It’s that time again! Old man winter is fast approaching, and he has dastardly plans to dry out and damage your guitar.
You may be thinking that we’re just getting ready to start fall, but before you know it the temps will be dropping and the heat in your home will be cranking and that can lead to a severely dehydrated guitar, which can cause cracks, bridge lifting, sharp frets, and binding coming loose. And while you might think it’s too early to concern yourself with this issue, it’s never too early to be prepared—keep in mind the product you need may be out of stock by the time the cold weather gets here.
There are a multitude of options to try to keep your guitar properly humidified during the winter months, but all of them are typically based on a case system. There are several downsides to this. The first one is that a guitar in a case is a guitar that’s not being played. Keeping your guitar out on a stand makes it much more convenient and likely that you’ll pick it up and play it more often. This is good for both you and your guitar!
My best suggestion is to purchase a small-room, cool-mist humidifier and keep your guitars in that one room during the winter. If you purchase a larger size, you will not have to fill it with water as often.
And last, but equally important, is to get yourself a decent hygrometer. It’s imperative that you know what the humidity is in the room where you store your guitars, and you’ll always want to keep it between 40- and 50-percent relative humidity. And by the way, it’s not a bad idea to keep an eye on the humidity level throughout the year, because high humidity can cause swelling and do the same types of damage during the summer months.
As my mom used to say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!