Mouldy video tapes
Mouldy video tapes – I often get video tapes to digitise that have not been stored that well, e.g. in a loft or garage. But even video tapes that have been stored in a cupboard in the house can be a problem. Decades of sitting in a home environment, which can have relatively high moisture levels, can still mean that they can get covered in small white deposits. These deposits are mould forming on the edge of the tape itself. Basically you will have mouldy video tapes.
White areas are mould on video tapes
The problem in this situation is that when the tape is played (or fast forwarded on the reel) it gets stuck to itself and so rips. This makes that part of the tape unplayable. If things have been left too long, it is not possible to play the tape. Therefore, all those precious family memories are lost forever.
The Guardian offers the following advise
VHS and audio tape should not be stored in:
- garden sheds
- lofts, cellars or anywhere where the temperature fluctuates
Tapes should be kept:
- in the dark
- away from direct heat sources
- labelled in a cool cupboard that is heated during the winter
How to deal with tape mould:
- Look for a fine white dust
- Don’t blow it away across the rest of your collection
- Don’t play the damaged tape (you could infect the machine)
- Don’t throw away mouldy cardboard casings or surrounding storage boxes without noting down the details of the recording, such as the date, location and names
- Do not place near other newer tapes
- Wash your hands thoroughly after touching infected tape
So, I recommend that you do not leave your precious memories on video tapes any longer – get them digitised as soon as possible.
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