From a business standpoint, the value of a record is first determined by the condition of the cover and the condition of the vinyl. The artist, label, and pressing are also very important. But if the record is wrecked, that’s the end of value. Warping, water damage and mold, along with breakage and excessive scratches – often caused by sliding the record in and out of the cover, without using the protective inner sleeve, will all cause a record to lose it’s value.

Vinyl records warp if exposed to heat, if they are leaning: crooked on a shelf or unsupported in a box, and even if they are stacked flat in a pile, over time. The ONLY way to store a record properly is straight up and down, on it’s edge.

Warped record
Proper storage.

Mold and water are the enemies of all things paper and cardboard. If a record collection has been stored in a garage; a slightly, or really damp basement; an outdoor shed that is not insulated; or if it has ever gotten wet, the paper deteriorates and there is a good chance that the covers or the gatefolds have mold. Mold can even get on the vinyl!

There are different types and degrees of mold. But for the purpose of record valuation, all mold is bad. Here are some examples:

Warped and bent cover from water damage
Separation and mold caused by water
Mold from sitting in water
Water stains
Several kinds of mold
Mold inside the gatefold
Water stains and paper separation
Mold on the vinyl
Mold on the vinyl