Methods to Reduce Odors During Roofing Projects

Building Occupants

  • If your building has operable windows do not open them if they are downwind from the roofing tar or if they are downwind of the asphalt kettle. The odors will enter the building. 
  • If there are window air conditioners in the building, set the air conditioner to recirculate the air. Do not draw outside air in the building. The odors will enter the building.
  • Schedule regular updates on the progress of the roofing project with members of Facilities Management. Establish a building contact person to disseminate project updates and forward building occupant concerns.
  • Promptly report roof leaks during construction to the project manager. 

Facilities Management

  • Occasionally the ventilation system will need to be shut off during the project. It should be restarted during the evening when the roofing project has stopped for the day.
  • Communication between the roofers, a building representative, the zone project manager, and the building occupants needs to be clear.
  • Placement of the asphalt kettle is important. Keep it as far away from the air intake as possible. Some trucks may also be running during the project. The air from the exhaust may enter the building.
  • Prior to construction, consider other types of non-tar based roof construction
  • In areas where it is difficult to keep roof tar odors out of the building, consider doing the roofing work off hours in evening or on the weekends. The air intakes will be closed during the roofing and opened two-hours prior to occupancy to clear the odors out of the building.
  • Promptly report roof leaks to the Department of Environmental Health & Safety (DEHS) for a water damage assessment at (612) 626-6002 or dehs@umn.edu.