February 17, 2021 - Building & Construction

How to Minimize VOCs in Home Construction

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have the potential to cause harmful affects to people and our environment. For the construction market in particular, it’s important to ensure VOC emissions are kept to a minimum in our homes and office buildings. Let’s look at ways VOC levels can be lowered during construction and the role sealants play in doing so.

Building Safe Doors and Trims

Many of today’s doors and trims are made of composite wood, which can have the potential to outgas due to its formaldehyde content. To limit this potential, it’s recommended to build with solid wood. If not, sealing doors and trim with a low VOC adhesive or sealant product can help lessen the emissions.

Building Safe Flooring

Certain subfloors and underlayments use interior-grade plywood, which is likely to offgas for years. Other types of wood products, such as wheatboard, yield lower emissions, especially when used with a low VOC barrier sealant.

The safest type of flooring materials include:

  • Ceramic tike
  • Slate
  • Hardwood
  • True linoleum
  • Colored concrete

While these flooring types are typically finished off-site, it’s important to use a low VOC product, especially if finishing on-site.


Building Safe Roofs

To lessen the amount of VOCs offgased in the environment, the International Green Construction Code implemented a mandatory standard that low-slop roof coatings cannot exceed VOC levels greater than 50 grams per liter. As a result, it’s important for contractors to use proper building materials to reduce harmful environmental effects.

Bostik’s Low VOC Products

Keeping home and building safety in mind, Bostik manufactures low VOC sealant products. These include:

  • 915: construction grade urethane sealant for sealing gutters, sheet metal, roofing and expansion and control joints
  • PRO-MS 50: silyl modified polyether sealant for windows, doors, facades and siding and roofs
  • PanelTack: high modulus silyl modified polyester sealant for panelization systems

For a complete list of our low VOC product line and their VOC percentage, click here.

Bostik is also a U.S. Green Building Council member and a major proponent of the LEED initiative. As a result, our company strives promote building projects that offer both environmental and economic opportunity.

Bostik’s construction sealants also improve building systems overall. To learn more, call 800-7-BOSTIK.

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