Storing Your Guitar: 3 Elements That You Must Make Sure To Avoid
Whether you're moving, or you are traveling out of town for work or pleasure and don't want to leave your guitar at home, you may want to consider a self-storage facility. However, before you simply rent one, you need to be aware of three elements that can dramatically damage not only the appearance but the sound of your instrument. Take these elements into consideration when searching for a self storage unit for your guitar:
Element #1: Heat
Your guitar parts are held together with a certain type of glue. While this glue is stronger than traditional glue, it can only take so much in terms of heat before it begins to melt. In fact, this glue will liquefy when it reaches roughly 140 degrees Fahrenheit. With cars reaching well above this on a summer day within just 15 minutes, it is important that you don't put your guitar under this type of stress.
The most important part of your guitar – the bridge – will begin to pull apart from the rest of the guitar if it is left in the heat. The strings lose their tightness and there is the risk of additional damage when your guitar is left exposed to extreme heat. It can also harm the finish, causing it to look spotted and messy.
Element #2: Humidity
It doesn't matter whether it is low or high humidity, as either type can damage the appearance and sound of your guitar. High humidity results in excess moisture. This can cause the guitar to warp. As the wood expands due to the moisture, it could cause structural damage that may lead to misalignment of the foundation of the guitar. On the other side of the spectrum, low humidity means that there is little moisture in the air, which can actually cause the wood to shrink, dry out and potentially crack.
Element #3: Dust
Dust can cause serious damage to either the inside or the outside of your guitar. Dust can mix with the guitar's finish and oils to form a film that is sticky and abrasive. On the inside of your guitar, it is possible for dust to help trap moisture inside, which can result in poor sound and performance.
Store Your Guitar in a Climate-Controlled Unit
When you need to store your guitar in a self-storage unit, make sure that you choose one with climate control. These facilities will maintain the units at a certain temperature so that the items inside the unit are not harmed. Ultimately, your guitar needs to be stored in a unit that has 50 percent humidity and is roughly 75 degrees Fahrenheit. As long as you are comfortable (not shivering or sweating), your guitar should be okay. To prevent dust from accumulating, make sure you wipe down the strings thoroughly with a cloth (to remove your fingers' oils); and, store the guitar in a fitted case and not just its stand.
Contact local self-storage facilities to find out the specifics on their climate-controlled units before you decide to rent a unit and store your guitar.