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Home /Science / How Do I Know if My VHS Is Damaged?

How Do I Know if My VHS Is Damaged?

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By Mollee Shannon

After visiting family and sifting through our old VHS collection, we found some Hollywood hits and also some old family favorites. The boxes? Cardboard. The VHS tapes? Here and there! So how should we decide? Do we include this (maybe) damaged tape in our Legacybox, or send other media? 


Here are some tips for consideration! These are a few recommendations for examining your tapes.


Water, Everywhere!

VHS tapes are prone to mold, and water damage is the most common type of damage. Whether this is from basement dampness, or flooding, mold can take over the case, or the magnetic tape. If the casing has a bit of mold, clean it off, send it on, and our experts will treat your items as the heirlooms they are. If an item cannot be digitized, don’t worry! You’ll be issued a credit for a future order! 


Ouch, Hot!

Video tapes are a bit more durable than their previous counterparts, when it comes to heat damage. However, when exposed to heat, the magnetic strip on a VHS can begin to warp, causing a less than stellar conversion. Heat can cause changes to colors and textures in the film. Check your tapes for curling or warping when choosing which media to pack into your box! 


Get Physical? 

Often, VHS tapes suffer physical damage. This can be a break to the plastic casing, or a split in the magnetic strip itself. While we expect videos of the past to be spliced for continuity, VHS tapes were not quite designed that way. If you are faced with this conundrum, consider Analog’s How to Repair Your Old VHS Tapes


Magnetic Properties 

I love my family’s movie collection, including the vast library of video tapes! We love our lively library, but we have come across some videos we just can’t view. As always, some research told me that is not uncommon. The iron oxide in a VHS tape reel does not hold up particularly well, unless items have been carefully stored. If there are magnetic issues with a tape, restoration is difficult and unlikely. However, our awesome techs will always try. If you’re unsure about a media item, check your email! We will keep you informed! At Legacybox, our highly trained expert technicians will work to proudly digitize your memories, and our customer service team is always here to help. 

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