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Can Cold Weather Ruin Records?

Posted on February 22 2016

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Its been cold lately in the north east, and it's got us wondering, are vinyl records safe out in the cold? All winter long, records can be found sitting in cold cars, in freezing post boxes, and out on porches after a postal delivery. Can they get too cold? Are they safe?

Yes, they are safe. However, a word of caution:

Freezing a record won't lead to any cracking or warping, but warming them up too quickly can be harmful to your records. How do we know? A Discogs discussion, a man in a laboratory, and YouTube

In a video response to the question of what happens when you freeze records and then bring them up to room temperature, Discogs user AMJacker, brings a record down to -20°F degrees then up to 70°F. What we learn is that vinyl gets just a little bit soft as it makes the adjustment from freezing to room temp.

What does this mean for the records your postman has been leaving on the porch while you're at work? Well, if you bring a record in from the cold, it's a good idea to just let it lay flat in it's jacket and let it come up to room temperature without much handling of it. Leave it on the counter, give it a couple of minutes, and you'll be fine.

An especially important thing to remember in the season of snowmen and steam heat. 

Christina Bottego