The weather plays a crucial role in the preservation of your piano. The dreaded winters and summers can take quite a toll on your loved one. With these few tips, you’ll be able to prevent unfortunate damage and help her live longer than we ever thought she would!
Pianos are crafted with wood, which is vulnerable to seasonal changes. Piano owners need to ensure they follow proper care procedures for each season to avoid any swells or cracks from forming in their beloved instrument’s wooden frame.
Understanding How The Pianos Works
Pianos are crafted of solid wood. Three pieces make up a piano: the soundboard, the ribs and frame, and the case. Each one is important to keep your piano in perfect working order for years to come!
What’s The Sound Board?
The soundboard is responsible for translating striking energy into an electrical signal so it can move through wires under the keys and be amplified in your speakers. If this piece were damaged by exposure to moisture or extreme temperatures, it could cause severe problems with how efficiently your machine can turn its striking mechanism into beautiful music.
How Do My Ribs And Frame Help?
The ribs support the key bed and determine how far apart keys will be from each other. Depending on where you live, there can be many variations in temperature that the ribs and frame experience. During the winter, sudden temperature drops can lead to issues with your piano’s inner workings. In the summer, gradual temperature increases can cause warping and swelling of your ribs and enlargement of any cracks that may be present.
How Does The Weather Affect My Piano’s Case?
The piano case has a job too! It is responsible for framing the valuable parts of your instrument while also protecting it from the weather outside. Extreme temperatures can lead to cracking and swelling where various pieces join together, such as around hinges or through bracing, just to name a couple of examples. If you have ever noticed an odd vertical line across your piano key cover’s surface, this is likely evidence of warping caused by high heat.
A cracked case can leak in the same ways as a cracked soundboard. This especially happens when there is moisture present. It will cause a reduction in the volume of your piano and may ultimately result in permanent damage to internal mechanisms.
Understanding How Each Season Affects Your Piano
Over time, each season has its own unique effect on pianos. We have provided a chart to illustrate some of the effects seasonal changes can have on your piano if you aren’t careful! Understanding how the seasons affect your instrument’s interior is essential for keeping it in tip-top working condition.
The Winter Season: Cold, Damp, and Danger
During winter conditions and long periods of indoor Humidity, pianos are at risk for potential cracks developing within key-beds and swelling due to moisture absorption by the wood. To ensure that neither of these issues occurs, there are steps you can take to prevent them from occurring in the first place!
First, be sure to dry your piano’s wood surfaces. After you play your instrument, wipe down all damp spots with a slightly damp cloth.
The Summer Season: Hot and Humid
Heat and Humidity put a lot of stress on the piano’s structure since growth happens much faster in warm temperatures. If you aren’t careful, the sudden temperature rise can cause the piano’s wood to swell and possibly crack around places where various parts meet.
Additionally, pianos should be placed in areas with good air circulation and cross ventilation (meaning windows shouldn’t face each other). The best way to check that you have adequate air circulation is to feel the piano. If it feels damp or warm to the touch, you may need to consider moving it into a better position.
See also: Humidity and Piano Moving
The Spring Season: The Transition Period
This is when piano owners will feel the brunt of winter and summer effects on their instruments! Warping due to moisture can be especially problematic in this season because it can happen so quickly as temperatures start rising. If the weather is unpredictable where you live, it may be a good idea to have your piano checked out at this time of year.
The Fall Season: The Final Push
This season is likely the calm before the storm. It’s a good idea to have your piano checked out before winter just in case repairs are needed! At this time of year, water damage can occur from leaks due to humidity buildup.
Also read: Why do Piano Keys Stick?
Combating The Effects Of Weather On A Piano
As piano owners, we all want to do what we can to protect our instruments. To combat the adverse effects of weather on your piano, here are some steps you can take:
If you feel that your piano is at risk for cracking or warping due to extreme weather conditions, talk with a professional technician about having it inspected right away. By taking action and addressing any emerging problems early on, you may be able to avoid costly repairs in the long run!
Once you have had the instrument inspected, discuss with your technician if protective measures should be taken between these extremes, such as a humidifier or dehumidifier. Another good option is to move your piano to a location that better accommodates its environment.
Pianos should be moved into a climate-controlled area when they aren’t used during the summer and winter seasons. For this reason, many institutions opt to store their pianos instead of letting them sit out on display year-round. If you decide storage is suitable for your piano, it’s important not to move it during the fall or winter months since this can increase the risk of cracking as temperatures start changing.
Pianos are an investment for most people. You want to take care of them and protect their value, but you also need to live in a home conducive to the piano’s needs. We have provided above some tips on how weather can affect your pianos and what steps you should be taking so they don’t get damaged or ruined. If you decide storage is suitable for your instrument, it’s important not to move it during the fall or winter months since this can increase the risk of cracking as temperatures start changing. For more information about preserving your piano through all four seasons, please feel free to contact us! We would love nothing more than to help keep your precious piano safe from harm.