Winter is Coming! Last Chance to Get Your PVA Glue

As temperatures fall below the freezing point in some regions, it may become risky to order white glue. Or even to buy it at a local store. Like many other water emulsion glues, PVA may lose its gluing properties after freezing/thawing. Especially, if that process is repeated several times (e.g. while glue is in transit).

Last winter I’ve bought a 25-liter bucket of PVA at a local hardware store. You can imagine my surprise, when I found not an uniform liquid, I’m used to work with inside, but some strange mixture of coagulated lumps of polyvinyl acetate gel and water. It felt strange by touch and wasn’t gluing at all. Luckily, I was able to at least selvage the bucket =)

Depending on PVA brand, and, sometimes, month of production, you may receive unusable glue during cold season (in northern regions freezing-compatible glue may be produced in winter). However, even makes of PVA glue that may be frozen, have limits on how many times they could be put below the freezing point. Usually that number is somewhere around 5. That brings us to another problem: even if you are buying a freezing-compatible glue, you can never be sure that it wasn’t frozen one time too many.

However, even if you expect your new PVA glue was frozen in transit, don’t hurry to throw it away. Take two wooden planks and glue them together. If they would hold after two days of drying, there’s a good chance that glue is still quite ok. I wouldn’t use it on important projects, but it still could be mixed with other adhesives or applied with some not-so-important elements.

Good luck with your projects during the cold season!

Image credit: Victuallers CC BY-SA