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joyjoy45

Mysterious odor! Can a new roof installation make your house sti

joyjoy45
11 years ago

My sister has smelled an odor in her house for about three months or so. It began after she had a hail-damaged roof replaced with dimensional shingles.

This odor doesn't necessarily always permeate the whole house (but it sometimes does). You can sometimes smell it more in one room or part of the house than in others. Sometimes you just seem to run into a pocket of it or it just wafts by you. It is present in the garage.

Some have described the odor as chemical, ashy, and/or sweet. It is more pronounced for and offensive to my sister than to others, but others have definitely smelled it.

She has made many phone calls, had various professional people come to her home, and picked the brain of everyone she can think of. Her house is nine or ten years old, and the only things different are the new roof, a heating/cooling unit which was replaced a year or so ago, and a prefinished wood floor which was installed in one room last fall. The heating/cooling unit has been thoroughly inspected with no problems. Pieces of the flooring have been placed in an air tight bag or heated in the microwave to see if they would give off any odor. They didn't.

The roofer came back and made sure that nothing was covered on the roof that shouldn't be. But she later found a piece of a roofing tile and broke it. What she smelled on the "inside" of the roofing tile is what she is smelling in her house.

We have been telling ourselves that you probably couldn't smell your roof inside your house, but I read online today that differing barometric pressures from outside to inside could cause odors to be pulled inside.

Has anybody else had or heard of a similar situation??? Any info at all would be so appreciated. She is at her wit's end!!!

Comments (98)

  • HU-72239241
    3 years ago

    Mr. Toxcrusadr,


    I have been overwhelmed by the different air filters out there. I have copied a brand from the Amazon site and wonder in your opinion if it is good for the petroleum/gasoline smell I had stated we are living with. I think it has a carbon filter amongst it's layers. Its the : WAGNER Switzerland Premium Air Purifier H886, Swiss i-Sense Technology, for Rooms up to 500 sq.ft Removes 99.97% of Mold, Odors, Dust, Smoke, Allergens and Germs, True HEPA Filter 5-Stage Purification.

    Or can you direct me to the correct type of carbon filter unit to cover 500 sq ft?

  • toxcrusadr
    3 years ago

    That Wagner sure looks like it has charcoal layers. I suspect some machines have more charcoal in their filter cartridges than others, but I couldn't tell you what's good off the top of my head. So, I googled "recommended charcoal air purifiers" to find info on machines that are recommended specifically for their charcoal filtering aspect. Found the following articles:


    https://www.householdme.com/best-charcoal-air-purifier-buying-guide-and-top-5/

    https://wiki.ezvid.com/best-charcoal-air-purifiers


    You'll have to look through and see what fits your price range, style etc.


    I would also check how much the replacement filters cost just so you know what you're getting into. I would think a good carbon filter should hold a lot of 'stuff' (the microscopic surface area is huge) but with your situation who knows.

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  • toxcrusadr
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    You could also consider renting an ozone generator but you really can't be home when you're doing that, it will give you a headache, and besides it sounds like this could go on for awhile before the odor dissipates.

    Can you imagine working in the factory where they make that roofing? :-o

  • HU-72239241
    3 years ago

    Would the air purifier called the Molekule work? It states it works on VOC's but I do not know if it would work with my type of VOC that smells like petroleum/gasoline . This unit does not have a carbon filter due to new technology. What do you think? Again thank you so much for your time helping me research.


  • toxcrusadr
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I looked at their info including a couple of papers, and the thing does appear to destroy a variety of VOCs. We don't really know specifically what you're dealing with, but I would guess hydrocarbons, phenols, perhaps some sulfur and nitrogen containing organics. I would expect most if not all of those to be susceptible to this kind of treatment. Note, this is an educated guess, so I can't promise anything. But it seems like it would work, assuming the machine does what they claim. Their tests were done on a hydrocarbon (toluene), a ketone (acetone) and d-limonene (a heavier and more complex hydrocarbon). It seems like the thing chews up pretty much everything organic.

    There is more actual data here than you would normally find, and they had tests run by a University of MN lab and showed the results. It looks more like actual science than most other manufacturers will publish to back up their claims. The machine is expensive but it most likely works. And there would be no carbon filters to replace - it doesn't filter the VOCs, it chemically destroys them to produce mostly CO2 and water. A carbon filter will work until it becomes saturated, and then it has to be replaced.

  • toxcrusadr
    3 years ago

    One thing I would ask them, if you are considering buying the Molekule, is how long the ceramic catalytic element lasts - is it permanent or does it become ineffective and require replacement? If so, they probably can't promist how long it will last because it depends on what's being put through it. At least you can find out what a repacement element costs, so you'll be prepared for that.

  • HU-72239241
    3 years ago

    That was wonderful insight. I would never have thought to ask those questions. There is another purifier I am going to look into. Equally as expensive but this one has a carbon filter and is supposed to be medically approved. I am going to see if it is still manufactured. I believe it is a brand called ORANSI. Model EJ120. Hepa medical grade Merv 17. I don't know if it does VOC's. Or, even what that all means.

  • toxcrusadr
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    HEPA is short for a high grade of particulate filter (High Efficiency Particle Air filter). You don't really need that for odors, they're not particles (well, they're molecule sized ones, which can't be filtered). Carbon should work on VOCs, that's mainly what it's used for.

  • Nichole Dawson
    2 years ago

    I’ve been searching for days and finally stumbled upon this thread and I‘m relieved to read that what I’m smelling in my house is not imaginary!


    We had our roof roof replaced on September 9th. Throughout the day it was being installed the only noticeable smell was wood. At around 5:30pm, as they were finishing up, they turned our roof top HVAC off, sealed it, and turned it back on. When it came on there was a super strong chemical smell. I immediately got a headache and blood shot eyes. Me, knowing nothing about roofs, just assumed this was a smell that would be around for a couple days and then would go away. It wasn’t until 4 days later, when the smell was just as strong, that I notified my roofer. He came over and smelled the smell, and got close to our air vents. He stated that he felt that the crew didn’t seal the HVAC good enough and he’d have a guy out to do it. A man came a couple days later and sealed it., yet the smell continued. One of the managers came from the roofing company and coated around the HVAC with a water based ceramic coating that was smell free. We still have the same chemical smell which gets worse as the day goes on and it gets hotter (we live in AZ). Also, if the AC is shut off, the smell goes away. As it is still summer in Arizona, and will be until November, I can’t just have the AC off. I’m worried because my eyes are red every day and I always have a headache shortly after entering my home. I have a toddler in the house, who doesn’t seem to be effected, but he’s little and I’m scared as to what these chemicals are doing.


    The roofer told me they use Mulehide Plastic Cement as the sealer. We also used GAF shingles.

  • toxcrusadr
    2 years ago

    Even with a brand name there are quite a few products to choose from just to figure out what is in it.


    http://warranty.mulehide.com/documentcategory/documents/sds-msds/asphalt-cements-and-coatings


    You may want to get more specific info on the product number - 211, 210 etc.


