of sound insulation work. Importantly for Capitol Hill, we’ve developed a quick and cost-effective way to sound-insulate English basement ceilings to minimize sound transfer between floors. We deliver on our promise by being technically competent with a social purpose that benefits the Hill.”

Hill Rag Magazine February 2016  

Our flagship publication delivering all of your news from the Capitol Hill area of Washington, DC

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