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How To Fix Warped Sports Cards For Collectors

Learn the exact steps to fix a warped sports card and what causes the issue in the first place. If you’re a collector of sports cards or trading cards, you likely have encountered the issue of cards becoming bent or warped. This article will delve into the reasons behind this problem and explore effective preventive measures and solutions. 

Whether you’re new to collecting or an experienced hobbyist, knowing how to fix warped cards is essential. One of the most effective ways to fix your card is to use a heavy textbook to flatten the card and allow the moister that’s tripped to release. We will discuss various methods and techniques to straighten your bent collectible cards.

For example, a card can come in a blaster box already bent without you knowing until you open the pack. It’s happened multiple times to me when ripping packs from retailers. 

Warped Sports Cards

Why Do Cards Bend/Warp?

Collectible cards are typically made from thin, flexible cardboard, making them susceptible to warping. 

Handling and storing cards is significant in their condition, including bending or warping. Foiled or holographic cards are particularly prone to warping due to the presence of a thin metal layer. Conversely, standard cardboard cards without foil are more flexible and less likely to bend.

Warping happens when cards are exposed to humidity and moisture, causing them to absorb the moisture and expand. While the cardboard can expand, the thin foil layer cannot, resulting in a curved or bent appearance. 

  1. Avoid places with extreme temperatures. 
  2. Avoid places in direct sunlight. 
  3. Avoid places on the floor or ground. 

Additionally, the age of a card can contribute to bending over time as the cardboard loses some of its rigidity. Humidity and moisture accelerate this process by repeatedly expanding and contracting the cardboard, gradually weakening its structure. 

Improper storage methods, rubber bands, can also lead to warping.

Keep cards in a secure and safe place. Complex cases are a great way to prevent moister or dust from sitting on your cards. Other Non-expensive ways to protect your cards include a shoe box or cardboard box with a cover, which provides even more protection because the sealed cards are safe or in a place with little light. 

In fact, extreme temperatures can also impact PSA graded cards. For example, the Newton rings issue is a popular problem where it appears to have moisture stuck within the PSA card. 

How Do You Stop Cards from Warping?

Bent Sports Cards

Understanding the causes of card warping is crucial for preventing it from occurring in your collection. Properly storing collectible cards is vital to preserving their condition. 

Here are some best practices for storing cards to prevent bending and other damage:

1. Card Sleeves and Toploaders: Place the card into a card sleeve to protect against damage. Then, use a Toploader to keep the card flat and rigid, offering additional protection from moisture and other forms of damage.

2. Card Binders: Consider using a card binder if you have a more extensive collection of cards. Opt for a binder with high-quality plastic sleeve sheets to safeguard the cards and ensure they stay dry. Look for a binder with a zipper to further protect against moisture.

3. Avoid Elastic Bands: Refrain from using elastic bands to hold multiple cards together, as continuous pressure can lead to warping over time.

4. Dry Storage: Store your cards in a dry place to minimize the risk of moisture absorption and warping. Consider investing in a high-quality card storage box for securely storing cards in top loaders. Surprisingly, dry storage containers can help reduce the moisture in the air and keep your cards safe. 

Recommended Tools to Help Prevent Card Bending

To prevent card bending, consider using the following tools and materials:

  1. Card Sleeves: Cost-effective and helpful for cheaper low-end cards. 
  2. Top Loaders: These cost more; for higher-end cards. 
  3. Card Storage Boxes: The cost is medium but worth it. We have an in-depth article on how to protect your cards when collecting and which of these tools are best for each situation. 

How Do You Fix and Restore Bent Cards? (2 Methods)

If you have bent or warped cards, you can attempt to restore them to their original flat state. However, not all cards can recover, and the process may require time and effort. Here are some methods to help flatten bent cards:

1. Using Pressure: Place the card into a card sleeve, then insert it into a card binder or Toploader. Position the card at the back of the binder or under a relatively heavy object, such as a pile of books. The weight and pressure from the surrounding items can flatten the card.

2. Applying Heat: Foiled cards are unlikely to return to their initial flat state using pressure alone. In such cases, you can use a blow-dryer in a hot setting to apply heat to the card. Place the card on a flat surface, curving it into the surface rather than outwards. Direct the heat from the blow dryer onto the card for approximately 30 seconds.

Please note that the success of these methods may vary depending on the card’s condition.

Does Bending and Warping Affect the Card’s Value?

The condition of a card can significantly impact its value on the secondary market. Cards in better condition generally fetch higher prices. 

However, most card grading companies do not penalize warped cards as long as there is no permanent damage. 

Once a card gets a grade, encased in a slab, and returned, it will be flat inside the plastic, concealing any previous curvature. While a curled raw card may not fetch a higher price, its value should be acceptable if professionally graded.

Fix Curved Sports Cards Effectively & Smoothly

Properly storing collectible cards and understanding warping causes is crucial in preventing and minimizing card bending. Card Sleeves, Top Loaders, and card binders can protect cards from moisture and damage. I hope you can use these new methods to fix your bent cards and improve the overall storage quality of your current cards. 

Avoiding elastic bands and storing cards in a dry environment are additional preventive measures. If your cards become bent or warped, applying pressure or heat can help restore them, although results may vary depending on the condition. 

Remember that a card’s value can be affected by its condition, but grading can mitigate the impact of warping. By following these preventive and restoration methods, you can maintain the quality and value of your collectible cards.

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