Monday, October 4, 2010

Taking Good Care of Your Record Albums

Too often, records are tossed away, wrecked by poor storage or any number of natural disasters. Records that are in excellent shape sell for more money, and they play a lot better than records in poor shape. That should be motivation enough to keep what you have in the best possible condition. Here's a short list of tips for record preservation. Follow these guidelines and enjoy your records for years to come!

  1. Keep your records away from heat and sunlight. Your records will easily become warped if left in a hot automobile in the summertime. The records will become more pliable and will warp quickly. This can literally occur in minutes and is impossible to repair. We get more than a few records that have been warped from excessive exposure to heat or sunlight.
  2. Keep your records and needle clean and free of dust and debris. This helps in maintaining the usability of the record for a long period of time.
  3. Keep your records in their dust jackets when not in use. This one should be obvious, but I still have friends that stack CD's like poker chips. I would assume a few of you do the same with records. Storing your records without cases will quickly result in deep scratches.
  4. Store your records vertically, on a durable shelf with backing. Storing records horizontally can lead to the record warping. The tremendous weight of the records on top will inevitably deform the records at the bottom; it's only a matter of time. Records can be stored vertically in boxes, but only if they are packed tight and stacked no more than four or five high.
  5. Keep your records away from excessive humidity, dampness and water. Don't store your records in a floodplain. If you store records in the basement of your house, it could be helpful to run a dehumidifier. If your records are exposed to open water, the covers will draw the water up like a wick, permanently damaging the cover. As soon as water has infiltrated your collection, you should get busy quickly to save what you can. All records must be removed from their cases and dried if they are wet; this will at least save the vinyl for the most part. If water soaked records are left, the paper jacket will eventually stick to the record itself, ruining both the cover and the record. Dampness left unchecked could leave your records moldy and the covers wavy and permanently damaged. Not good. One reason our warehouse is three stories high!

If you have any other suggestions related to storing and preserving record albums, we'd like to hear them! To get a better idea about how we explain some of the damage that records can have, please visit our record grading page.


  1. I would add "don't store your records in crates." Crates eat up the bottoms and edges of covers as you flip through your records, if you have to use crates, put carpet or cardboard in the bottom of the crate to protect your covers.

  2. My records have not had any maladies, but my CDs are another case entirely. I used to live in Florida, then I moved to North Carolina. Both locations are so humid that hundreds if not thousands of my CD booklets have mildew stains. All of my vinyl is in plastic sleevage and thus is spotless. In some cases these are OOP triple figure CDs that are no longer M-.

  3. I once had my nice pic cover records hanging on my wall with a plastic sleeve and a thumb tack at the top. Looked awesome. But little did I know, there was a baseboard heating unit that ran the length of the wall. After months of not thinking about it, I looked closer and all of my covers had started to bubble and stay open. I took them all down, stacked them and put a weight on top to flatten them back out, and luckily it worked!

    Moral of the story, keep away from ALL heat, not just the sun!

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