Piano Storage Done Wrong - How Not To Store Your Piano
Updated: Jun 23
When you are searching for piano storage options, there are some options you may wish to avoid. Proper storage is crucial to maintain the condition and thus the value of your instrument. Improper storage could result in costly repairs or at the least cause a lot of extra work for your tuner – which also translates to more expense.
May we suggest a few storage options to avoid:
Storage in a Garage
While storing your instrument in an unheated and non air-conditioned garage might be okay for a couple of days during very mild weather, any additional length of time in this environment could spell trouble for it. Add to that extremes in heat or cold, severe damage could occur to the instrument being stored.
Some exterior finishes are quickly damaged if the temperatures drop below freezing. This type of exposure to the cold can literally crack the finish. Extremes of heat and humidity can also do damage to the hundreds of glue joints within an instrument, and can also begin the process of rusting the strings.
Pianos simply are not designed for these types of extreme environments. Avoid storing your instrument in the garage. Instead reach out to piano movers in your area that not only offer moving, but also temperature and humidity controlled (and security monitored) storage.
Storage at a Friends House
Now this option for piano storage might make sense in some circumstances. If you have a trusted friend or relative who has adequate space to store your instrument and who can take excellent care of it, then perhaps this option will work for you. However, consider the extra wear and tear on the instrument being moved so much. The movers are having to handle the instrument twice as much as they would if it were simply stored with your local Piano Moving and Storage Company.
Also, make certain the instruments babysitters know how to properly clean and maintain the instrument. Remember, if they have small children or pets, this could quickly spell disaster to your beautiful instrument. Most of us can deal with the fact that our children or pets might cause a damage to our instrument, but how will you feel when the new caretakers allow their cat to curl up inside the piano to take a nap, or Spot the dog decides those grand legs really do resemble a fire hydrant? How will you react to find that little Bobby discovered the piano lid makes a great racetrack for his toy cars and dump trucks?
Again, storage at a friend's house might make sense in some circumstances, but do carefully weigh the potential risks and costs associated with doing so. In the end you may find hiring professional piano movers who provide both moving and storage, is the most cost effective route to take.
Storage at a Storage Facility
Obviously, storing at any storage facility that is not climate controlled will cause the same type of damage that storing the instrument in a garage would incur. Avoid this at all costs. Storing in a climate controlled storage unit, might make sense if you know some potential risks and what to look for in a prospective storage facility. If you own a grand, you are likely going to have to set the grand back up on all 3 legs in storage unless you opt to purchase a piano movers grand piano board and all the associated moving pads and straps to keep it stored on its side. Setting the grand up on its legs will require a larger storage unit. While the grand is only about 5' in width, movers need a larger space to place the instrument when they tilt it off of the grand board and set it up. A 10' x 10' space is a minimum to allow this happen. And remember, that is a 10' x 10' open space, not a space filled with moving boxes and household furniture. Perhaps you can move some of those items into the unit after the grand is set up, but it will need to be clear of everything else when the instrument is moved inside the storage unit.
Also, keep in mind that not all “climate-control” is the same. Some facilities may be doing great just to keep the temperature below 90 degrees in the heat of summer. This is not adequate for a piano in storage. While the temperatures doesn't need to be a cool 65 degrees like your home perhaps is, it does need to be such that the air-conditioning is removing enough humidity to prevent damage to the instrument. Proper temperature and humidity control are essential elements of proper storage.