Understanding VOC-Free Products: Healthier Roofing

avatarby Castagra Products, Inc.Last updated Mar 4, 2024Category: Roofing

In roofing, mastering the craft is no longer just about skill or great results. There’s also a growing demand to align our products and practices with current environmental and health considerations.

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, have emerged as a critical focus within the roofing industry — and understandably so. Due to their environmental impact and potential health risks, VOCs are becoming one of the next big villains in roofing.

We all want products that reduce health risks among our workers and customers. In this blog post, we’ll discuss VOCs, their prevalence in roofing products, and how you can shift toward VOC-free alternatives.

Let’s dive in! 


What Are VOCs? 

You’ve likely encountered the term and have a vague understanding of VOCs. But what are they, exactly? 

These compounds are a group of organic chemicals with high vapor pressure at room temperature, so they readily evaporate into the air.

In the context of roofing, VOCs have widespread use as solvents. They’re found in products that are used for the application, drying, and curing processes of various roofing materials. 

Here are a few common VOCs that you may have used in past projects: 

  • Benzene: A known carcinogen, benzene is a VOC commonly found in roof coatings and sealants.
  • Formaldehyde: Widely utilized in roof coatings, formaldehyde is a VOC with documented adverse health effects. If you inhale large amounts of it, you can experience respiratory irritation and suffer internal organ damage.
  • Xylene: Xylene is a VOC associated with respiratory and neurological effects. You usually encounter it as a solvent in roofing products such as coatings and sealants.


Dangers and Downsides of Using Products With VOCs

VOCs come with inherent dangers and downsides that you must carefully weigh. There are many — from health risks to environmental impact. Here are just a few specifics.



Prolonged exposure to VOCs can lead to respiratory problems such as irritation, coughing, and shortness of breath. Roofing professionals working close to VOC-emitting products are more likely to inhale large amounts of VOCs.



Some VOCs, such as benzene and formaldehyde, are known or suspected carcinogens. Prolonged exposure increases the risk of chronic health issues, underscoring the importance of minimizing exposure for both contractors and building occupants.

Keep in mind that these two health effects not only harm your workers and lower productivity, but they can also become the seeds for personal injury lawsuits.



VOCs are precursors to the formation of ground-level ozone, a key component of smog. This environmental consequence not only contributes to air pollution but also poses challenges in meeting regulatory standards.



VOC emissions from roofing materials can degrade indoor air quality, impacting the health and well-being of building occupants. Commercial property owners are becoming increasingly aware of the connection between indoor air quality and overall health, making VOC-free choices more appealing.



Government regulations are becoming more stringent regarding VOC emissions. The FDA and OSHA have not banned these products outright, but they are heavily regulated. For example, the Clean Air Act (CAA) restricts the concentrations of VOCs to only a few parts per million. Thus, using products with high VOC content may lead to non-compliance with these regulations, potentially resulting in legal repercussions for contractors.


Benefits of Using VOC-Free Products for Roofing

Moving away from products with VOCs will take effort and resources, sure. However, the benefits of using VOC-free roof coatings outweigh the initial investment. Here are some advantages you can expect.



Opting for VOC-free roofing products helps you address the growing demand for sustainability in construction practices. By reducing or eliminating VOCs, you contribute to a healthier environment. It’s a reflection of your commitment to eco-friendly solutions.



Occupants or customers of commercial properties won’t be exposed to harmful chemicals when you use VOC-free products. Using safe products fosters a healthier living environment.



The decision to use VOC-free alternatives extends beyond client benefits. You’ll also be protecting the well-being of your roofing team. By minimizing their exposure to harmful chemicals, you create a safer and more conducive work environment.



As regulations surrounding VOC emissions become more stringent, using VOC-free products ensures compliance with environmental standards. This proactive approach not only helps you avoid legal complications but also positions you as a leader in industry compliance.



In an era where consumers prioritize sustainability, incorporating VOC-free practices into roofing projects bolsters your company’s reputation. Contractors who embrace environmentally friendly solutions are likely to attract a broader customer base. You’ll do more business with clients seeking responsible and forward-thinking roofing solutions.


Today, there are numerous low VOC products available on the market, and even some 100% VOC-free options. For example, Castagra's VOC-free Ecodur Roof Coatings are eco-friendly and durable coatings made from castor oil and naturally occurring gypsum. Using simple and natural components eliminates the presence of VOCs altogether, allowing you and your customers to enjoy the benefits above. 


Wrapping Up: VOCs in Roofing Products

As expert roofing contractors, the choices we make regarding the materials we use have far-reaching implications for both the environment and the well-being of our clients and teams. 

Embracing VOC-free products is not just a trend — it’s a responsible step toward a sustainable and health-conscious roofing industry. By staying informed and making deliberate choices, we contribute to a brighter and safer future for everyone involved in the roofing process. 


Who Are We?

Castagra is a roof coating manufacturer dedicated to providing sustainable and high-performance coating solutions. Learn more about our products here, or contact our team today to learn more about what we do and how we can help you!

Castagra Products, Inc. Castagra Products, Inc.

Castagra Products, Inc.

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