Shellac versus PVA as a sealer?

I want to seal a surface at home that has a bad odor and I suspect has some harmful gasses coming off it … it is an old floor that had REALLY old linoleum on it (like several decades old) and when I removed the linoleum, there is all this strange adhesive residue, cream coloured, light green etc…

I have read that Shellac is non-microporous and seals surfaces completely. Is this true and will PVA accomplish the same thing?

Any other alternatives? Any links to authoritatve info?

Thanks for the reply. By "PVA" I meant Polyvinyl Acetate (as in PVA Glue), not Polyvinyl Alcohol.


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    One Response to “Shellac versus PVA as a sealer?”

    • Jeffrey J:

      Shellac is the traditional method of sealing smells such as pet urine or fire/smoke damage, and is more readily available Its only draw backs are the smell and its flammability until dry

      PVA= Polyvinyl alcohol has excellent film forming, emulsifying, and adhesive properties. It is also resistant to oil, grease and solvent. It is odorless and nontoxic. It has high tensile strength, flexibility, as well as high oxygen and aroma barrier. However these properties are dependent on humidity, in other words, with higher humidity more water is absorbed. The water, which acts as a plasticiser, will then reduce its tensile strength, but increase its elongation and tear strength.

      PVA has a melting point of 230°C and 180–190°C for the fully hydrolysed and partially hydrolysed grades. It decomposes rapidly above 200°C as it can undergo pyrolysis at high temperatures.

      PVA is an atactic material but exhibits crystallinity as the hydroxyl groups are small enough to fit into the lattice without disrupting it.

      The shellac part I knew, the PVA part is cut/paste from Wiki

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