Is your piano in sound surroundings?
In order to keep your piano at its best you have to consider its surroundings. The environment in which the piano is positioned can have damaging effects if not monitored. Three of the largest and most common damaging effects are:
Below we explain the basics of what can happen if a piano is not cautioned against such conditions. A book could be written on each section, but for now here is an introduction to what to look out for and avoid.
Central heating is arguably the principal destructive element in modern living that pianos suffer from, especially older/traditional instruments. Central heating fast-tracks the natural tendency of wood to shrink and glue to deteriorate. If possible position your piano in a room that can be kept cool, or alternatively in a room that only has the central heating on its lowest setting. Extreme bursts of heat throughout the day will not be beneficial to any piano and will only reduce its lifespan.
We have all seen a piano with a faded case and sighed thinking how beautiful it must of once looked. Having your piano in direct sunlight is something to seriously avoid, not only will it damage the case of the instrument but it is a strong indication that the interior of the piano has been ‘baked’ to an extent and can cause major problems mechanically and structurally. The majority of traditional pianos were French polished, the chemicals used in French polish are nitrates and consequently light sensitive. Habitually a piano in direct sunlight will over time start to fade to a range of shades. Modern pianos have tackled this issue better and have used finishes that encompass an ultra violet resistance, but even so its not always successful.
Remember the difference between a damp room and a cold room! Cold will not cause detriment to a piano but damp will. When damp affects a piano, the results can be devastating. Usually the centre pins are the first victim, they corrode and seize. Replacement of the centre pins is very costly, damp will also cause the instruments strings to corrode. The treble strings almost have the ability to ‘go on forever’ and even if they have rust on them they will still be fairly responsive, however copper-wound bass strings will not last long.
If you have any questions about this insight or any other please don’t hesitate to contact us on:
Tel. 0161 977 0075
Our next auction is on June 28th in central Manchester