Two thousand square feet of shingles, fiberglass plus asphalt, applied in the summer sun, using some sort of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Tar! sealant. The olfactory result?
“That’s odd,” said the guy supervising the job. “Usually it’s just the women who smell it.”
I am sufficiently anal (“That’s a polite word for what you are” Annie Hall) to look (or sniff) for things that aren’t a hundred percent. For instance, while fitting a new flue head, they knocked loose the draft diverter on the water heater. (And they’d never have known this from up top, believe me.) About a forty-five-second fix, but were I not, um, sufficiently anal, I’d not have noticed this, and eventually the gas would blow out a wall or three.
I also ran the attic fan for half an hour, not really expecting to dispel the faint odor of whatever it is, but mostly to see if anything had fallen into the blades. It was scarifyingly rattle-y for the first six minutes or so, after which a single tink, and the sound changed back to the usual low roar. Bits of debris from the new upper decking, plus one actual nail, which landed in the hall.
The guys did run the magnet over the yard in an effort to retrieve nails; I didn’t find any while mowing the front yard yesterday, and by “didn’t find any” I mean “well, there was this one complete coil that wound up under a shrub.”
There are things to do yet: replacing the little spinning-ball ventilator, and redoing the gutters. Most of the really nasty stuff, though, is over and done with. I think. Keep in mind that what I know about roofing is right up there with Al Gore knows about setting an example.