    In any case it can't last forever. Although it's possible some stuff got into duct work and needs to be removed. Problem is we have no real idea what they specifically did or what anything looks like at your house, or where the stuff could be getting in. Only the roofers know that. My suggestions are:


    1. Ask if it is possible some of the original cement ran into ductwork and needs to be sealed or removed.

    2. Buy, rent or ask the roofers to pay for an air cleaner for inside, with a granular activated carbon filter. This is basically the only thing that will remove that stuff from the air while still allowing you to be there.

    3. As mentioned above, get the specific product ID and post here.


    Keep in mind some people are more sensitive to chemicals than others. That may not come as much of a comfort, just stating facts.

  • toxcrusadr
    2 years ago

    If it's 210 cement, the two ingredients (which make up virtually all of it) are asphaltic bitumen and Stoddard solvent. The former is basically asphalt, it's gonna smell and is probably responsible for the vast majority of what you're smelling. Stoddard is a lower toxicity hydrocarbon solvent used for dry cleaning among other things. It's similar to gasoline/paint thinner but without the high levels of toxic aromatic compounds like benzene that are found in gasoline. It will evaporate fairly fast too so I suspect what you're smelling is 99% asphalt.

  • HU-72239241
    2 years ago

    I went through the whole summer with the stink still in the house. And, I can say it does smell like asphalt. I'm afraid it will be there next summer as well. Every time the weather reaches 90 the house smells so bad. What do you think I should do?

  • toxcrusadr
    2 years ago

    Did you end up getting an air purifier after you were posting about them earlier? I think that's the way to go. An ozone generator would clean out the air once, while you're out of the house, but it would just come back since the source is continuous. They're better suited for a one-time event. The carbon filter or the Molekule you were looking at should do the trick. If it diminishes this fall w/o a filter you might be able to wait till spring and see if you actually smell it when it warms up again. Always a chance it will actually dissipate by then.

  • Elizabeth Coco
    2 years ago

    I had to sell my condo after two years of not living in it. The roofing companies have no regulations on the type of tar they can use. The state does not care either. It will make you very ill. You can use charcoal in crawl spaces. This helps enormously. This was the worst experience of my life. It did not dissipate for two years. Children are particularly vulnerable to the chemicals. I tried EVERYTHING and spent over $20,000.00 on all kinds of approaches.

  • toxcrusadr
    2 years ago

    I am curious if you had VOC air testing done that identified specific chemical compounds?

  • luvkat
    2 years ago

    I have been dealing with it in my own little house and it is sometimes unbearable. There was also a dreadful brown drippy nightmare that came with it.

  • Elizabeth Coco
    2 years ago

    Yes, I had several air tests. Again as Ms. Perez indicates the condo association paid for the expensive one. They then refused to allow me copies. I had to hire an attorney to obtain the copies of my air tests. The air in my condo was 18 times the levels allowed within industrial sites. And it is similar to living right next to a huge freeway. I have copies now if anyone is interested.

    Three years later, I not longer have the chemical headaches. I have a serious sensitivity to petrol and petrol products. I bought a new home. Nice non-toxic roof. No one can put a roof on my house without my consent again.


    please contact me with questions saoirseagus@gmail.com.


  • toxcrusadr
    2 years ago

    Sent you an email Elizabeth.

  • HU-727955736
    2 years ago

    We have a smell of burning rubber or tar in our extension part and recently we had a

    small side extension re roofed as it was leaking and since have this in the area of home

    we spend most f our time xx


    still don’t know if it’s due to roof

  • HU-249057005
    2 years ago

    Yes, we had a new roof put on a few days ago and while they were working I began to smell the tar/asphalt smell in my home. Now they are finished and the house stinks of tar!! This cannot be good. It's been days of us breathing in this toxic smell. I leave the house and come back to a wall of awful stench. I reached out to the roofing company to see if they have an air purifier we could borrow but they haven't even responded. I'll try again. My husband only smells it a little, but my nose picks up smells quickly. If anyone finds a solution please let me know. Too many mosquitoes here in Tampa to open the doors. I'll try some windows and a fan.

  • Alex Gauthier
    2 years ago

    I am so glad I found this thread. About 3 weeks ago I had a new roof put on an addition area of my home (only covers the bathroom and laundry room). There is no crawl space at all. All that is between the ceiling drywall is 2x4's with insulation in between, and then 1/2" plywood what was not replaced when the roofing was replaced. This past week was very humid, and then yesterday and today were the first two days over 80 degrees since the roof has been put on. In my bathroom I noticed a smell of burning oil that seemed to be coming from the light switch box. I assumed it was an electrical issue but after investigating, all appeared to be fine. Worse, the smell persisted when I shut the power off.

    I did notice that I also smell it if I put my nose up to the ceiling light, which is a small LED made for ceiling with less that 3 1/2" of space. After reading from all of you I feel a lot better knowing its not electrical, but now i'm hoping that the smell doesn't last very long.

  • HU-72239241
    2 years ago

    I am going into my third year of this tar-like smell coming from my second floor which is our bedrooms. We had a roofer replace our flat roof and had three vents put in by this roofing company. I noticed the can left on the roof in an aerial shot of my roof was tar that they used to seal around the vents. The vents are those short square ones - a few inches high. Are they the wrong vents for a flat roof. Is the tar being drawn into the house? Was tar the right medium to seal around the vents. I want to get rid of the vents and don't know if I need to rip up the roof sections. I can not stand this smell. Air conditioning does not help at all. My husband's nose is not like mine. I am sensitive to this tar/petroleum smell. I swear I am going to get divorced over this darn smell.

  • Noreen Tonkin
    2 years ago

    I wons=der if all these problems could be from using GAF shingles. My house stinks in one section.

  • HU-72239241
    2 years ago

    My flat roof does not have shingles. Some products have an asphalt tar-like adhesive built into it that when on hot days the heat hits it causing it to smell like a new road was laid down.

  • Maria Elena
    last year

    For Alex Gauthier . . . did the smell go away? (my roof was redone two weeks ago and i smell something whenever the a/c unit is )

  • HU-72239241
    last year

    Now three years in -- the smell did not go away. The heat blooms the smell. I have to be my own detective in the matter. I wonder if I get vents that are taller if that would help the problem. (I have the flat ones now. ) Also, if I have the vents sealed with FLEX SEAL which does not have any asphalt in it. I believe the smaller vents are sucking the asphalt sealer air INTO the house instead of releasing it. Which may be why I smell asphalt. Does anyone have an idea about my hypothesis?


  • Judy Weintraub
    last year
    last modified: last year

    HU-72239241 the words you wrote could be my own words , i wasn't sure if it was something i wrote when reading your post: "I wonder if I get vents that are taller if that would help the problem. (I have the flat ones now. ) Also, if I have the vents sealed with FLEX SEAL which does not have any asphalt in it. I believe the smaller vents are sucking the asphalt sealer air INTO the house instead of releasing it. Which may be why I smell asphalt. Does anyone have an idea about my hypothesis?"


