It is important that you think about the best way to prepare your vinyl records for long-term storage to avoid them becoming warped, scratched or cracked. Here’s a guide that tells you how.
Vinyl record collections can be long-term investments or a valuable and sentimental possession. To keep your vinyl records safe, you need to store them in a secure location that fits the criteria needed for vinyl storage.
Clean the records before you pack them.
To do this rub a soft, lint-free cloth that has been dipped in distilled water, over them in a circular motion. This will remove the dust from the surface of the record. Ensure that they are then completely dry.
The paper sleeves and outer covers that the records come in are designed to protect them from warping and scratching. If you have not saved all of the paper sleeves for your collection, you should be able to get more from your local music store or purchase online.
Get the Right Boxes
The boxes that you use to store your record collection in are very important. Vinyl records will need to be stored in an upright position to ensure that they are not damaged. The best boxes for this would be milk crates or a small box with similar dimensions. These boxes are approximately the same size as the records, which ensures that they do not move around too much or are not packed too tightly. It is important to note that you should not stack the record boxes if they are made of cardboard. This is due to the fact that cardboard will weaken over time and the records on the top could start to crush the records at the bottom. This will lead to cracks and warping which you will not know about until you open the boxes.
Have the Right Storage Unit
The long-term storage unit that you are going to be using has to be carefully considered. It is best to store your record collection in a climate-controlled storage unit. The unit should allow you to keep the temperature at standard room temperature or slightly lower. The unit should never become too hot as this can cause warping and other problems.
The storage unit should also be free of moisture and humidity. Both humidity and moisture could damage your record collection as you store it. The goal is to have a storage unit that keeps the collection in an environment with a consistent temperature which is completely dry.
It is best that the boxes holding your records are stored on metal shelving. Metal shelving is important because wood shelving could absorb moisture, which could lead to the moisture affecting your records. Metal will also never expand or contract when there are temperature fluctuations in the storage unit. This means that your records will be held on a more secure shelf.
If there is no metal shelving, plastic pallets may be used instead.
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