Temperature changes such as extreme heat or cold, or air that is too wet or too dry are all factors that can ruin your instrument. Your instrument case is the best insulation from extreme temperature conditions and will help your instrument acclimate from cold to warm or warm to cold. However, there are conditions that can irreparably damage your instrument:
The least of all the elements when causing damage, it is a sudden change to cold that can cause the wood to expand or contract quickly resulting in broken joints, seams, and cracked wood. Do not leave or store your instrument over an A/C register!
Heat is extremely detrimental to stringed instruments. String instrument makers (Luthiers) purposefully use wood glues that soften when heated (145 F) so that an instrument can be disassembled for service when necessary. Direct sunlight can easily heat your instrument to glue-melting temperatures and/or weaken and/or destroy the joints and seams in the instrument. Never leave your instrument in direct sunlight, even if it is in the case! Never store your instrument over or near a heating register or leave it in a car on a hot sunny day!
While exposure to some moisture is important to the health of your instrument, storing it in a “damp” place, or exposing it to excessive moisture is very bad for your instrument’s health. Excessive moisture will cause the wood in the string instrument, including the neck, to buckle and warp. In extreme cases, the moisture may even affect the glue, causing the failure of joints and seams.
Dry conditions are the main enemy of most stringed instruments. When wood dries out it tends to shrink. The construction of a string instrument demands that such shrinkage will result in either broken joints and seams or cracks in the wood. There are products that can add humidity into the air to maintain your instrument. During dry conditions, Day Violins strongly recommends the use of “Dampits” or other humidifying devices. If you aren’t sure how to find them or want more information, don’t hesitate to contact us!