    I have this hypothesis too maybe a little less far along than yours My house was re-roofed last December 30, 2019. my experience is different from many people here, i did not get any odor that i smelled. i just started feeling sick several days after the re-roofing. i wondered if it had anything to do with the roof since that was the only thing that changed in my house in recent memory, and thought that the roof was 'outside' and it couldn't be the roof because it would affect the inside.


    So, i had no idea what was making me sick. Was i breathing something bad? it seemed like it. But i had no idea, The first week of January was the first week i was sick. Before that i was healthy and had been healthy for years, strong, no symptoms. i had a new dog, young, needed exercise and so did i, and i took him on a fast walk every morning on an extendable leash so he could run and i could work up a sweat and build up my wind. This had to do with the beginning of finding out something was wrong with me. i would wake in the morning feeling fine, i thought, and i would take my dog out as i'd been doing since i got him 4 months earlier, and i would notice that i got phlegm in my chest i felt like clearing. the faster i walked the worse it got, though i was trying to make it go away by walking faster. When i would get back to the house i would continue to have the phlegm, kept trying to clear it but it was like nothing was there, nothing moved or came up or could be coughed out, just a feeling something was there. As the day went on, my lungs would start to burn, as if inflamed. i soon learned not to take my dog on a walk, and i also began feeing generally ill, like i would do best if laying down.


    that wasn't normal, i was never like that, and i felt ill, like my knees were weak, and i wasn't well, something inside me. i went to a doctor, lots of blood tests, everything normal and perfect. i did not have a cough. The clearing of the phlegm wasn't exactly a cough, i didn't have a feeling like i had to cough but something was in there that i wanted to clear, that's how i thought of it, but i learned not to do it because if didn't do it, it might not start burning.


    Mid February i saw another doctor, my chest was clear when he listened, he didn't have any ideas but he gave me a referral for a couple of pulmonologists from a list, not anyone he knew. He offered to do a CT scan but i didn't, am afraid of radiation and didn't see it as a good enough reason at that point, avoid unnecessary radiation, part of trying to stay healthy.


    At that point, mid February, i remembered back to when the roofer was there , after the work was finished, and how he specifically wanted to show me inside my house, there were black smudges around the central air vent registers, on the paint on the walls around them in some rooms and he said it might be nothing but it might be a sign of something unsafe and i should definitely have someone look at it. He really wanted to refer me to a guy, he said if i didn't have anyone, he could refer me to someone really good, i said i did have someone and i would ask him about it. i was surprised when he continued saying he had this guy and if i wanted he would give the guy my number, he acted worried about smudges on the wall, like he was really concerned about me. i thought he seemed to be trying to drum up business for friend. maybe.


    Anyway, those smudges had been there a long time, years, and i didn't think they were a problem, but i did call my guy about it same day or next day and my guy said extremely unlikely that it would cause any problem and he said "Don't spend your money on it." Then, i took photos of two examples of the smudges and posted them on NextDoor and asked if anyone knew what they were and if anyone had them, and a lot of people replied, most had not seen it before, but several had and said they had it. Some said they never had any problem with it, some said they hadn't done anything. Some said they got a duct cleaning in their air system and that made their air better. I hadn't noticed that i had any problem with my air but many people did and shared their solutions.


    This was right after the roofing, the day after. i don't remember feeling sick yet then. So many people said it wasn't a problem and my HVAC maintenance guy said don't spend your money on it so forgot about it at that point. Soon after that i started feeling sick and have been sick ever since, better days, worse days, gradually over time getting worse, shortness of breath. Not the person i was last year, this time last year i wish i could go back and be that person again. Strong and healthy, i took it for granted.


    i tried turning off my central air and i seriously thought it made a difference, and i improved, and began feeling a lot better, symptoms dying down. i got very impatient to have an HVAC company to come out and tell me what is causing this, how come when i turn the air system off, i feel better? I was in a hurry because it was so cold in February, i'm in the Los Angeles are, San Fernando Valley, and it was in the 40s at night and sometimes didn't get out of the 40s in the daytime. i only had one space heater. so i was impatient to get someone to come out and fix it so i could use my heat without having the symptoms i'd been having. It still remained a mystery why i had suddenly got the symptoms in early January. But i felt overwhelmed by all of it and when Elizabeth who wrote many informative posts on this thread mentioned neurotoxicity i related to that, i've thought that it's not just my lungs that are being affected, i'm breathing something and it's going through my whole body. and my mind has been affected, ability to think things through, being overwhelmed. i'm 71 and of course would think 'at my age that happens.' but would it start suddenly and get noticeably worse over time? I was a different person last year, so different and and i want to be me again, i want my life back.


    When i was looking for an HVAC guy, that was a long time before i had read Elizabeth's posts, i didn't start considering the roof until late May, because it was the only thing left to consider. i thought, 'oh well, i will google it,' and found that other people had similar things happen after roofing and that there a lot of different things that could cause it. Changes in the venting and chemicals in the materials used were the most likely in my case and in many people's cases.

    i had a lot to learn and wishing my brain was functioning better so i could think.


    After the HVAC guy replaced all my ducts saying this would solve my problem, although unfortunate red flag was that he said he had no idea why turning off the central air would cause my symptoms to stop, and no idea why the symptoms would suddenly start in early January, i did said that the only thing that changed was that the house was re-roofed. He didn't say anything about that.


    After the duct replacement the air was worse, with or without the central air on. Symptoms all came back and now, no way to stop them by turning off central air. Looking back i'm no longer sure what happened. The guy came out several times to trouble shoot why my symptoms got worse and then suddenly in March, the Covid thing escalated into a big crisis and everybody was supposed to stay home and especially my age , avoid other people, and he stopped coming, he had kids at home. And that was overwhelming, how do i get food in my house if i don't go to stores, scary because of my lungs being so hurt by my house. Before that i wouldn't have worried so much about the virus but i felt vulnerable. anyway, a nightmare.


    In April, i started seeing a pulmonologist but only on telemedicine because his office was closed by the pandemic. i asked him to help me decide whether to move out of my house, i was so scared of getting hypersensitivity pneumonitis which was something i had googled.

    He didnt' trouble shoot it. He said "Now is not a good time to move." He didn't address the question of 'what if my house is damaging my lungs? what if i get scarring int he lungs" it was scary stuff i read about on google. This was in late March and all of April, i talked to him either weekly or every other week.


    So, i decided to move into my bedroom full time because i thought the air might be better in there, since i always woke in the morning feeling pretty normal. i thought maybe it's because the air is better. I've been living in my bedroom full time since early April, without cable connection so no TV, just internet, i always wear an N95 mask when i leave my room and go into the rest of the house for any reason, it's crazy but i thought it might save me from having to move out of my house, an unthinkable thing I had nowhere else to go. Not that much money to do that, plus i have a reverse mortgage on the house. term payments, not lump sum. you're not really even allowed to move out of your house with that.


