PVC – Poly-Vinyl Chloride is cheap and readily available. However, in general all PVC waterproofing membranes have some significant disadvantages:
  • Plasticizers: in order for the PVC membrane to be flexible they use plasticizers. Because these are in liquid form they leach out of the membrane with time. Depending on the quality of the PVC and the climatic conditions, the liners rapidly become brittle and start cracking, especially when exposed to the elements.
  • Not environmental friendly: PVC membranes contain chlorine, halogens and metals that are not good for the environment and public health.
  • Incompatibility with aquatic life. UV resistant PVC used for tarpaulins, banners, etc is toxic. There are specially formulated PVC liners that are compatible, but these are very expensive, so the main benefit of PVC, which is the cost, is negated.
  • PVC can be patched using contact adhesives, but for seaming, it needs to be welded with heat. This means the liner needs to be created on a factory floor, which means that fitment into a constructed hole is awkward. PVC liners can be welded together on site, but this requires expensive equipment.