Protect Your LPs from Damage with Vinyl Record Storage Tips
Physical album sales are down. Way down. All except for one format: Vinyl. According to BuzzAngle Music, a music analytics service, vinyl record sales grew by a staggering 25.9 percent in 2016.
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve been swept up in the record resurgence. If so, then you might be wondering how to store vinyl records safely. Stay with us, and we’ll show you everything you need to know to keep those albums sounding awesome for years to come.
How Should I Store My Vinyl Records?
Vinyl records should be stored upright. Never horizontal, or stacked one on top of another. Here’s why: Stacking albums horizontally accelerates the appearance of “ring wear” and, given enough time, leads to warping. Warping is when the surface of the LP bends and becomes wobbly as it spins on your turntable. This makes it harder for your needle to track the grooves, causes skipping and shortening the life of your expensive cartridge. So, always make sure to store your records vertically on a shelf, and keep them as straight as possible.
Where Should I Store My Vinyl Records?
Store your vinyl records in a cool, dry environment away from heat sources and direct sunlight. Heat from air vents, radiators and even sunlight can literally melt your precious collection. And, you’d be surprised at just how quickly it can happen. On the other hand, exposure to moisture and humidity creates the perfect environment for mold and mildew to ruin your album artwork.
What Temperature is Best for Vinyl Record Storage?
For albums you’re currently listening to on a regular basis, it’s ok to store them at room temperature. For storing records long-term, though, you want to keep the temperature much lower, around 60 degrees. If you have a basement, this could be one option to consider. But, keep in mind that moisture and humidity are your enemies! If your basement is damp, your next best bet could be a temperature controlled self storage unit.
How Can I Protect My Record Jackets and Album Artwork?
When you buy a new record at your local record store, it comes wrapped in a thin layer of shrink wrap. This helps protect the LP jacket from damage during production and shipping. When you tear it off at home, however, your album jacket is now more exposed to damage. Not to mention, dust and debris can easily find their way inside, contaminating your new jams. Luckily, there’s an easy, affordable solution. Plastic album sleeves. Buy them online or pick some up at your record store, but definitely take this extra step to protect your collection.
Got More Albums than You Can Handle?
The biggest drawback to storing vinyl records at home is that they take up a ton of space. So, here’s one final vinyl record storage suggestion for you. Comb through your records and pull out all of the albums you think you’re going to listen to in the next few months. Then, pack up the rest and take them to a self storage facility close to home. You can still get to your records if your tastes change, but you won’t have to deal with all the clutter. Just make sure you follow these vinyl record storage tips when you move into your unit!