    When i finally gave up on trying to find a better HVAC guy who knew more and was more of detective, i started looking into the roofing because it was all that was left, 5 months after it happened. For one thing the roofer replaced two of my vents. The day of the roofing, he took me to the backyard and pointed to a tall skinny thing maybe a couple of feet tall with a slightly wider thing on the top, i didn't know anything about roofs or vents but he said he was going remove that and he said "Are you OK with that?" that was confusing, how would i know? i wish i had said no. but i said "Do i need it?" And he said no. so i said ok. He didnt' tell me what it was for, i trusted him, he was the expert.


    Later when i started looking into the roof as being related to the symptoms i've had for going on 10 months now, the worst being shortness of breath, 5 months after the roofing, i looked at the parts invoice and saw that he replaced two vents, i imagine both were the tall skinny ones since he said he was going to remove that one. On the invoice it said 2 O'Hagen vents. I had called a really good highly rated HVAC business that i used long before with great results, honest, skilled, knowledgeable, and trustworthy, great communication, helped me with previous bad negligent work that had been done, documented, photographs, thorough, advised me to have the other company pay for his bill that day. They are higher priced so i didn't use them because i just needed maintenance anyway. When called them a few months ago, the guy told me he didn't know anything about venting, he talked to me unhurried for a long time and trouble shot my problem with me, i asked what would he do if it was him? no one knows who would know how to fix this kind of problem. A lot of money goes down the drain trying things. Environmental people seem to be more often than not, unhelpful and expensive.


    The guy said he would do exactly what the other guys did who came in February, replace the ducts, that's all. He said if it was him, maybe he would call the roofer and ask what kind of vents those were that he replaced, and then put that kind back in. Common sense.


    The O'Hagan vents are flat against the roof with a big wide opening, a slit, i have photos of the ones on my roof, it's a good sized slit which sucks the outdoor air in. The opening is right next to the shingles and other materials. i think the price of my roofing was low and that the guy probably used the cheapest of everything, including cheap Chinese adhesives, and the things some say take a long time to off gas or cure, and will be affected by rain, heat, etc.


    i called the roofer to ask what kind of vent that was he removed, i told him why., he wanted to come over, he said he could not remember my house or me (he had come to my house regularly for two years to schmooze me before i was ready to go ahead with it, came to my door, just to check and chat, he was from the neighborhood, went to the same elementary school, etc and he left me phone messages, i wasn't ready, i had a sick dog and didn't want anymore stress, the roof was old, about 38 years, but not leaking. but i thought i might use him when i got around to it, and after two years i did).


    He never did remember what kind of vent he removed, no idea, didn't even think about the description i was giving him of it or try to say what it might have been. He showed me the two places the O'Hagan vents were, one was over my kitchen by a utility closet which i'm sure was where the tall skinny thing he removed was because i could always look up and see day light through an opening in the closet. i got a leak there during a rain storm once (caused by shingles not put back correctly by HVAC company that installed the HVAC back when it was my mom's house and she lived here, so i had focused on it the opening in the ceiling in the closet, knew it was there. That place in the house is just maybe 10 or 15 feet away from where i used to spend most of my time, in the family room, watching TV, doing internet. So if there was an exposure through there, it was right by where i spent most of my time. The other place was over the big AC vent cover where the air filter for the HVAC system is, and is about 2-3 feet outside my bedroom door.


    There was another thing about the roofing that i remembered that i think is relevant to what's happening. I have only remembered these things gradually, piece by piece, it's like my brain is in a fog. This was something alarming and scary that happened the night of the roofing, but it seemed to be over and not something i had to keep thinking about, not that i could've done anything about it if did think about it.


    They had been working all day, was supposed to be a 2 day job, they were still working late, after dark, i could hear them, about 6pm, i was waiting for them to leave, then fix dinner. Suddenly powerful fumes came into the family room where i was sitting, so strong, i wasnt' sure what it smelled like, chemicals, unfamiliar. i wondered why they didn't tell me so i could get out of there first. i thought that maybe there was a faint smell of tar, but if it was tar, it was too faint to explain how thick and powerful the fumes were. i thought maybe it's tar mixed with something else.


    i thought it would go away, i waited. It didn't get any less, i waited a long time, i thought they were finishing up but they kept working, and finally after an hour, i went into the backyard and asked the lead guy 'What's that smell in my house?" and he said, surprised,' 'There's no smell.' i said 'there definitely is a smell and it's not going away.'


    He thought about it and then said "it's probably tar." i didn't disagree, and then he pointed up at my roof and said "It's probably coming in through that opening." I asked him to repeat it even though i heard it, i didn't have an opening that i knew of. He was pointing to the same place where that tall skinny thing had been that the roofer said he was going to remove if i was ok with it. But i didn't think of that at the time, he said "It'll go away," and that's all i wanted to know, i just wanted to go on with my life, it had taken me so long to finally do the roof and i was looking forward to having it behind me, i had plans for the new year i was looking forward to. I didn't smell the roofing all day that day. that was the only time it smelled. Since the symptoms started i didn't notice a smell and didn't connect it with the roof or anything else.


    I didn't remember anything about the roofing until 5-6 months later. Since then, late May, June, July and to the present which is November 1st 2020, i think about it a lot, every day, and how to fix it but i can't. i need to get out of this house, i have no where to go. I kept putting it off, knowing that it was hurting me to stay here.


    All the doctors were closed because of the pandemic social distancing, but i finally got a referral to pulmonologist connected to a medical center so that labs and imaging places are available connected to the hospital. Seeing him was frustrating for me because it's not clear that he believes in environmental illnesses. Googling it, i learned doctors generally think environmental medicine is quackery. Great. He did all the tests of lung function and spent an hour or more talking to me and listening to my history, writing things down a lot. After a high resolution CT scan, he said he thought it was asthma, i got a copy of his report, he said he wanted me to inhale a strong dose of steroids into my lungs 2X a day. i didn't have confidence in his guess because of questions he didn't address or answer, and his treatment which is not a cure for anything, just a treatment of symptoms, with serious risks, he didn't know what it was, he couldn't know without seriously looking into environmental causes, his guess wasn't worth anything without that, and explaining why he didn't think i needed to leave the house to stop the symptoms. All that radiation for nothing. he discouraged me from moving out of my house, i had already put a $3300 deposit on the apartment i thought i was going to move into, that was July and the apartment would be available in September, it was super close to my house so i got fixated on how it had to be that apartment.. it was like the doctor was saying even if the house was causing it, it was better to stay there taking medication for the symptoms than to stop the cause of the symptoms, and not even to try getting out of the house to see if the symptoms went away.


    i was really put off by the idea of 'just keep being exposed to something so harmful and use a medication known to have many harmful effects, rather than to get away from the exposure to whatever was causing it.'


    i'm sorry to go into all of this, it's all such a long confusing story to me, i just wish i could go back to this time last year before my life got taken away from me with no solutions, no where else to go. i'm going to send this but i'm going to write another post with brief comments on your hypothesis.


    i hope you can get your house fixed, i haven't given up on fixing mine yet, i just have to first get out of the 1 year lease on the apartment i can't afford and haven't moved into but am paying rent on, i have to stop that so i can afford to hire someone to try to fix my house so i can live in it. i have to pay rent today but i'm not living there. there's no furniture in it. i was acting in desperation when i applied for the apartment, desperate to get away from what is clearly seriously harming me. now i 've lost a bunch of money on that. but all i can do is take it as it comes because i don't know what to do. i can never arrive at a plan of what to do, everything is impossible.

