Although Seminole (Texas) H.S. is occupied during re-roofing, the use of low-odor asphalt should alleviate concerns about fumes and VOCs. Photo: Courtesy of Construction Services
Jeff McMenamy's newest roofing job is also the largest one on which he's using TrueLo Max Lo Odor, a new low-fuming asphalt from Owens Corning for built-up roofing systems.
McMenamy is general manager of Construction Services, a Tecta America Company, Amarillo, Texas, and that new job involves re-roofing Seminole (Texas) High School. The 220,000-sf project is expected to take six to eight months to complete, and with the bulk of the work occurring while the school is occupied by more than 600 students and faculty, McMenamy needed an asphalt that would keep fumes, odors, and VOCs to a minimum.
"The majority of schools in our market are now requiring low-odor, low-fuming asphalts to alleviate any discomfort and make the job as environmentally friendly as possible," says McMenamy. He adds that a low-odor, more environmentally friendly product is a no-brainer for any occupied building—school, medical facility, dormitory, multifamily project—whether or not it's required. "Any building with ongoing operations or multiple tenants would be a candidate," he says. "In our business, the more people there are, the more likely you are to get complaints, or worse."
McMenamy says that using TrueLo Max Lo Odor is no different than using traditional asphalt—basically heat and apply. According to Owens Corning, the product is the first asphalt product for built-up roofing systems to combine fume suppression at the kettle (trapping 90% of the fumes) with low odor on the roof (by reducing the amount of odor-causing compounds on application by 55%). The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health says the asphalt's fume-reducing skim layer of polymer ingredients helps improve air quality by greatly reducing the discharge of VOCs.
McMenamy says his crew appreciates not having to smell and breathe in asphalt all day long. "My guys, they love it," he says, "but it's an even bigger deal to everyone inside the building."