Wood shrinks as it dries and expands as it absorbs moisture from the air. The thin wood used in guitar construction is particularly sensitive to humidity levels and must therefore, be stored within acceptable levels in order to preserve the integrity of the instrument. Ideally, humidity levels should be maintained between 40 to 45% and a temperature of 22 to 25 degrees Celsius.
Once the humidity levels drop below the recommended range by 5 % the wood will lose moisture and begin to contract and if above by about 15% the wood will absorb moisture and begin to expand. Natural humidity levels fluctuate with the seasons in Canada, low in the winter, higher in the summer. Damage, as a result of low humidity levels can be avoided with the use of humidifiers in the winter and dehumidifiers in the summer.
DnA Ryer Guitars warranty does not cover damage associated with climate change but with awareness and proper care this type of damage is easily avoided. Your prized instrument will last a very long time.
Some preventative maintenance during humid summers
- Store your guitar on a stand instead of a case. The case is a place that can hold moisture whereas the stand will allow the air to circulate around the guitar.
- Never store your guitar in the basement during the summer months.
- Invest in a dehumidifier if you find your home is humid in the summer.
- Never leave your guitar in a hot area such as in a car during a hot sunny day where temperatures can soar high enough to soften and compromise the glue joints.
Some preventative maintenance in dry winter season.
- Keep an eye on the humidity levels around the area where you are storing your guitar. Most hardware stores sell hygrometers that are accurate enough to determine if humidity levels are within acceptable limits.
- Keep your guitar in its case during the winter.
- Invest in a humidifier.
- This is the time to consider storing the guitar in finished basement because generally the dryer air is upstairs this time of the year. Be sure to check the humidity level first.