  • Judy Weintraub
    last year

    HU-72239241

    you said : “I have to be my own detective in the matter. I wonder if I get vents that are taller if that would help the problem. (I have the flat ones now. ) Also, if I have the vents sealed with FLEX SEAL which does not have any asphalt in it. I believe the smaller vents are sucking the asphalt sealer air INTO the house instead of releasing it. Which may be why I smell asphalt. Does anyone have an idea about my hypothesis?”


    a second message to you, focused more on roof materials and vents.


    First i want to ask you, how do you tell what asphalt smells like?


    I have GAF shingles that are made mostly of asphalt. They're called GAF TIMBERLINE HD R/S shingles. R/S means reflector series which means it's a 'cool roof' so i got a rebate from the power company, $350. The current model is HZD instead of HD.


    that is the kind of shingle on the parts invoice, the roofer, when i called him to try (unsuccessfully) to get more information about the materials used, beyond the brand names listed on the parts invoice, said absolutely no tar was used during the roofing. I asked what about what his lead guy said about the powerful smell in my house, that he said could be tar? He said that was probably just a word the guy used when talking to customers since everyone knows what tar is.


    As far as the strong fumes that came in, he thought maybe I was coming down with something maybe or just the effects of aging, that could cause a person to imagine fumes. Neither he nor the parts company would respond to my request for material safety data sheets or where to find them. i still want them, don't know how to get them.


    Anyway, I just want to say that I too have had the theory that the flat roof vents are less safe. They're not just flat, they're right against the shingles, an inch away. They’re extremely common so no one is going to think that they are less safe, if people use things a lot, they will believe it's harmless. It's not that they really are feeling harm, they're not, or they attribute it to something else they feel certain of but that doesn't mean their body isn't absorbing the same materials people who do feel effects are having, as has been talked about here, the long term effects that cause cancer and other serious long term illnesses.


    your flat vents might be O’Hagen vents. Were yours put on by the roofer or were they already there?


    The kind of taller ventsI had before seem to not be in use anymore, I can’t find an ad for anything like it anywhere and I can’t find out what the name of it is. I did drive around my neighborhood and found similar ones on a some people’s roofs. I took some photos. There is one that really looks just like the thing that was on my roof, it’s about 2 feet tall and it’s pretty skinny and the slightly wider part on the top, I think is where the outdoor air comes in. it may have had a fan inside it. So it’s not right next to the roof and sucking air in right off the surface on the roof.


    The O Hagan vent is made to suck well i'm guessing because it needed to compete when it first was on the market to prove it could get as much air as the higher vents get. I believe it’s sucking in air very well. i've watched you tube videos about them. The old vent that is now gone, and maybe two of them since two O Hagan vents were installed by the roofer, would have brought air in from two feet above the roof and whatever fumes were coming from the new materials used for roofing or attaching the vents to the roof, etc, would not have been as directly sucked into the house.


    In reading about these vents, I learned that the reason for the popularity of O Hagan vents is that having things sticking up from your roof is not popular nowadays, people like a clean smooth look, I’ve read in various articles I’ve looked at, or in ads. I think that safety was sacrificed for cosmetic reasons, and like so many things in our commercialized society, safety is not the primary focus in business and commerce in many areas, if it's in competition with growing wealth, then it will be less important.


    I never thought about the safety of a roof, it’s not that I don’t care about safety. It’s that it’s so downplayed that I’ve trusted that if it’s not safe I would be told about it, but I think that my roofer truly doesn’t believe those things are unsafe, we have different standards, he lives with the chemicals, the guys he uses certainly do, but my life has hit me hard with the importance of things that fortunately for the roofer, he may not have to deal with.


    On the EPA website, on a page I need to find, hopefully it’s bookmarked, they are discussing roof vents and they say that a change in venting of a roof can cause problems for some people. They said that if not as much outdoor air is taken in due to vent change, this can cause an increase in the concentration of indoor pollutants so that some people are affected by stronger exposure to various things indoors that are known pollutants. On the other hand, if more outdoor air is brought in and the outdoor air is polluted, some people have problems because of a change to a vent that brings in more air.


    This supports your hypothesis. Your idea that roofing materials being sucked in from flatter vents is how I’m thinking too. I don’t know of a source that specifically talks about exposure to roofing materials long after the work is done. The only thing I’ve read has been on this thread, where a couple of people have said that the off gassing of roof materials can vary with the quality. Knowing I was looking to spend as little as possible on my roof (my guy had really good customer reviews on Yelp and Next Door), if increasingly cheaper Chinese imports are being used then I wish I had that to do over , I wish I had spent more with some good advice from knowledgeable trustworthy people. I think it's likely that lots of my roof’s materials are as cheap as possible.


    My shingles are mostly made of asphalt, the ones i got are not the current model but an older model. i can't tell what the difference is except for an easier to hit nailing area on the newer ones. The roofer said asphalt was also used to seal the shingles on, but first he said no sealant at all was used and I said “Just nails?” And after that he said a tiny bit of asphalt, he talked of fast, I wasn’t accusing him of anything. I was being just ‘I need to find out more info about the materials, can you give me the material safety data sheets or links to where I can get them?” I asked in a friendly ‘we’re on the same side here’ way, but I can understand the whole subject provoking some defensiveness, i didn’t want to to talk to him about it, but I couldn’t find out what the things on the invoice were , I had called the parts company first. No reply. the roofer was the customer, not me. so….


    I guess that’s all I can say for now. My current main hypothesis is that it does have something to do with the change in venting, and it could either be related to the roof materials which not a lot of people know anything about, such as the trends toward Chinese imports.


    Do you know what materials are in Flex Seal?


