Isaiah Industries Case Study: Creating a Safe Haven with VOC-free Metal Roofing

The original case study appears on the Isaiah Industries website »


Seattle homeowner Julie needed a new roof. First, she wanted a beautiful, durable roof. Second, Julie is highly allergic to VOCs, so any material needed to be safe to live with. Finally, she found Guardian Roofing, who installed her perfect roof.


Guardian’s expert installation team created a custom roofing solution for Julie. They carefully identified and employed VOC-free materials, monitored the jobsite VOC levels, and integrated multiple roofing materials.


Julie’s roofing project caused minimal disruption in her daily life and resulted in a lasting, safe, and gorgeous roof. She can rest assured, knowing her Oxford Shingle roof is built to last.


Imagine you have to screen everything you buy or take into your home for specific chemicals. If you let something slip through, then you need to air out your house or fear for your health. This is the reality for people sensitive to VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).

According to the American Lung Association, VOCs are gases that certain products release into the air. These gases carry harmful effects, from attacking the respiratory system to causing cancer.

Seattle homeowner Julie is sensitive to VOCs, so she carefully monitors her home environment. So when it came time to replace her roof, she knew special considerations were needed.

Three primary sources of VOCs in building materials are paint, finishes, and sealants. For example, metal roofs use advanced paint systems to reflect heat and retain vibrant color. They also use sealants as a secondary adhesive, specially made to match the color. Since metal has several avenues for VOCs, Julie researched to narrow down a material, product, and contractor that could respect her needs and deliver a safe and healthy experience.

After consulting with several contractors, Guardian Roofing of Auburn, WA, had the winning combination of installation expertise and care for her and her home.

VOC-free Metal Roofing, Auburn

More Than A Customer

Mike Hernandez, a sales technician at Guardian, developed a great relationship with Julie during the project. Here’s Mike’s story in his own words:

“Julie’s project is one of the most detailed and specific systems I have ever built for a customer.

Julie is allergic to VOCs, and her allergies are so severe that she has been hospitalized in the past. So when she began her research, understandably, she had done a lot more than the average homeowner. By the time I visited her home, she was very aware of which products would not work for her.

So, I started by getting a better understanding of her allergies and what materials she was sensitive to. Then, I read the Material Safety Data for several Isaiah Industries products to find the right fit for Julie. Since the coatings used on their products are baked on, most VOCs are evaporated before the shingles are stamped, further reducing any possible exposure.

One unforeseen roadblock was checking the sealants, another potential source of VOCs.

Roof Replacement, Auburn Washington

Our biggest challenge during installation was removing the old roof. Tearing off the old asphalt created filled the air with dust and particles, so Julie relocated for a few days while we finished.

Often at Guardian, we preach that we make customers for life, but I can’t think of anybody who exemplifies this more than Julie. She is almost like an extra grandmother or auntie to me at this point!”

The roof geometry was particularly challenging, with a flat section connected to the main slope. Integrating the new Oxford Shingle roof with a flat roof required some serious skill. Most flat roofs involve chemical compounds, so identifying a safe option was crucial. Once Guardian found the right one, they carefully integrated the flat section into the main roof.

The entire Guardian team went above and beyond, monitoring on-site VOC levels throughout the installation process, from tear-off to sign-off.

New Metal Roof, Roofing Auburn, WA

A Job Well Done

Guardian co-owner Lori Swanson said, “We’d never worked for a client with this type of allergy before, so sourcing all the special materials wasn’t easy, especially with supply chain challenges. It was scary to think that if we didn’t get the right products, it could potentially be life-threatening to Julie.

We saw this as an opportunity to give Julie the roof she wanted without sacrificing beauty or functionality for health and safety. The result is something we believe everyone deserves, a solution that will last.”

Classic Metal Roofing Systems is a family-owned company based in Piqua, Ohio. Established in 1980, Classic is a commercial and residential metal roofing pioneer in shingle and standing seam designs. Owned by Isaiah Industries, a producer of permanent roofing solutions and underlayment, you can find more information at or