Window Sealant VOC Question


I have an old house with wooden windows which I am slowly replacing as $$ allows. However, for the windows which have not been replaced, I try to seal them up to minimize the heat loss.
Last year, I used "rope caulk", which worked oK, but was a pain to put up and which eventually dried out about 2/3 through winter and fell off.
This year, I found this stuff at HD called DAP Seal 'n Peel. It is a removable sealant which you install with a caulk gun and then peel off in the spring. I like this concept, because I can make beads of whatever size I want/need and installation with a caulk gun is FAST.
However, I did my first few windows today and I was really surprised by how much odor this stuff gives off. It smells like contact cement. So I looked up the MSDS and it is about 30% toluene. http://www.dap.com/docs/msds/77136.pdf This has me concerned. I need about 100 mL per window and I have two windows per room. The rooms are about 12 x 9 with 9 foot ceilings. If I am doing these calculations correctly, I am emitting about:
(200 mL) * (30%) * (0.8809 g/mL) = 53 g per room
Assuming my room dimensions are correct, I have about 36 m^3 of volume per room. So the concentration of toluene vapor could be about 1472 mg/m^3.
According to the EPA, this is above the OSHA ceiling concentration, which is defined as: "Occupational Safety and Health Administration's permissible exposure limit ceiling value; the concentration of a substance that should not be exceeded at any time." http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/hlthef/toluene.html
I'm concerned. This seems too high. I have a 2 year old toddler and (of course) her bedroom is one of the rooms I sealed up today. Even 6 hours after using this sealant, there is a faint solvent odor in her room.
Anyway, my questions are:
1. Is there an alternative product out there that people recommend? 2. Am I being overly concerned? I'm really feeling guilty about having exposed my family to this stuff. It seems to me that this shouldn't even really be on the market. (Imagine if I had done all 13 of the old windows in my house at once!)
Thanks in advance, Jon
--




Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes. Toss that damned calculator out in the trash, open a door for 15 to 30 minutes and stop worrying. Some odors persist for a time even after the solvent vapor has long been diluted.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Well that is exactly the problem. The instructions say "Use in a well ventilated space so that vapor smell is not noticeable." This, of course, is somewhat poor advice for a product that is designed to help make an airtight space. I can NOT open the window--I just caulked it shut!
--

"Edwin Pawlowski" < snipped-for-privacy@snet.net> wrote in message
news:Ck6bh.6068$ snipped-for-privacy@newssvr25.news.prodigy.net...
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 28 Nov 2006 22:00:45 -0500, "Jonathan"

I gave up on sealing the windows sashes and just built plastic-covered wooden frames that screw into the windowframe, with felt gaskets. Sort of interior storm windows, Ugly as hell, though.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jonathan wrote:

static situation where all the toluene is released at once where in fact it would evaporate slowly and even without good ventilation, room air would be changed. But, ventilation is the key and in an industrial situation, without adequate ventilation, masks with organic vapor cartridges or forced air would be required. Personally, if I could not ventilate, I'd look for something else to seal the windows. I've seen caulks with far less VOC's, but they are permanent.
Frank
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.