Vinyl collecting has had a resurgence over the last decade, and for good reason. The rich, textured sound you get when listening to vinyl records is unmatched by other media formats.
Unfortunately, vinyl is also fragile, and it takes up a lot of space. If you’re a collector, you want to make sure the way you store your records keeps them safe. Follow this storage guide to make sure your albums can continue playing your favorite songs for years to come.
What should I consider when putting my vinyl records into storage?
There are four things you need to consider first and foremost when attempting high-quality record storage. These things are humidity, temperature, light, and pressure. If any of these are out of whack, they can lead to damage.
You want records stored in a reasonably dry place. If humidity gets above 35-40% relative humidity, damaging mold can start to develop, ruining the sound.
Vinyl records are very temperature sensitive. They can easily warp and bend if introduced to especially high heat. You want them stored in room temperature or cooler. Avoid keeping them near radiators, vents, or heat-producing appliances. Ideally (especially large collections), you can store them in a climate-controlled storage unit for guaranteed safety.
You want to keep light exposure to a minimum, especially intense or direct varieties. Ultraviolet light in particular can cause irreversible damage to vinyl. It's okay for records to get some light exposure, but minimizing as much as possible is ideal.
You don't want to pack records too tightly together. If they're standing upright, a good rule of thumb would be having enough space to reasonably flip through them. Never stack things on top of them or stack them on top of each other. Over time they can become compacted and not play as well (or at all).
Okay, then how exactly should I store my vinyl collection?
Knowing how to maintain the place where you store your records in is just the first step. You want to make sure that, once they’re in storage, they’re staying safe. This means knowing how to prevent damage while in storage with a few special considerations.
Invest in proper sleeves.
If you're putting records in storage long term, you want them to be in sleeves. In a perfect world, you'll put both the record itself and the cover in separate plastic sleeves. You want static-free polyethylene liners to circumvent potential print-through problems from the original paper sleeves.
If you'll be placing them on shelves, make sure they can handle the weight.
On average, vinyl records weigh thirty-five pounds per foot. Guarantee that your shelving can handle the weight.
Use plastic or wood storage containers.
It doesn't matter as much what specific containers you keep your records in, since they're already double-sleeved and temperature-controlled at this point. However, skip metal and go for wood or plastic to reduce static.
Collecting vinyl is no joke. When your collection gets so big that it takes over the basement, guest bedroom, and attic, consider investing in a storage unit. It’s the perfect place to put your most valuable LPs to maintain both their safety and integrity. Call the team at Storage Direct to see about our personalizable self-storage options today.