Our single story house just got a new roof - Certainteed shingles part of the house -  and IB roofing system  (garage and kitchen).  Throughout the process there has been a heavy glue smell in the house.  Is it normal?  We aired it out, thought it was gone, turned on our central air system and the glue smell is back REALLY STRONG. What happened?  What do we do?  Is it toxic?  

Also, IB system on flat roof (looks like PVC) has some bubbles.  Can this affect the longevity of this roof system?   

Thanks,  Gabriel

Sounds like they may have spilled some glue- when applying adhesive to the membrane and insulation the installer will generally use a thin coat on each. Once the adhesive has dried the surfaces are mated together and pressed together to push out any air bubbles.

If you're still smelling adhesive then they either used too much or spilled some glue that has gone under the roof deck. It will eventually gas out and the smell will stop (maybe/probably).

I'm not sure of the adhesive brand your contractor used so I couldn't say exactly what you're smelling; many adhesives use hexane, toluene, methyl ethyl ketone and many others in combination in the product. Where I live (Northern Virginia)all construction adhesives and sealants are low VOC (volatile organic compounds) and have very little to no odor. I couldn't say whether the fumes you are breathing are harmful- but inhaling anything listed above is certainly bad for your health.

It's a bit more work but we mechanically attach almost all or our low slope roofing for the very reasons your writing me (no fumes and no adhesives).  
This link will show mechanical attachment on a similar roof product:

You might want to check with IB about the bubbles in the membrane- this might be a problem for warranty coverage- I'm not sure of their policy.

Call your contractor-

Good luck,


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Tom Petrilli


I can answer questions about residential and light commercial roofing. I really enjoy solving complicated problems. My expertise is in shingle, slate and traditional metals (copper, lead, terne, stainless) as well as single ply low slope roofing. I have also installed a considerable amount of synthetic slate.


I have been a roofer for 21 years, I've owned my own company for the past 13.

The National Roofing Contractors Assoc and Virginia Association of Roofing Contractors

I have attended numerous manufacturer training programs as well as sought out experts in specialized work for instruction.

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A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, A rating from Angies List, highest mark for quality and value from the Washington Consumer Checkbook

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