Tape Mould

If you look at the tape through the viewing window on the video cassette and you see fine white dust, Dirt, white streaks, white spots, mould or grey discolouration on the tape, then please do not send the tape as the mould would infect our own equipment and possibly other customers' tapes. 

We cannot proceed with your order and will return the tape to you.

Tape mould is a virulent infection that can quickly destroy the audio and the video content of tapes that were once used to capture important moments of family life and significant historical events.

Videotapes are made from cellulose coated with ferric oxide, and just like old sticky tape, they can dry out and become brittle and damaged with age. Modern techniques combat this ageing process and allow the tapes to be copied digitally and converted into a DVD or other forms of updated formats. However, this can not be completed if the videotape has been infected with mould. 

You can typically tell if a tape has been infected with mould as it will look as though it is covered in fine white dust. 

Usually, the worst afflicted tapes are the ones that have been stored incorrectly, for example, in a garden shed, loft or cellar. The mould is primarily caused by moisture in the air and incorrect storage of the tapes.

To avoid the infection of your tapes, you should try to store them in a dark environment away from any direct sunlight or artificial heat sources. Often a cool cupboard that has a partial amount of heat in winter is the best option. 

How should you deal with tape mould?

  • Do not blow away the dust, as this can spread further infections across your whole collection. 
  • Do not play the video as this could infect your machine and spread the mould.
  • Do not place near other tapes as again, this could spread infection
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with the contaminated videotape

A professional sterilisation team can clean partially damaged tapes by either using irradiation or in an oxygen vacuum. However, it is not always guaranteed that the content can be rescued.