If you’re a record collector or just enjoy the sweet sound of vinyl, you know that any damage to the integrity of a vinyl record ruins the listening experience. Putting your favorite vinyl record in storage can feel like a gamble. Here are some tips to get the best outcome when it comes to vinyl record storage.

What Damages Records?

  • Horizontal storage
  • Touching the surface
  • Leaving records exposed
  • Warping from improper storage

Horizontal Storage

When putting records into storage, it is essential to ensure that they are stored in a vertical position. The records stacked horizontally can cause damage over time if the weight is too great. A tip to avoid this is to use a milk crate or sturdy tub to allow the records to stand vertically. Additionally, avoid stacking boxes on top of your record.

Touching The Surface

When packing up your records, you want to avoid contacting the record’s surface. Even if it is a simple fingerprint, it can cause oils and skin to fall within the grooves. It may seem evident that touching a record causes damage, but sometimes things get tossed to the wayside with the moving process. If you’re an avid collector and want an extra level of protection from damage, using gloves is not a bad option. 

Leaving Records Exposed

Leaving records exposed goes hand in hand with avoiding contact with the vinyl record. Looking closer into the exposure of records, some common mistakes come up. The first is leaving records out of the sleeve. The contact made between two records can cause scraping that may lead to it being unplayable. Another factor that can ruin a record is leaving it exposed to sunlight or extreme heat. The elements are the enemy of vinyl in many ways. Warding off heat, dust, and dampness are all exposure factors.

Warping From Improper Storage

Storing records in the wrong conditions or packaging is one of the most common ways records get damaged. This goes beyond avoiding horizontal storage. Some like to place their records in a protective plastic sheath. The idea is great and often works, but it can also lead to warping when done incorrectly. Having too tight of a cover can lead to warping, even if it’s subtle and hard to notice. Being exposed to extreme heat can cause the plastic to shrink as well. 

A trend in the last few years has been to store records on walls with either their cover half on or off. Storing a record that is intended to be played like this can lead to dust damage and sometimes warping, depending on the method of hanging. If you want to show off a record, getting a dedicated wall display is the best option. 

Let The Tunes Spin

Next time you go to store your vinyl record, follow these steps to ensure the best possible outcome for both short-term and long-term storage. A final tip to leave you with is to get a quality storage unit for long-term storage. Climate-controlled units are worth their weight in gold. Talk to your local storage unit experts and see what they offer!