    I appreciate your comments and hope for the best for you and hope you will share anything you learn or wonder about. I have been sorry that the guy called ToxCrusadr stopped posting. I just feel more alone because of that. i'm glad you're keeping in touch but even more i'd be happy if you found a solution. Like Elizabeth, getting a new home and not getting the illnesses anymore, but with some long term effects. i never dreamed there would be something so bad like the effect of changes to a roof that could once done, could not be fixed. it's so hard to grasp that. The roofer does things to the house without knowing anything at all about how changing venting may affect indoor air and people's health, i think it must not be in their training, so i wish i had known that but i just assumed if anything does go wrong, your expert will know what to do. But i'm not sure that vents can be changed, was that you who wrote previously on this thread something like 'what do i do, tear the vents off my roof , tear a large area of my roof off?' someone said that and i related to it. My roofer said he was going to remove that vent and after a pause he said "Are you ok with that?" it seems like you need to take some courses or training before letting anyone do anything to your roof.

  • Todd Wilson
    last year

    My neighbors house began to smell, after a year we found there was mold on the plywood sheathing under the vinyl siding, we removed the vinyl siding and all of the sheathing on one side of the house along with the insulation in the wall. We could then smell the odor in the soffit, we narrowed it down to a valley on the roof, we removed the shingles and plywood decking and found the disgusting mold in the roof. The valley had been leaking but there was no sign of it anywhere in the house, that small leak caused massive mold to grow throughout the house and the smell would come into the house only when the sun went down and the barometric pressure changed. I can assure you, if the shingles stink that smell will come into the house.

  • HU-72239241
    last year

    Judy,

    "First i want to ask you, how do you tell what asphalt smells like? "


    In regard to your question, one's street is paved with asphalt and tar. When the street is hot, after it has been paved, the smell that lingers is that of asphalt/tar. That is the smell, I smell.


    In addition, I have a picture of the can of tar that was used on the roof. I had asked for a photo of the roof after they completed the job; yet, before they cleaned up. I believe it was used to seal around the vents on the flat roof. (A flat roof is very different than that of a slanted roof. A flat roof is a rolled roof - not shingled. The flat roof material, which is very expensive, has an adhesive that adheres to the plywood which should not need tar; however, the contractor may have used the tar to seal the edges.


    Unfortunately, the contractor/company is not available to answer any of my questions.


    My computer research on the air circulation of vent air streaming is strongly supporting my idea of having the vents changed. to higher sitting models However, It will involve cutting into the rolled roofing material and replacing the wood around the present vents. Basically starting new in putting the newer vents in. In addition, during the same visit, I am concerned that this tar was dripped around the chimney when we had a repair to the bricks - done by a member of the contractor's crew. (The contractor advertised that they did masonry and roofing - very common in NJ.) If that tar is around the chimney, I may not be able to get rid of that portion of the tar smell. I'm not replacing the chimney.


    I may remove the sheetrock and insulation between the beams, inside of the house, around the chimney to see if any tar dripped down the side of the chimney. Not a small job to say the least. I hope the vents are the only problem and not around the chimney. I still am looking into the Flex Seal sealant as well. Now, we have the winter upon us - no smell during the cold months.


    Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • Judy Weintraub
    last year


    Todd -- have you succeeded in getting all the mold out and in improvement resulting from that? my house never showed signs of mold, it was well cared for by my parents, i have all the paper work on everything that was done related to the house. i expect to know for sure if you have mold, the kind of tearing the house apart you did is necessary. Did you do all that yourself? did you get a mold abatement company? or are you still in the midst of it? No one has seen any sign of mold in my house. The HVAC company that replaced the ducts checked carefully for it, he said, and saw no sign, he checked all over the attic, and others have said they see no typical sign of it. I haven't had an odor that worries me, until just recently, and it's the first time i've started worrying about mold.


    i live in the LA area which is a relatively mild climate. It gets very hot in the summers, i think last September there were record breaking temperatures, 118 or something like that, and it was like that for a few days. i've not noticed changes in my symptoms related to heat or cold, if anything was there, i didn't notice it, wasn't paying attention to that. The main picture i have of it is that it's related to air currents outside because of the way there's no pattern, day/night or seasonal, all i have to go on is symptoms because i've never smelled anything except at the end of the roof work with the power fumes possibly tar related. The only pattern is that lung symptoms have always been better on waking, whether during the night or in the morning, and it worsens the longer i'm awake. But it can vary day to day, there have been days when it doesn't get worse the longer i'm awake, the good days, or it can be good all day and suddenly get worse late, or it can quickly start early in the day and suddenly go away in the afternoon, or in the evening, it can differ day to day, i don't see a pattern, only that it wasn't happening until soon after the roof work. i really need to go stay in a motel for 5 days and see if there's any improvement, normally i would have done that early on but the problems have coincided with the 'covid' crisis and a big feature of that has been the risk of being out of the home, and it scared me to think of a motel. But now, even though there is reported a surge of cases, i keep thinking about it. i never in my life had such an unsolvable problem everywhere i turn.


    When you said mold was throughout the house, but that there was no sign of it in the house, do you mean that the extensive mold which you eventually saw was in the attic, or between different kinds of layers of the walls, unobservable until ripping things apart?


    Did you use any kind of professional to track it down and diagnose it?


    Right after the ducts were replaced in my attic , i took a shower, everything seemed normal, nice warm shower, maybe 10 minutes at most. Got out and headed for my bedroom a short distance down the hall to the left and was shocked to smell a powerful and unfamiliar odor, a few feet from the doorway to the bathroom, it wasn't there before the shower. i never smelled anything like that before. it seemed to come from above me. i looked up and there was the big vent which covers the HVAC filter that gets replaced. it seemed to be coming from up there. I went into the bedroom and smelled the odor in there too, on the side of the room that was closer to the hall. i went to the other side of the room and didn't smell it at all. i was scared to breathe it and in a hurry to get out of there, trying not to breathe, grabbed clothes an went to the far side of the house. there was no smell. The smell was only in that one area in the hall under that vent and on that side of my room. it wasn't inside the bathroom.


    i actually forgot about it, involved in something interesting, until an hour later, i went back with some trepidation to check the hall. No odor at all. i seriously wondered about mold, i don't know what it smells like, i don't think i've ever smelled it, but i thought there might be something more biological than VOC chemical about it. But then i forgot about it, so many urgent problems to be solved were on my mind. about a week later, i took another shower, i had forgotten all about the odor. Nice shower, got out and once again the same smell, in the hall, to the left, powerful and pretty bad. Went to the far side of the house and worried about it, but at that time, with the shut down of the economy and a lot of covid fear related to the many unknowns, contractors weren't coming out to people's homes, mutual avoidance, doctors offices closed, never seen anything like this. Bad time to have any kind of house problem. At least i had another bathroom and shower which i've been using ever since, no smell in that one, and no other outbreak of the original smell in the other part of the house. i have wanted to have someone come over to check that out, it's not clear whether i would have a plumber or an HVAC guy, or what. And i'm overwhelmed by things i can't avoid by just using a different shower. But i do want to test it, scary to think it might be quietly spreading. i would like to turn on that shower for 10 minutes and see if it happens again after all these months. i do have a good respirator, but i need more of a plan, someone with expertise who would have ideas about what to do next, if the odor is still there. It was alarming when it came back the same the second time. that was early March.


