Over the summer I left my vinyl records in a friends basement. I was moving out and kept them there while I moved back home. We didn't have room in the car and since it was going from one state to another, naturally the records were at my friends for a few months. They had a good size leak in their basement, which resulted in most of the records being covered in mold. This mold was all colors - orange, white, yellow, brown, some black.
I was devastated by my foolishness. I thought the basement, with its cool temperature would be a good place for storage, but once things get damp, it doesn't really matter how cool the temperature is. I had to throw out many records. If I had to ball park it, I would say I threw out about 60% of them. Then I threw out about 95% of the album covers - the best parts.
Once able, I quickly isolated the remaining records, and put them outside for sunlight and fresh air. Once I felt they had enough, I brought them in and quickly cleaned them using a gentle cloth with soap and a small bit of bleach. This is not something that should be done often, and preferably never, but in this emergency, and considering their condition before the mold attack, this was the best thing to do at the time. The records never looked so clean. They then went into crisp, new sleeves, which were then put into new plastic covers, and finally they were all put in a new cardboard box.
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Now that I have room to set up my record player, I was going over my record collection to examine their health. For the most part, they seem pretty clean and free of major scratches, but there are some covered in dust, or what I assume is either dust, mildew, or the returning mold. The thought of the mold returning scares me, even though they have been in my new, dry, clean basement.
1) Should my record collection be mold free in a cool, dry environment, after having cleaned them?
2) Is mold strong enough to grow back anyway?
3) Is a little mold / mildew normal?
4) Is there anyway I can totally eliminate the mold or get them professionally cleaned?
5) Is mold contagious for the other records?
I am extremely close to having a mold phobia, so any help on eradicating it would be much appreciated. There are two things that scare me the most right now. One, being the thought that even though the records look clean, that they are actually covered in invisible mold, and the second being that my new thrift store records are also in the same condition and that all the moldy records will somehow infect my brand new, modern records.