Water based adhesives are supplied as pre-mixed solutions, or are formulated as dry powders, which producers and distributors must then mix with water in order to obtain its adhesive properties. These properties are obtained when water is either lost from the glue line by evaporation or is absorbed by the substrate. Because of this, it is important to use at least one permeable substrate when applying water-based adhesives.
Because the polymers in water based adhesives are water soluble, the bonds that are formed between surfaces are more susceptible to moisture and water, although some kinds, like plant and casein glues, are made with a base material that is insoluble at room temperature. Although this has improved the resistance of such adhesives to the effects of water and moisture, water based solution adhesives are still perishable, and therefore contain a shorter storage life.