    Just recently at night , late at night, 11 or 12, a smell has wafted through my bedroom as i sit here, not a horrible smell but very troubling because i had no smell at all before. The windows are closed ever since the bad fires in September, the outside air quality if bad for someone with my existing sensitivity. The smell is familiar but i can't come up with anything it's like. but it smells not like petrochemicals but more like again, something biological. it doesn't remind me of that really bad odor associated with taking a shower twice. but i can't say it's not related, it's just happening recently.


    The guys who did the duct replacement replaced stainless steel ducts with flex ducts. i didn't know anything about this but read about it on the EPA website. EPA says that something that's better about stainless steel (there are a few things) is that it can be cleaned of mold, while if flex ducts get mold in them, they need to be replaced because they can't be adequately cleaned. People may clean them but EPA thinks that is not effective and mold will still be threatening. i wonder if flex ducts are more prone to mold. EPA says that problems with flex ducts can be because of improper and incompetent installation. They have to be installed right to avoid problems that can happen with the environment, and not everyone has the training. The guys who did my duct replacement were just in a really big hurry, it was supposed to take two days but it was one short day and they left around 4:30, the owner never came over to check. The owner told me that after the installation, i had to open all the doors and windows and run the system for at least two hours, preferably more. some of the windows were stuck and i couldn't open them. i asked the lead guy for his help in opening them. He said it wasn't necessary, just the doors were all that was needed. i said the owner told me it was extremely important, all the windows, knowing as he did, i was needing clean air, he acted really serious and repeated himself, i wanted to do that, but the guy insisted it absolutely wasn't necessary. He wasn't going to help me and i couldn't open most of the windows, i opened the ones i could. He was in such a hurry to get done and go home. So i don't know if he installed the flex ducts the way EPA was talking about, it seemed doubtful . EPA said flex ducts were more vulnerable to mold, i don't remember why now, but that is an easy page to find.

    Quite a lot about about mold and ducts. From reading your post, i want to get this checked and rule it out, mold is really scary.


    i have not seen dramatic barometric pressure changes. i've been keeping track of it because i've found that when it's going up, i get headaches and am pretty headache free when barometric pressure is stable and low. it can be high too as long as it's not rising. it can be going down, no problem. Just going up, i can get headaches.


    this is probably a dumb question but does house insurance cover the kind of things you had done?


    in the case of my roof, i have no evidence of damage that i could show, until i have the right professional check it, whatever kind of professional that would be, so i haven't given it much thought but mold which starts right after duct replacement, at least that can be show as evidence of damage.



  • Alex C.
    last year

    Did anyone get also hives after the roof replacement? I have always had bad allergies but I have been getting debilitating hives since our roof got replaced. It is bad when I am inside, worse right outside but better when I am away from the house. The problem is that I am also allergic to mold and dust mite and I am having a problem figuring out the reason. Thanks for your answers.

  • PRO
    Larina Kase Interior Design
    last year

    We have a flat roof deck that has a vinyl type floor. The room below smells like chemicals now that it is warmer. It has been 1.5 years, so it surprises me that we're noticing it so strongly now. I'm debating having it replaced, but question starting another off-gassing process all over again. If I can find a reputable roofer who understands the chemical issues I'll probably have it looked at.

  • Denise Larkins
    last year

    May I begin by stating that I do not have central air or air ducts. ( I have a hot water-based system for heating.); with that said, my air upstairs is not recirculated throughout the house. When the roofer put the flat roof on, of course, he used nails. But not solely nails. Many roofers use asphalt tar to seal the edges. That is what smells so bad. The vents take out air but not many know that they suck in the air as well. Low vents bring the air closest to the roof I surmise. For the reader, who questioned if tall vents are made anymore - they make taller vents. The turtle top one is an example. I am going to research more on my own others. We had the low square vents in the past with the old roofing material that had what resembled little stones adhered to it. (This is not used anymore on flat roofs. ) If done properly, the edges should not have to be sealed with tar. What is used on a street is not what I think is correct for a roof. Unless you are a fly on the roof, you do not know all "the tricks" a roofer uses. Or what the setbacks incurred may be in the long run. Heck, I wanted a white flat roof, and the roofer put up a black flat roof and then told me that I would have to "paint" the white material on it every so many years. Oh, how I have learned the hard way. I did not paint it yet, nor may never do so. To all those out there, know EXACTLY what each material is and think of how it may compact your living space BEFORE getting started. May my horrific situation help someone not be in my boat. I am five years in - Mr. Roofer, the smell never went away. Don't believe stores when they are told.

  • toxcrusadr
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Looks like I missed a few posts to this thread about 6 months ago.

    Has anyone actually acquired an activated carbon air filter and tried it out? That was my best recommendation.

    Roof vents have different purposes:

    Plumbing Vents - Usually a vertical plastic pipe with no cover, they just allow air into the sewer lines so they drain correctly.

    Exhaust Vents - for kitchen or bathroom fans. Usually a round metal duct with a little conical hat to keep rain out.

    Attic Ventilation or Ridge Vents - These are probably the ones being discussed here. They allow air to rise from the vents in the soffit and come out the top of the roof. This keeps the attic from heating up quite so much, and also helps with condensation when the weather changes rapidly.

    Illustrated guide to roof vents:

    https://www.wholehousefan.com/blogs/wholehousefans/different-type-of-roof-vents


    I haven't read the entire thread word for word, but it's unclear what type of roofs some of you have. The O'Hagin vent is a very flat vent used on sloped shingled roofs. I can see how it could let fumes into the attic easier than some other vents. It is possible for either wind, or just changing temperatures at night, to allow air to go INto roof vents rather than just OUT. What puzzles me a bit is how the fumes are getting from there into the indoor air.

    Are there HVAC ducts running through the attic? Consider having the joints sealed if they are not - they make a super sticky aluminum foil tape for duct sealing. One person said they had an air conditioner on the roof - this sounds like a very hot place to put one! Unless it's a swamp cooler, which are almost always on the roof. Swamp coolers pull in TONS of air from the roof, so if you have those you are screwed until the asphalt is through offgassing, that is if it still smells after having a sealer added to it.

    One poster said that the roofing company came back and sprayed a sealer on top of the tarry stuff used to seal the vents. I assume this was on the outside. Keep in mind that when you are sealing something, whatever you are using to seal a joint is expose not only to the OUTSIDE of the joint, but also to the INSIDE. Granted there would be a lot more surface exposure on the outside (assuming they glopped the tar on the joint from the outside - but we don't really know what they did). It would be very difficult to seal off the exposed tar on the inside. Probably what is happening is the tar is offgassing into the air and then going into the vents, but I thought I would mention the possibility of tar inside the vent from the initial application.

    Activated carbon is your friend here.

