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Home /Science / Your Memories and Cold Weather

Your Memories and Cold Weather

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By Katy Sommerfeld

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but not for your analog media! 

Analog media is very susceptible to damage when exposed to any change in weather, and when winter comes along, it comes with a host of risks to your most precious analog memories.
Film at low temperatures can become very brittle and can make handling the film dangerous. Cold air also has very low humidity, which can only make the film more susceptible to damage. The same can occur with print photographs, photo negatives, and slides. 

 

When exposed to low temperatures, the physical dimension of tapes gets smaller and loosens how tightly packed the tape is inside the reels. This can cause tape slippage, folding, and cinching that may not revert when temperatures become warmer. If you live in a place like Tennessee (where we are headquartered!) where the weather changes frequently, this can cause the magnetic binding to separate from the base of the tape, ruining the playback ability of the tape.


To avoid damage to your memories this winter, there are a few storage tips to keep them safe from the elements. 

 

Store your media indoors.

If you’ve been storing your films, tapes, or photos in an outdoor shed of some type, move them inside as soon as possible. Direct exposure to cold weather and the dry air that comes with winter can seriously damage all types of analog media. Bringing them inside will prevent much of the damage that could be inflicted if they remain outdoors.

 

Keep media out of basements and attics.

While basements and attics seem like the perfect storage space, they are one of the worst places for storing analog media. Attics and basements are more likely to be exposed to natural disasters and temperature changes. Store your media on the main floor of your home instead.

 

Keep light out. 

Many forms of analog media are photosensitive, meaning they are sensitive to light. Make sure you keep your film and photo negatives especially in dark environments this winter, such as in a box in a closet.

 

Manage the humidity level. 

The dry, winter air can cause your analog media to become very brittle. Make sure you store your media in areas away from open windows or doors. 


This winter, make sure your memories are preserved forever through digitization! Legacybox offers digitization of many formats of analog media with a turnaround of around four weeks. We send you a crush-proof box with a prepaid shipping label for you to fill with your photos, films, tapes, and more. Then, you can drop the box off at a UPS store and in a few weeks, you’ll receive your originals and the digitized copies. Don’t let your media get damaged by the tests of weather, time, and disasters. Try digitization with Legacybox today!

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