The changing state of VOC regulations

Single-ply roofing products are most affected by recent developments

Although regulations governing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are not new to the commercial roofing industry, the most recent changes affecting single-ply roofing adhesives, sealants and primers are a source of concern for many industry professionals. The regulations set maximum allowable VOC content, extend beyond simple odor control and focus on the environmental impact of these chemicals.

Complicating matters is the fact that the new rules are being enacted at the state—and sometimes local—level. It often is difficult to determine the VOC contents of many commonly used roofing products because jurisdictions determine whether a solvent is considered a VOC.

Typically, regulations limiting VOC content of adhesives and sealants apply to people who use, sell or manufacture such products. As a result, many roofing contractors are faced with regulations that may adversely affect product availability, application methods, productivity and, ultimately, installation costs.

Why are VOCs regulated?