  • HU-820867433
    3 months ago

    Just had a new roof done snd when I turn on the air conditioner the chemical smell is horrendous!!! waiting to hear from the roofer!😩

  • Denise Larkins
    3 months ago
    last modified: 3 months ago

    Toxcrusadr, I believe hit the nail on the head with his last posting I am in my fourth year of the "asphalt " smell coming into my upstairs bedrooms which is only in the summer. It was my opinion that the smell was from what they used to seal around the vents - TAR. The same stuff they use on the roads. (I saw the can.) I have the flat vents. What can be exhausted - can also come inside. (There are no fans in flat units - they are cheap, and contractors love to use them.) That smell may take 10 years to go away. As the sun bakes the tar, the smell permeates the inside. Trust me, I live it. Animals do not come in but the outside air does. I am thinking of trying something out of the ordinary. You may laugh but hear me out. They sell that black rubber waterproof sealant that now comes in a gallon container. It used to be just in a spray can. I want to change my flat vents to turtle vents - they are higher up on the roof. And, paint the rubber stuff around the bottom so when the heat hits it I hope to lessen or eliminate the smell. Activated carbon units may or may not do the job inside as a unit. They are very expensive - as are their filters. And, they are loud. I do not want a big unit in any of the bedrooms if I can help it. I have window ac units. (I have an older home with baseboard heat.) To conclude, my roof with the problem is a flat roof. Having 80-year-old trees as shade helps a bit. No trees would surely be worse. I hope with this summer, maybe the smell will lessen. It gets a bit better each year. I will keep you in the loop.

  • toxcrusadr
    3 months ago

    @HU-820867433 What kind of home? What kind of roof - flat tar/gravel? Sloped with shingles? Where is your AC unit located? Central air sitting on a pad on the ground, swamp cooler on the roof?

  • Denise Larkins
    3 months ago

    When we brought our house it was a cape cod. We opened the roof in the front and extended it two feet over the house. The back of the house has sloped grey graveled high quality shingles; whereas, the part of the roof we opened has a flat rolled roof. We wanted a white rolled roof. The contracter said they didn't make that. He arrived with black. I didn't want black because it would hold the heat ifrom the sun in the summer. (But, we were at their mercy because rain was soon to come during the week.) The seams were supposed to be adhered to each other at the overlap but it appears it was tarred too. I believe that was the procedure used. (It is hard to know everything they did when they are on the roof, and we are down on the ground.. We put our trust in them as professionals. The vents used were flat vents and there are three on the flat roof only. Our AC are window AC units. The AC units upstairs positioned in the window hold the smell. I tried the carbon filters in the AC units but they did not work. We remove them after the summer.

  • toxcrusadr
    2 months ago

    Of course there's white roll roofing. Well, it's kinda grey, but it's a standard color. Maybe his supplier was out of it and he just wanted to give you what he could get and be done with it, which would not be a big surprise these days.

  • Denise Larkins
    2 months ago

    I am so glad that you shared that with the readers. We got taken and hopefully, others will benefit from your expertise. The roofer told us to paint this white stuff on the roof, but we would have to re-administer it every other year. What do you think about doing that? Will it keep the upstairs cooler if I paint the roll roof with the roofing white product? Or, is that another headache?

  • toxcrusadr
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I'm not a roofing expert by any means, only a roof owner. :-] I found there were colors other than black by searching the web for places to buy them.

    I'm not sure what product that is and I have not used it myself. Hopefully someone can chime in about that.


    This is interesting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EORCFDJOZOY

    Is that the stuff?

  • Denise Larkins
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    That is an option and would be cheaper than ripping the whole roof off at this point. We just had a 95-degree day yesterday and of course, the house smelled of tar. My only concern is when the flat roof vents were put in, some tar seeped inside to seal the opening. That would still smell even with the overcoat. I am still going to replace the flat vents with the "turtle" type to be higher up off the roof. (As a side note: when you coat the top of the rolled roof with that white liquid product, it has to be done every two to three years.) If it works, I would not care. Thanks for the website. I will be sharing it with a respectable roofer - when I find one. It's time to get more estimates.

  • toxcrusadr
    2 months ago

    Where does the stuff go? Does it wear off, or peel off? Will it be all piled at the bottom of the downspouts whenever it rains?

  • Denise Larkins
    2 months ago

    I know it wears off as branches and leaves fall on it. It is a very good question as to whether it peels off and/or falls into the gutter, or is taken by the wind. If anyone can answer these questions I would appreciate it before I buy the product and put all the effort into it.

  • toxcrusadr
    2 months ago

    It's most likely not toxic or anything, as most paints aren't these days once they're dried and polymerized. I was just curious how it wears.

  • Noreen Tonkin
    last month

    what brand shingles

  • Denise Larkins
    last month

    The product is not paint, though. It is a rubberized solution that is painted on or rolled on with a roller. ( I am sorry if I confused you.) Here is an example of one of many.

    • Ames Maximum-Stretch is a white, elastomeric, acrylic, rubberized roof coating & sealant with 650% elongation to resist cracking & peeling. With 88% light reflectivity, the bright white finish reduces surface temperatures resulting in lowered cooling costs.
  • Denise Larkins
    last month

    To' answer Noreen Tonkin's question.

    A rolled roof is not made up of shingles. It is a rolled-out roofing material that is about 3 ft wide and overlaps the next rollout until the whole flat roof is covered.

  • trixie106
    last month

    We have a flat roof on top of our 500sf garage apartment in Austin TX. We had the following done to it on March 31, 2022, as a preventative measure.

    1) Thoroughly clean and prepare roof surfaces receiving material;

    2) Apply ARC DynaShield liquid rubber with polyester embedded to all flashing details including sheet metal drip edge;

    3) Seal all joints in sheet metal cap with Geocel 2300 tri-polymer sealant;

    4) Apply ARC Alumiflex liquid rubber coating to entire roof surface;

    5) Clean up job site.


    About 3 weeks later, we noticed a smell, which I can best describe as insecticide or pesticide. It's a very chemical-like odor. Around the same time, the mini-split stopped working, so we associated the smell with that. We ended up replacing the mini split in late May; however, the smell continued. After some trial and error, we determined it wasn't the mini split, as the smell returned after we opened windows, aired the place out, then shut the windows without turning the a/c back on. The apartment may have smelled prior to late April; we had not been in there for a while, so I can only date the smell to 4/22.


    We started thinking it might be the roof and that the smell was activated by heat, as April is when Austin starts heating up, and we cannot come up with any other possibilities. The apartment is unusable, and we are very worried we may be stuck with this smell forever. I cannot bear to be in there, as it smells like it is most likely toxic. It's an unpleasant smell regardless.


    toxcrusadr - do you know of these materials used and if they could be causing this smell? We've asked the roofer to come by this week and to bring these products with him. I'd like to smell them and see if they are similar. We're also ordering a carbon air purifier. Thanks