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Damaged Piano Case Study

These pictures are for education and fun…

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you put your piano outside for a few weeks. This piano looked and acted fine before I tested the elements and exposed the piano to them. Rust on the tuning pins, hammers falling off, plastic parts (in the old days) would just crumble and fall apart, and veneer would just peel off. The key bed would warp. The glue on the black keys failed to hold. This is why we try to keep pianos away from a door or window that gets opened a lot.

An air-conditioned house in Florida is desired to protect the instrument. I’ve estimated a lot of damaged pianos recently from hurricane Ian, and I was surprised how many had to be thrown away or suffered expensive damage.

I’m asked many a time what temperature or humidity level do I keep my house at since I’m a piano tuner, and the answer is 75 degrees and about 45% humidity.
Since many air-conditioners vary, I like to say if you’re sweating it’s too hot for the piano. You should be comfortable… and most the time the piano is too. We can fight moisture situations with heat rods, but it’s ideal to not have to add them.

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