Meet Our Staff: Martin “Javi” Arocho! Javi is our Crew Chief for the PRAB Weatherization program. Javi started at PRAB 13 years ago, with little knowledge about weatherization or construction, but gained experience and rigorous training to be our amazing Crew Chief today! So what is weatherization? Weatherization is the practice of protecting a home or building and its interior from typical weather conditions, like sunlight, heat, cool temperatures, wind, and other conditions, to make the home as energy efficient as possible. Weatherizing your home could be as simple as changing an old lightbulb to a more energy efficient bulb, to caulking and resealing windows and attic spaces to conserve heat in the winter.
Javi started as a Weatherization Technician, a person who does the brunt of the physical work that comes with Weatherizing homes. Our techs go to the house and work on improving the overall energy conservation. Our most common weatherization procedure is air-sealing the home. According to Javi, insulation acts just like filter for air to pass through, unless you properly seal it! By air-sealing homes (caulking/foaming in-between walls, filling plumbing chases), homeowners can save some money by making their home better equipped to handle the seasonal temperature changes.
He then worked his way up to being an Auditor for the program. Auditors go to the home of the individual who was approved for inspection to assess the weatherization needs and condition of the house. Each home has a minimum and maximum requirement of projects in order for it to be taken on by PRAB. Each home also needs to be safe for the technicians to work in, therefore homes with asbestos, knob and tube wiring, and mold are considered hazardous and unsafe working conditions.
Finally, Javi became our Crew Chief and Quality Control Inspector (QCI). Because our Weatherization program is funded through grants from the Department of Energy, LIHEAP, and HIP, the QCI’s responsibility is to inspect homes chosen by the aforementioned programs to assure the funds from the grant are being optimally used. It is worth noting that the Weatherization process is completely free to the homeowner! There is no cost for repairs or any part of the process of weatherization for the client. All one needs to do is apply through the application and meet the income eligibility requirements (see below). Our program is always looking for applicants from Middlesex and Mercer County, and we currently need more applicants!
We are thankful for Javi and his crew for all they do! A crew of less than 10 people work on the dozens of applications, appointments, and weatherization of one to two homes per week. A tremendous amount of work is done by a small, but passionate group of men and women to assure homes are improved at no cost to the homeowner. If you, or someone you know is in need of weatherization services and fits within the income eligibility in Mercer and Middlesex Counties, please fill out an application (linked below) and you will hear back from us within two to three weeks.