3 Tips for Safely Storing a Piano Long Term

Posted on: 29 December 2016

Like all instruments, pianos are designed to be played on a regular basis and can significantly degrade when left alone for long periods of time. Sometimes, though, people are left with no other option except to put the instrument into storage. If you find yourself in this situation, here are three tips for storing your piano to ensure it is playable when you get it back.

Prep the Piano

The first thing you need to do to prepare your piano for long-term storage is clean it. Although they may be extra large, pianos contain very delicate parts that are easily damaged by dust, oil, and dirt. To prevent these substances from degrading the instrument while it sits in storage, thoroughly clean the keys, pedals, exterior, and interior (including the strings). Be sure to polish the pedals and wood to further protect them from environmental elements.

The second step is to wrap the instrument in blankets as well as cover the keys with a cloth. In addition to protecting your piano from bumps and dings during the moving process, this will help keep dirt and dust from getting on the piano or into its interior parts. Tie the blankets in place using strong string or rope.

You shouldn't have to worry about pest control as long as you choose a clean facility to store your piano. Pianos are plagued most often by moths. However, the fabric parts of modern pianos are often mothproofed, so this shouldn't be an issue. It's important to note, though, that you shouldn't put any type of insecticide or chemical in or on the piano as this can damage it. If you're concerned about bugs and rodents, choose pest control products that can be placed around the piano.

Move with Care

The actual moving process can be extremely detrimental to your piano's health. As noted previously, these instruments can weigh hundreds of pounds, but their internal parts are very delicate. If the machine is not moved properly, it may sustain damage that may cost lots of money to fix or be irreparable.

It's best to have professional movers, who have the equipment and expertise needed to move this type of instrument, relocate it from your home to the storage unit. If you have to do it yourself, though, use a piano dollie to move it around. The wheels on the piano are only meant for moving the instrument a few feet in your home and may not hold up under a long journey over rough terrain like sidewalks and gravel.

Lastly, make sure the piano gets strapped down securely in the truck so it doesn't sustain damage from shifting around while you're driving to your destination.

Get a Temperature-controlled Unit

The most critical aspect of storing a piano long term is ensuring it is placed in an area where the temperature and humidity remains stable. Wild fluctuations in temperature can cause the piano to go flat or sharp, something that's not always fixable. Additionally, the wood and keys may expand and contract according to how hot or cold it is in the unit, causing them to crack or change shape. Excess humidity can cause the piano's strings and other metal parts to rust and corrode and encourages mold growth.

If you want to be able to play your piano when you finally get it out of storage, opt for a temperature-controlled unit. These units keep the temperature and humidity at a stable level all year round, so you don't have to worry about the damage constant fluctuations can do. The optimal temperature for piano storage is between 50 and 70 degrees and the humidity should be around 38 to 52 percent, so look for a unit that can hold its temperature and humidity at these levels.

For more information about storing a piano long term, contact a storage facility or visit resources like http://www.i-70selfstorage.com.