YouthBuild Joins Alton Greater United & Rebuilding Together to Weatherize Homes

Welcome once again to the Builiding Futures YouthBuild AmeriCorps blog!

As the cold front approaches us and we start to pack away those warm weather clothes (and activities) until next spring, people, somewhat like bears, retreat into their homes to hibernate. Unless you are person who loves cold weather, most people are packing on the layers and running for shelter, spending less time outdoors and more time indoors.

With the cold front in mind, Building Futures continues their service of the community by partnering with Greater Alton United and Rebuilding Together. Greater Alton United is composed of members from various non-profits, who have a common interest in improving the quality of life in the Alton area. Greater Alton United deals with issues including but not limited to: youth and education, environment and sustainability, beautification, and economic and community development.

Recently, Alton Greater United was awarded $15,000 dollars to complete weatherization work to 15 homes. Alton Greater United has partnered with Rebuilding Together to perform the scope of work. Rebuilding Together works to preserve affordable home ownership and revitalize neighborhoods by performing home repairs and renovations free of charge to residents. Building Futures will work in conjunction with Rebuilding Together on two of these homes.

students working

YouthBuild students work on weatherizing a door.

So what is this weatherization work that Building Futures will be performing? We will begin by examining exactly what is weatherization. First I’ll give you the technical jargon and then I’ll break it down in layman terms.

According Wikipedia, weatherization or weatherproofing is the practice of protecting a building and its interior from the elements, particularly from sunlight and cold and modifying a building to reduce energy consumption and optimize energy efficiency.

heat transfer

Image Source: All in One Insulation

So why is weatherization so important, and what does it have to do with sunlight and cold weather? Well let’s put our chemistry hats on while I explain… Weatherization and energy efficiency equates to coolness in the summer and heat in the winter demonstrated in the picture above. The more energy efficient your home is the better it will hold the heat you need to keep you warm during these winter months, which are fast approaching.

Heat is transferred in three ways but for the sake of this blog we will only deal with one, convection.

According to Edinformatics, convection is the transfer of heat from hot places to cold places. Convection occurs when warmer areas of a gas rise to cooler areas in the gas. Cooler gas then takes the place of the warmer areas, which have risen higher. This results in a continuous circulation pattern. The picture below is a physical representation of your home and how the convection process works.

As promised, in layman terms, your house releases hot air out of your home and lets in cold air in a continuous cycle. The more energy efficient your home is the less cold air will seep in and the less hot air will be released. The more air you keep in the less your bill is a month! The more air you let out the more energy you will use to keep your house warm, hence increasing your bill, which we can all do without.

The weatherization work that Building Futures performed included, replacing interior doors and storm doors; replacing drop steps and weather stripping around the front and back doors; securing windows shut in basement; replacing railing on back porch; replacing a 4-foot-by-8-foot decking on back porch, replacing 12 steps and handrails; bracketing the roof to house; and hanging three 32-inch storm doors.

To learn more about weatherizing your home, visit

I hope you have enjoyed this short lesson on the transfer of heat and the importance of maximizing your homes energy efficiency.

Until the next time signing off…

Pat Mays
YouthBuild Coordinator

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?”
~ Dr. Martin Luther King


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