How Long Do Vinyl Records Last?

Some claim that records can last up to a century, with proper use and maintenance. Well, that is in fact likely true! These figures are possible, of course, under ideal circumstances. After all, PVC, the material with which vinyl records are made of, takes a thousand years to break down. The answer as to how long vinyl records last will depend on a number of factors, including storage, handling, and proper turntable maintenance.

How Long Do Vinyl Records Last

Factors Affecting Vinyl Record Lifespan

We cannot reiterate enough that proper care and maintenance are crucial for extending the lifespan of vinyl records. In order to know what to do with your vinyl albums, it pays to be familiar with factors that impact their lifespan.

  • Humidity and Moisture
  • Storing your vinyl records in an environment with the right humidity levels is crucial to extending their lifespan. Otherwise, it can collect grime, dust, dirt, and other pollutants that may affect its existence.

  • UV Light
  • Ultraviolet (UV) light exposure can also impact the overall lifespan of a vinyl record. Extreme exposure to the sun will cause warping and deformation for the album. Note that the material loses its resilience if it is exposed to a temperature of at least 140° Fahrenheit (60° Celsius), thus causing distortion.

  • Storage Method
  • Records must be stored vertically - stacking them will cause issues as this can increase pressure on the grooves and promote warping as well. 

    In order to extend your records' working years, make sure they are kept properly, in an environment where debris and dust will not always reach them. 

    Understanding Vinyl Record Degradation

    It is not enough to know the factors that affect a vinyl record's lifespan. It is also important to know about vinyl record degradation. This is that instance when the sound quality is impacted by scratches, groove wear, or warping. 

    Both consistent play and long-term storage can cause degradation of your vinyl albums. If you happen to play a record regularly, it is critical to do so while observing common sense handling practices; avoid touching the grooves, clean the records regularly, and change out your turntable’s stylus regularly to ensure it is not scratching the vinyl itself. Chances are, without these best practice handling procedures, your records will accumulate dirt and scratches, causing them to compromise the sound quality. 

    The key to preventing degradation is to invest in proper storage and handling equipment and make sure you avoid exposing them to harsh environments.

    Proper Storage and Handling Techniques

    Knowing proper storage and handling techniques will help you extend the lifespan of your vinyl records. Make sure that they are not exposed to sunlight or that they are not kept in environments with high humidity and moisture. Do not stack your records on top of each other as well, and place each record in their sleeve after every use. Avoid touching the grooves with your fingertips. It is best to hold them by their circular paper label. 

    Why Choose Freestyle Vinyl?

    Freestyle Vinyl understands what each customer needs for their records. We make sure we customize your albums according to your needs, and that you will be able to play them for a long period of time, as long as you take care of them properly. 

    To learn more about how long vinyl records last, contact us today!