Posted on June 26 2016
The summer sun is back!
Here's what you need to know about keeping your records safe through the hot season.
Vinyl is very sensitive to heat, more specifically direct heat, but you can keep your records safe by keeping a few simple tips in mind.
1. Keep Your Records Out of the Car
Direct sunlight will warp your records, and it will happen fast. This means you need to keep your records off the dashboard of your car and out of the rear windows of your car. Maybe just play it safe, and try to keep your records out of your car for the summer.
[This warp occurred after 20 mins on the dashboard during an 85° day]
2. Records Are Safe Indoors in the Summer
Records that are properly stored in your home (meaning, vertically and away from the windows) are going to be OK throughout the summer. Vinyl is a pretty touchy material, but a hot house isn't going to warp your records. Unless the ambient temperature in your home is over 100°F. If that's the case, you might consider picking up a fan or even an air conditioner.
3. Vinyl Delivered to Your Porch Isn't a Lost Cause
If the record was packed tightly, in a legit vinyl mailer with a couple of stiffeners, your record should OK. If you're nervous that it may have been outside too long, bring the package inside and place it on a flat surface. Let it cool down for 20-30 minutes before you handle it.
The important thing to remember is that slow fluctuations from warm to cool pose little risk to your vinyl, fast fluctuations like from the hot porch to in front of the air conditioner can be fatal!
Records warp in the mail less often than internet myths let on.
4. Don't Worry About Evaporating Plasticizers
This notion that plasticizers evaporate in the heat is often cited on the internet when the subject of heat and vinyl comes up. It's true, plasticizers, which are added to vinyl to make it less brittle, and a bit flexible, does evaporate.
What you never hear is that this evaporation happens after a very long exposure to very high heats. Your records be perfectly fine if they get a little warm. If they aren't warped, you've got nothing to worry about. Don't sweat this one, it's pure audiophile nightmare nonsense.
Keep this short list of guidelines in your mind as the sun blissfully bakes away our winter blues, and by all means, don't stop digging just because the sun's out!