Bonding Adhesive and Its Smell

Aug 19, 2021

When roofing contractors use bonding adhesives on a commercial building with a flat or low-sloped roof, you can usually smell it as soon as the can opens!

To adhere materials to a roof, like EPDM membranes, synthetic rubber, tar paper, insulation boards, felt, and various other materials, roofing contractors use a variety of different adhesives.

However, many standard roof bonding adhesive methods require cold application methods. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t the heat-applied adhesives that smell the most. it’s the cold-applied adhesives.

These cold application methods are usually brushed, rolled, or sprayed onto the roof. 

Oftentimes these products let out a foul odor, which lasts until the product has dried and set.

The unpleasant smells caused by the application of roofing bonding adhesive can lower the indoor air quality of every building in the vicinity. Roof bonding adhesive fumes can be so concentrated that they linger in the air for a long time. This is especially true on buildings where rooftop units are pulling air into the building from the roof.

Odors and foul smells can disrupt the building’s occupants. So, how can the vapors, fumes, and unpleasant smells generated by roof bonding adhesives be mitigated? Here are three tips.

Related: 4 Reasons To Avoid Built-Up Roof Systems

Planning and Logistics

Roofing contractors can work early morning or off-hours to maintain indoor air quality for local businesses or residents. Roofing work could be commenced far away from ventilation intakes as well. 

If possible, the contractors could also temporarily shut down ventilation intakes.While this may add to the project’s cost and will very likely add to the length of the project, it is worth considering in some circumstances.

Choosing the right adhesive

Not all adhesives smell alike. Spray and water-based adhesives tend to have a far lower odor than standard rolled-on bonding adhesives. 

Alternatively, in some cases, walls and rooftop units can be installed with plates and fasteners instead of adhesives, eliminating the odor altogether.

Limiting adhesives used

Using mechanically attached or rhinobond roof systems significantly reduces the number of adhesives used on a project. 

Typically, these products only use adhesives on walls, rooftop units, and other details, which is marginal versus the entire roof system.

Call Us

Do you need professional guidance on mitigating the smell caused by roof bonding adhesive application? 

Contact Chaffee Roofing today.

The expert roofing professionals at Chaffee Roofing have decades of experience and know-how to assist you.

Schedule a roof inspection with Chaffee Roofing today.

Related: Ballasted Roof Repair

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