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Roofing issues zero (low) voc products needed

chemicalFam | Posted in GBA Pro Help on


New to this website and these issues. Hope I am doing this right.

We are in the North East.

We have Severe Chemical Sensitivities and have to repair a small flat black top roof above a bow window (with new materials of course) and mansards (above 1st floor windows kinda like awnings with soffits that are shingled)

We found metal shingles and are testing underlayment but we will have to replace some areas completely. Looikng for suggestions for:

– zero voc (or as close to it) decking that is appropriate for metal shingles

-zero voc (or as close to it) roofing membrane

-zero voc (or as close to it) roofing board (not sure if that is the same as “decking” but a contractors mentioned it)

– zero voc (or as close to it) “sealant”

Yes we will be using contractors but from experience we really have to make sure materials are OK – most people are not made sick the way we are so it’s difficult for them to understand

I realize that is a lot. Any help greatly appreciated

we are in NE and have

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  1. Expert Member


    All the materials you are considering are being installed outside your homes air-barrier. That means there should be no exposure to them by the occupants. More important than choosing those which you don't react to, is making sure that the air-barrier between the interior of the house and the new materials is intact. That goes a long way to mitigating the risk to your family.

    1. chemicalFam | | #3

      Our issue is we are currently having many respiratory problems and allergic reactions with typical roofing materials from work done last year. When the sun hits that mansard even with windows closed the fumes are enuf to make us ill.

      We really do not want to repeat those same errors especially with more extensive work.
      We really hope some one can give some possible recommendation that are far less problematic.

      Low or zero voc - decking (suitable for metal shingles), roofing board, membrane, sealants
      Much appreciated

  2. GBA Editor
    Brian Pontolilo | | #2

    Hi ChemicalFam.

    I think Malcolm is giving you good advice for this particular situation. For sources of low- and no-voc materials, see this article: Indoor air Quality and VOCs

    1. chemicalFam | | #4

      Thanks for the link - we have look ed at those websites and they make our heads spin.

      We were hoping to get specific recommendations on products that people
      have used/ are familiar with.

      We understand for most people these concerns are not an issue.

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