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Why Do Pokemon Cards Curve Thumbnail

Why Do Pokémon Cards Curve And How to Prevent It

Pokemon cards curve due to humidity and temperature changes. Learn how to prevent and fix curving cards with proper storage, humidity control and handling techniques.

Imagine this: You’re cracking open packs, the anticipation is building, and then BAM—you pull that coveted rare card… 

But as you hold it up, your heart sinks. It’s curved. 

A wave of disappointment washes over you. 

That pristine condition, the kind that makes collectors drool, is gone.

Curving (or curling), unfortunately, is a common issue that plagues Pokémon cards, potentially impacting their value and longevity. 

But don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world! We wrote this article to guide you specifically. 

We’ll dive deep into why Pokémon cards curve, arm you with practical prevention techniques, and even explore ways to potentially fix those unfortunate bends.

With that said, let’s get started!

Know the Culprits: Humidity and Temperature Fluctuations

Let’s face it, Pokémon cards may be made of tough stuff, but they’re not invincible. 

The biggest culprits behind that dreaded curving? Humidity and temperature – a dynamic duo that can wreak havoc on your prized possessions.

Humidity: The Arch-Nemesis

Think of cardboard like a sponge. It’s hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture from the air. In humid environments, your cards soak up that excess moisture and expand. 

The problem is, this expansion often happens unevenly, leading to warping and, you guessed it, curving.

Ever notice how cards stored in damp basements or left out during a humid summer day tend to curl? That’s humidity at work. 

Even seemingly harmless places like a room with poor ventilation can harbor enough moisture to make your cards unhappy.

Here are a few more scenarios where humidity can turn your cards into unwanted potato chips:

  • Living in a humid climate: Coastal areas or regions with high humidity levels are a breeding ground for card curving.
  • Storing cards in damp basements or attics: These spaces are notorious for trapping moisture, putting your cards at risk.
  • Leaving cards near open windows during humid days: Even a short exposure to humid air can be enough to initiate curving.
  • Storing cards in cardboard boxes without proper protection: Cardboard boxes can actually absorb moisture from the air, putting your cards in a double-whammy situation.

Temperature: The Accomplice

While humidity is the main offender, temperature swings are like that annoying accomplice that makes everything worse. 

Rapid changes in temperature cause the cards to expand and contract quickly, putting extra stress on the material. This constant fluctuation exacerbates the effects of humidity, increasing the likelihood of warping.

Leaving your cards in a hot car, near a heating vent, or even experiencing drastic weather changes can all contribute to this temperature rollercoaster. 

Remember, consistency is key when it comes to storing your precious Pokémon treasures.

Here are some additional temperature-related situations that can spell trouble for your cards:

  • Leaving cards in direct sunlight: Similar to a hot car, direct sunlight can heat up cards quickly and unevenly, leading to warping.
  • Storing cards near windows: Even without direct sunlight, windows can create temperature fluctuations, especially during different times of day and seasons.
  • Taking cards from a cold environment to a warm one too quickly: Imagine bringing your cards inside from a cold car directly into a heated house – that rapid temperature change can shock the material.
  • Storing cards in an uninsulated attic or garage: These spaces are notorious for extreme temperature swings, putting your cards at risk.
  • Packing cards tightly in a backpack or bag on a hot day: The combination of heat and pressure can create a recipe for disaster.

Preventing Pokémon Card Curving: Proactive Measures for Collectors

Now that we know the enemies, let’s talk defense! 

Protecting your cards from curving is all about being proactive. Here’s how to create a safe haven for your collection:

Proper Storage is Key

  • Card Sleeves: Think of these as your cards’ first line of defense. High-quality, acid-free sleeves are essential for individual card protection, creating a barrier against humidity and handling damage.
  • Binders vs. Toploaders: Binders are great for organizing larger collections, while toploaders offer more rigid protection for valuable cards. Choose the method that best suits your needs and the card’s rarity.
  • Storage Location: Location, location, location! A cool, dry, and stable environment is crucial. Think closets, dedicated card storage boxes, or even climate-controlled spaces for serious collectors.

Controlling Humidity

  • Silica Gel Packs: Those little packets you find in shoe boxes? They’re like tiny moisture magnets! Toss a few in your storage container to absorb excess humidity.
  • Humidity Control Packs: For ultimate protection, consider Boveda packs, specifically designed for card storage to maintain optimal humidity levels.
  • DIY Solutions: In a pinch, a sock filled with rice can work as a temporary humidity absorber, but make sure it’s kept separate from your cards.

Handling with Care

  • Clean Hands: It’s simple but crucial. Always handle your cards with clean, dry hands to avoid transferring oils and dirt.
  • Minimize Exposure: Limit exposure to fluctuating environments. Take cards out of storage only when necessary and avoid handling them in humid conditions.

Can You Fix a Curved Pokémon Card? Remedies and Realistic Expectations

So, you’ve got a curved card on your hands. 

Now, the question is, can you undo the damage? 

The truth is – and we say this to set expectations as well – fixing a curved Pokémon card isn’t always a guaranteed win. The success rate depends on how severe the curve is and how long it’s been that way. 

A card that’s been curled for months can’t magically return to its pristine condition.

Nevertheless, here are your best shots of fixing curved cards:

The DIY Approach: Card Pressing

For minor curves, the old-school card-pressing method might be your best bet. 

Here’s how it works: sandwich the curved card between two pieces of clean parchment paper (to prevent moisture damage) and place it under a stack of heavy books. 

The key here is patience. Don’t rush the process by piling on too much weight at once. 

Gradually increase the weight over several days or even weeks, allowing the card to flatten slowly.

Calling in the Pros: Professional Grading Services

If you’re dealing with a valuable card with a stubborn curve, consider consulting a professional grading service

While grading can’t magically erase all curves, it can offer a couple of benefits. 

First, the encapsulation process protects the card from further damage. Second, even if the curve remains, a professionally graded card often holds more value in the eyes of collectors.

Remember, attempting to fix a curved card yourself can sometimes do more harm than good. 

If you’re unsure, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and seek professional advice.

Let’s Keep Those Cards Pristine!

At the end of the day, understanding why Pokémon cards curve empowers us to prevent it. 

It’s all about being proactive and giving your collection the care it deserves. By controlling humidity, maintaining stable temperatures, and using proper storage solutions, you can keep those cards in mint condition for years to come.

Speaking of storage solutions, if you’re looking for high-quality sleeves, toploaders, or other card protection gear, be sure to check out our Pokémon card accessories at Curacards. We’re passionate about helping collectors preserve their prized possessions.

Now, it’s your turn! Share your own experiences with card curving, any tips you’ve picked up along the way, or any questions you might have in the comments. 

Let’s keep the conversation going and help each other build the best Pokémon collections possible!

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