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.
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."
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,