Piano storage is a problem that can be more daunting than many homeowners expect. Temperature, humidity, dust, and physical damage are the common enemies you will face when you store your piano. Here are three tips that can help you avoid these problems and store your piano safely.
Close the Lid
The interior of your piano is the most delicate part of the instrument. For this reason, it is essential to always store a piano with the lid closed. An open lid will allow dust to build up on the sound board, stifling the sound board's resonance and muffling your piano's sound until the sound board is cleaned. Unfortunately, cleaning is where the problem really starts. It is extremely easy to damage strings and dampers while you clean the dust off of your sound board.
In addition to keeping dust out of your piano, closing the lid will prevent small items from falling into your piano if you are storing it with other belongings. Even if the falling object doesn't damage the piano on its own, there is again a risk of damaging your piano while you try to remove the item.
Wrap Your Piano in Blankets
Protecting the outside of your piano is important as well, and wrapping your piano in plastic simply isn't enough. While plastic will protect against dust, it does nothing to cushion your piano from bumps, dings, and cracks that may occur as you carry it to and from storage, or if another object falls on it in storage.
Instead of plastic, it is much safer to wrap your piano in blankets. You should wrap your piano and tie the blankets in place before you or the movers ever lift it off the floor. The blankets should be large enough that they completely cover the body of the piano, but make sure there are no loose corners that could cause a nasty fall while the piano is being carried.
Rent a Climate-Controlled Unit
Climate-controlled storage units are a necessity when you are storing any instrument. Storing your piano in a controlled environment will protect it from the natural properties of the wood it is made from. Wood expands and contracts in response to temperature and humidity changes. This can lead to warping of the piano's frame, cracks and blemishes in the piano finish, and ruin the instrument's ability to stay in tune.
With an understanding of the challenges of piano storage, you can take steps to ensure that your piano will still be in pristine condition when you are ready to take it out of storage. For additional reading, check out this blog.