Warping is a common form of vinyl record damage and can occur for many reasons.
Warping drastically detracts from the audio quality of the record and can sometimes make your record entirely unplayable.
This common audiophile problem leaves many vinyl lovers wondering how to fix a warped record…
…or if the only solution is a very expensive replacement!
How To Fix A Warped Record
Warped records never play well, and in extreme cases, may in fact not play at all.
This can be a massive issue for records that are expensive to replace…
…and even more so for those rare pieces of vinyl that have no replacements available.
If you have found that some of your prized records are warped, what can you do?
The best way to fix warped records is to use a record flattening machine. If you cannot find this machine or if it is too expensive, find someone who has one and runs a record flattening service. This will ensure that the record is not damaged and will effectively flatten the record.
Vinyl records are known to warp when they become too warm or exposed to too much humidity.
Some records can also warp with age if they are made from lesser-quality vinyl.
If this has occurred to some of your records, luckily, there are ways to fix it.
Flattening out a warped record can be dangerous…
…I mean, not to the extent that human life could be in danger, or anyone’s at risk of losing an eye…
…but it can cause further harm to your record, or even break it entirely.
But, there are just a couple of safe ways to do it.
And both of them are relatively gentle and pretty unlikely to cause any further damage.
Let’s explore the two best ways to fix a warped piece of vinyl.
#1. Use a Record Flattening Machine
The best way to fix a warped vinyl record is to use a high-quality record flattening machine.
These machines are specifically designed to fix warped records and are very good at it.
Using a machine like this does not damage the record and can return the record to nearly perfectly true.
These machines are essentially weighed flat presses with heating plates.
The record is placed between the flattening plates, which slowly heat up to a safe temperature…
…and the gentle weight of the machine applies just enough pressure to flatten the record without harming it.
The only problem is that these machines are outrageously expensive.
Record flattening machines can cost upwards of $2,000, which is a lot of cash!
The good news, however, is that many people own these machines and offer record flattening services for very reasonable fees.
Look them up online, and you will find someone with the right machine who will flatten your record for a small fee.
This is usually the best and safest way to flatten a warped record.
#2. Use Heat, Pressure…and Time
This method tends to be the go-to for many vinyl enthusiasts wondering how to fix a warped record.
If a record flattening machine is not an option for you, this is the next best thing.
Be very careful how you do this.
First, slightly, and very carefully, heat the warped record with a gentle heat source, such as an iron (placing a towel over the record first obviously) or direct sunlight…
…and then place the record on a flat surface, and under something perfectly flat, and evenly weighted, like a book or two….
And then wait, for a very long time.
Realistically, you should allow at least a week to ensure that the record does not warp as soon as you remove it from under your book.
Just be sure that the book is not so heavy that it ends up flattening the record’s grooves.
Using a humidifier to heat the record and apply some moisture can help, but only in very small amounts.
Wrapping it Up!
Flattening a warped record is challenging, but if you use the right method, you can restore your record to very good condition quite easily.
Take your time when flattening a warped record to reduce the risk of damage, and you will be listening to your once warped piece of vinyl again…
…sooner than you think.
Now all you need to do is make sure this doesn’t happen again…so go ahead and check that you’re storing your vinyl properly!