Vinyl is waterproof.
This means that water will not move through it when under pressure, and it will stand up well to extended bouts of water exposure and water vapor.
The trouble is that many people seem to think that vinyl records and vinyl panels/carpet will therefore stand up to flooding, but that is just not the case.
Vinyl is waterproof but it can still be corrupted and warped by water.
Why Do People Want Waterproof Vinyl?
Vinyl works well as a flooring material because it is tough, durable, it has grip when trod upon, and it is water resistant.
It is very easy to clean to the point where even if you drop harsh household chemicals on it or pet mess, it can be easily cleaned without causing too much (if any) damage.
Vinyl also holds its shape rather well, which is why it is used for records.
Sadly, vinyl doesn’t handle heat very well, but it doesn’t burn as quickly as other materials, which is another reason why it is used in bathrooms and is used for kitchen floors.
Water will eventually make vinyl softer, which is a problem if your vinyl records get wet because the needle then creates deeper grooves, which causes irreparable damage to your records.
Is Some Vinyl More Water Resistant Than Others?
Most types of vinyl have the same amount of waterproofing.
The only factors that alter this fact is firstly how well the vinyl is made and pressed/cut/shaped, with poor quality vinyl having more trouble with water.
The second factor is if the vinyl is treated in one way or another.
For example, some vinyl wood flooring is sealed on top for an extra layer of protection against water.
This often means the vinyl can be exposed to water for days on end without experiencing damage.
If the water is heated, then damage occurs to the vinyl a little quicker, especially if there is wear and tear going on at the time.
Still, this is not usually a problem unless there is some sort of flooding.
What Makes Vinyl So Waterproof?
The nature of the material is that it doesn’t have pores, so water cannot seep through., i.e. osmosis cannot occur.
Nor does its chemical structure allow water molecules to seep through over time.
However, micro imperfections in the vinyl will allow water to penetrate over time, which then softens the vinyl.
In the case of a vinyl record, when one side is soft and the underside is hard, it creates a warping effect.