Maybe you've had a house by the sea for a long time and can finally indulge in that baby grand you've always wanted. Or perhaps you're a long-time piano owner who has recently relocated to an oceanside neighborhood. Here are some tips to help you keep your piano in the best condition possible when you live near the sea, which can put your instrument at increased risk of damage.
Examine the general conditions of your home, and locate your piano accordingly.
Not every piano in a home by the sea has the same risk of damage from moisture and salt air. The prevailing winds (on shore or off shore) have a lot to do with how much salt exposure and dampness your home receives. Other factors include
A good way to tell if your piano will likely be subject to damage from the sea is to look at the wood and metal components of your home. If you have warped floorboards, sticky kitchen cabinets, or rusty bathroom fixtures, your piano is probably at risk of more environmental damage than if it were located elsewhere.
A good rule of thumb in general is to place your piano where it will receive the least amount of damage from the sea. If you can put it on the leeward side of the house (away from the ocean-facing side) and away from windows and exterior walls, you can minimize some of the havoc wreaked by dampness and salt. A music room, where you can keep the doors and windows shut is ideal, and using modern temperature and humidity controls will help even more.
Consider extra protection.
Sometimes no matter how carefully you place your piano, it can still become damaged from ocean elements that seep through even the tiniest cracks. Did you know that a piano can have upwards of 12,000 parts, many of which are subject to this risk? Compare that to your vehicle, and you may find your piano to be even more fragile than your car's engine at the seaside.
Therefore, it may help your piano's life to go the extra mile and purchase extra protection for it. If a cover for the entire piano is impractical, think about buying wool string covers to reduce or eliminate the possibility of rust on the strings. The two together provide an even better defense.
Harness the power of chemistry.
There are new products on the market today that use chemistry to help repel rust, which is essentially a chemical oxidation reaction. These aren't limited to just use by piano owners; talk to a local construction expert or mechanic about what they use to protect their metal tools and parts. You may be able to purchase the same tubs or strips for your piano room.
Mind your footwear while playing.
You probably enjoy strolling on or near the beach if you live by the sea. However, sand and salt on your shoes can get ground into your piano pedals if you wear the same shoes you walk in outdoors while playing your instrument. Think about keeping a pair of shoes exclusively for piano playing, and make sure any kids in the house don't go from the beach to the piano bench without changing their footwear too.
Keep your piano tuned regularly.
One of the best things you can do if you live near the ocean is to keep your piano tuned regularly. The wooden parts of your piano will likely be affected by dampness in the environment, so be prepared to tune your piano more often than normal in your seaside location. This is especially true of new pianos that need more frequent tuning anyway until they are "broken in."
A qualified piano tuner can not only help keep your piano sounding beautiful, but watch for any early signs of damage too. It's vital not to wait until your piano falls out of tune to call in the pros; set up a regular schedule to keep your piano healthy all the time.
There's one more thing you can do for your piano to keep it in good condition: play it often. Activating all those thousands of moving parts can help ward off rust and swelling, and you'll get to enjoy your instrument in your lovely location by the sea.
For more information, contact Las Vegas Pianos or a similar company.
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