Retro or dead media such as vinyl records, laserdiscs, VHS, and cassettes can be very valuable. These treasured collectibles deserve to be stored properly to maintain their good condition.
Avoid Damage from Sun, Heat, and Moisture
Vinyl records, video tapes, and Laserdiscs are extremely susceptible to damage from heat. When a vinyl record is exposed to UV rays the album cover may fade. Any heat source may make a record or Laserdisc warp badly. Video tapes exposed to heat can have playback problems. Moisture can cause mold to form that destroys the value of pristine collectibles.
Those who store valuable retro media in a garage or shed may find to their horror that everything is ruined when they open the boxes. It is a sad thing to see the destruction caused by heat and moisture, which can be avoided by storing the items properly.
How Hot is Too Hot for Vinyl Records?
Ideally to avoid warping, many sources say to store your vinyl’s between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and long term be kept at 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Sometimes that’s just not possible especially if you are the one paying for your air conditioning. Other people say you have to start worrying when the temperature reaches 130 degrees. So avoid storing your records in garages and attics.
Keeping items inside a temperature-controlled environment such as your home or a climate-controlled storage unit is the answer to avoid damage by excessive heat and moisture.
Preventing Damage from Freezing Cold
In addition to the risk of damage by exposure of retro collectibles to heat and moisture, there is also the risk of damage due to exposure to cold. The materials used to make vinyl records, videotapes, cassettes, and Laserdiscs may become brittle when subjected to cold temperatures. Moreover, if the storage temperature varies from extreme cold to hot, this is a serious problem that will certainly cause damage to these valuable items.
Position Vinyl Albums and Laserdiscs Correctly
Besides storing retro collectibles in a climate-controlled environment, it is also important to pack them properly. If a vinyl record or a laserdisc is stored incorrectly and has weight on it, it may warp. Stacking records or Laserdiscs on top of each other can damage them.
Vinyl albums and Laserdiscs need to be stored in a sturdy container and held in a perfectly upright vertical position in order to avoid being damaged during long-term storage. Choose sturdy containers that allow air circulation around the items because closed containers encourage mold to develop.
Vinyl records and Laserdiscs are relatively hardy. It is estimated that when stored under the proper temperature and low-humidity conditions (about 35 to 45% relative humidity is best) that they can last for up to 100 years or more.
Vinyl album and Laserdisc covers are more vulnerable. The cardboard used for these covers is more fragile and easily damaged. Museums that archive vinyl records and laserdiscs, with their covers still on, use protective sleeves to keep them in good condition.
How to Store VHS and Cassette Tapes
The National Archives recommends avoiding storage of video and cassette tapes in places with unregulated temperatures such as an attic or a garage. The best place to store these tapes is in a climate-controlled environment that never gets too hot or too cold and maintains modest humidity.
Rewind video and cassette tapes fully before putting them away for storage. Stacking tapes on top of each other can damage them. Video tapes should be stored vertically in their boxes. Cassette tapes can be put in storage boxes made specifically for them. Store these tapes away from anything that creates a magnetic field, such as loudspeakers that contain magnets, high voltage electrical lines, and surge protectors because magnetism can erase a tape.
Organize Your Collection
Everyone has their own way to organize their collection. You could go by genre but the most common way is alphabetically. Start by splitting up your collection into two piles A-M and N-Z then work on each pile individually. You’ll move a lot faster trying to organize two piles of 13 rather than 1 pile of 26. This would also be a great time to check to see if any of your media is damaged. If you happen to spot any damaged media, recycle when possible. You may even find some items that no longer spark joy and can be donated to someone who will appreciate them more.
Protecting Retro Media with Enhanced Security
In addition to storing your valuable collectibles properly, it is important to have adequate security to protect your collection. At Storage Rentals of America, we provide security and video surveillance monitoring on a 24 hours per day, seven days per week basis which gives our customers piece of mind.
By carefully packing these valuable retro items you can be confident that they will be well protected for years to come.
We’re Your Storage Solution!
Storage Rentals of America is your convenient self-storage solution. We have storage unit facilities across Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, New Jersey, and South Carolina. So come into our office or give our storage experts a call. Our call center is available 7 days a week and can help determine which storage unit size best fits your unique storage situation.