Safe Storage for CDs


#1

My attic is not heated or cooled so gets maybe 100 F some days in the summer, not worried about winter but is this too hot ?


#2

I would avoid it for a long term storage solution (more than a few weeks). Further, I’d be surprised if it only gets to 100 F. My attic hits this temperature by 9AM in the summer and often greatly exceeds it despite insulation and thermostat controlled ventilation fans.

You’ll likely see accelerated aging of the the high-acid paper in the artwork and deterioration of glue in digi-paks, box sets, and so on before you see damage to the CDs. I would urge you to not store any CDRs in this environment as the dye media and any labeling is not intended for that temperature.

The layers in the CD will likely be more prone to de-lamination, potentially exposing the aluminum surface to air leading to oxidation and data loss.

The polycarbonate substrate may warp in high temperatures rendering the discs unplayable.

The plastics in the discs will eventually become brittle and may disintegrate in your player. Thin plastic items left in my attic for a couple of seasons will crumble in your hand.

The freeze/thaw cycle in winter, while probably not as severe, will not do your collection any favors either.

In short, if you value your collection find a different storage solution. At very least, rip your discs and retain a backup somewhere else. Alternatively, I’m sure a forum member here would be willing to “host” your collection until you can find a more suitable home for it.

http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub121/sec5.html

-Pb


#3

I have other places for storage just that I have a lot of unused attic and it would be convenient. Not surprised by tthe art detoriation but was thinking the polycarbonate was more immune, thks for the detailed reply.


#4

Nice job, PB!

Another potential issue is humidity and condensation with temperature swings. Mold, etc. could create a real mess.


#5

I have two Sony “juke box” cd plaYers that hold 400 CDs each. The discs are catalogued by number so when I want to play an actual cd I just punch in the number on the remote and eject the disk for play in my better transport. Since I have not played from a transport for over a year, they are up for sale if anyone is interested. The transport in the Sony actually plays very well and the SQ is fine for all but very critical listening.