You own a piano you love. But, you find that you need to put it in storage for a while. How should you go about doing it?
Many experts will tell you to avoid storing a piano if at all possible. It’s suggested to do everything you can to find a relative or friend who can keep the piano in their home or apartment until you’re ready for it again.
But what if that’s not possible?
A climate controlled storage facility is the best storage choice. Then the piano won’t be subjected to big temperature swings and big humidity changes, both of which can cause a lot of damage to a piano.
Pianos are very sensitive to temperature and humidity changes. Frequent, severe swings in temperature and humidity can wreck the wood piano case; doing things to it such as drying it out to the point of cracking if it’s too dry for a long time or warping it and wrecking the wood if it’s too humid.
Frequent or severe temperature and humidity changes will also cause the piano to go out of tune sooner than it normally would. It can also cause the wool cloth in the piano actions on better quality pianos to deteriorate.
If you have a piano at an unheated summer home or cottage, it’s probably better to keep the piano there during the cold winter months than to move it back and forth every year. If a person has to choose between storing a piano in a place that’s very hot versus very cold, the piano will usually fare much better in the cooler place. Some experts suggest placing moth balls in the piano during the winter storage period, taking care to make sure the moth balls don’t touch the finish of the piano. Just be sure to remember to remove them before you start using the piano again.
One additional warning comes from “The Piano Book” by Larry Fine (an excellent and comprehensive resource book on pianos). He says a piano that has been kept for years in an area that was damp or unheated should never be moved to a dry location or a well-heated location. Larry says pianos that have had this done to them have been known to “self destruct” in a short period of time.