How to Store a Record Collection
There’s something special about vinyl. The sound, for one; even the worst pressings of vinyl records have a distinct, warm quality that digital audio just can’t replicate. There’s the playing experience, so much more involved and careful than just clicking play. Then there’s limited edition packaging, gatefold covers, colored records, and plenty of other rewards for the hobby.
But vinyl record collections require special care. Today, we’ll talk about what such care involves.
Two factors most affect vinyl storage: moisture and temperature.
Moisture most affects vinyl covers, which deteriorate in the same fashion as books. However, if mold or even water residue (like mineral deposits) collects on a record, cleaning it out of the grooves can be a painstaking and difficult process.
Temperature is a much bigger problem for the vinyl itself. Though opinions vary across the internet, 100 degrees Fahrenheit seems to be the maximum recommended temperature. If that sounds like your garage in the summertime, consider a self-storage unit! Sudden temperature changes are also very bad for vinyl, and can cause instantaneous warping.
The single most important rule of storing vinyl is that it must be stored vertically! Because vinyl is a flexible material, laying it horizontally or at a wide angle will cause serious warping. Warping means track skipping, wonky audio, and other playback issues.
For storing vinyl in a storage unit, we recommend investing in a shelf with sturdy sides. Cube style organizers are a popular option because their shape is ideal for records.
Whatever you do, do not clean vinyl with just any old rag! Vinyl is extremely sensitive to scratches, and those scratches are permanent. You need to purchase either a dedicated cleaning system or – at the least – vinyl cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth. And be gentle.
Are you looking for a safe place to store your vinyl records? Hillsborough Self-Storage offers climate-controlled, secure self-storage. Our units come in sizes as small as a bedroom closet to as large as an entire garage, perfect for both the hobbyist vinyl collector and seasoned audiophile! Contact us today for a free estimate, and we can protect your investment!