A well-built piano is made to last for years and even decades, but it must be maintained and well cared for. This is especially important if you live in a climate where it gets very cold in the winter or very hot in the summer. If for some reason you need to remove your piano from your house or store it somewhere, climate conditions including temperature and humidity should be taken into consideration. Traditional pianos have a wooden soundboard inside it, a command center where the beautiful sounds are produced. Wood is elastic in nature, so when the temperature rises, the wood expands. In colder temperatures, the wood will shrink. Likewise, the wood will also expand if the humidity is high and shrink if it is too dry. Continual or frequent expanding/contracting will eventually damage the soundboard. So, pianos, including baby grand pianos should be placed in your home where the most consistent temperatures occur and away from windows or other areas that may be drafty or allow in more humidity. If you plan on moving the piano out of your home or storing it somewhere, make sure it is also a climate-controlled space. For this reason, you should probably not store the piano for the winter in your garage or any other place where the temperature could drop below 40 degrees for any length of time.
BEST PRACTICES FOR KEEPING YOUR PIANO IN GOOD SHAPE
SoCal Pianos wants to help our customers take care of their pianos, so here are some tips for making sure your piano or baby grand piano is kept in tip-top shape for years of playing enjoyment:
- Tuning. Generally speaking, your piano should be tuned twice per year. This will keep the piano on pitch and regular service will allow for an inspection to ensure that all mechanical parts are working the way they should.
- Temperature & Humidity. As we discussed earlier in this blog, temperature and humidity can impact your piano. Fortunately, pianos are built to withstand varying conditions, but they thrive on room temperature of between 70-75 degrees. But as long as they are not exposed to temperatures below 40 or above 90 for an extended period of time, they will likely not be harmed. They should reside in areas with relative humidity of 30% – 40% in the winter and 40% -50% during the summer.
- Interior Components. Keep fluids away from the piano to prevent potentially damaging spills. The bass strings should not be touched as residue from hands and fingers may cause corrosion. Instead, remove dust with a leaf blower or other air-blowing device.
- Keys. The fallboard should be kept open to promote good air circulation around the keys. Keys should be cleaned with a soft cloth that is slightly dampened with water or club soda. Never apply any sort of cleaning fluid directly on the keys.
For more information give us a call or make an appointment to visit one of our showrooms in Ontario or Palm Desert CA. You can also check out our extensive selection of pianos and also talk with our professionals about all of our piano-related services.