What Did you Expect? Part 2

Where is that odor coming from and will it make me sick?  Why are the roofers set up right in front of the main entrance to the office?  In my last post I wrote about the issues of dirt and noise that come with most construction projects.  Today I’m going to write about odors and access.

  • Odors There are a variety of smells which can come from a re-roofing project.  They depend mostly on the type of materials being used.  Hot asphalt is one of the most notable odors.  This can be used for  a built-up roof , a modified system or adhesion of insulation to the deck.  It can be controlled to an extent by the type and location of the equipment.  Here is a link to some facts about roofing asphalt  facts about asphalt.   But the traditional asphalt is not the only roofing material with an odor.

More recently some people have come to object to the fumes coming from the application of solvents or adhesives.  Here is a link to a Technical Information Sheet by Firestone Building Products  Firestone Recommended Guidelines.  Several companies have begun to address this issue with the introduction of low VOC (volatile organic compound) adhesives.  These are more expensive and still have an odor to them.  Some areas of the country are beginning to legislate the use of these materials.

The location of air intakes into the building should be noted.  Occasionally certain air intakes may be able to be blocked while that area of the roof is being worked on.  It may also be possible to utilize a fan to direct the fumes away from the air intakes.

  • Access It is of great benefit to both the person handling the project for the owner and the contractor to go over all of these items in advance.  They should definitely be addressed before the start of the project and hopefully before the proposal in made.
    • Set Up: What area is the contractor going to use to stage his materials?  Will there be cranes or lifts needed?  How large of an area do they need?    Will there be any items stored on the ground?  Will they need to block any doors or cover any windows?
    • Electricity: Will the contractor be using electricity on site or will they be bringing their own generators?
    • Water: Will the contractor need water from the site to control dust or flood test any areas?
    • Path: What path will the workers take to get to the roof?  Will they need entry to the building to utilize a roof hatch or will they go up an outside ladder?
    • Facilities: Will the roofers be providing a portable toilet?  If so where will it be located?

I hope that you find these items helpful as you prepare for your next roofing project.  I have thought of a few other issues and will be adding a Part 3 soon.


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