How to Store and Care for Video Tapes
When you are in the act of
recording video, you’re
probably not thinking about what to do with that
footage 20 years from now. The reality is that
your tapes and film can start degrading in as
little as 5 years, usually because
of poor video storage techniques.
The first thing to understand is
that videotape was never designed to be a long-term
storage solution. It was primarily designed to be
easy to use and easy to copy. The good news is that with
proper storage you can extend videotape life (by
years... not decades). Storing your videotapes is just
as important as editing video and
sharing video of your
As one of the premier preservation
and archiving services in the country,
stashSpace believes that keeping your
memories alive for years to come is of utmost
importance. If you are not able to send your
videotapes into us for archiving through
(or after you have had your tapes returned to
you), please be sure to follow these storage and care
tips from stashSpace to keep your videotape
stock in good condition.
How to Store Your VHS and other Video Tapes
your video tapes right now? Are they in a
shoebox in the attic or the garage? If so,
please stop reading right now, find your tapes
and come back.
OK. now that you are
ready to go, here are the basics:
Do not open the cassette or touch the tape
unless it is an absolute necessity.
Do not let the temperature
regularly exceed 70 degrees Fahrenheit
Do not let the humidity
exceed 20 to 30%
Avoid storing your video
tapes in a room with southern exposure
Keep tapes in their cases when not in use.
Label tapes as soon as they are out of the
You should be able to
conduct normal activity in the storage area
without breaking a sweat, becoming out-of-breath
or sneezing. Any of these results are
warning signs that your storage room is not
suitable for your video memories.
How to properly care
for video tape
You want to keep your video tapes free from
moisture, excess heat and dust. Once that
is taken care of, there are other environmental
issues for consideration also:
- Never store your video tapes by your
Television set. Magnetic fields
generated by your television will damage
your video tapes quickly over time.
- Exercise your video tapes by
fast-forwarding through to the end of the
tape, and then rewinding to the beginning of
the tape. This will reduce
reel-tension and reduce the
tendency for tape adhesion.
- Never store your video tapes in your
car. On even a moderately sunny day,
the temperature can easily exceed 90-100
degrees when in direct sunlight.
- Smell the container in which your video
tapes are being stored. If you smell
vinegar or other odors, chances are your
tapes are in an accelerated stage of decay.
Tape degradation can be
broken down into
handling and use.
Over time the
components of a
video tape degrade.
Most importantly the
that contain data
become instable and
environment in which
you store video can
factors such as
handling can expiate
dropping the tape or
handling the tape.
It is easy to
transfer dust, dirt
and, grease onto
of your tape deck is
misaligned deck can
and pack tape
poorly. A dirty
deck can turn small
debris into large
time a tape is
occurs assisting the
While there are
many factors that
contribute to the
longevity of a video
tape most experts
agree that the life
span is 8-12 years.
However as time
tapes to digital
within the five
tapes to DVD with
ease, go to the:
video transfer page to get started
and keep your