How to Prepare Your Piano for Self-Storage
Since pianos are fragile, they require that you follow instructions carefully when preparing and storing them in long-term storage. In the following we provide tips to minimize the risk of damage to your piano during this process.
Select a Climate-Controlled Storage Unit
Humidity can severely damage a piano. Given that pianos are sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity, it is of the utmost importance that you choose a climate-controlled storage unit. Piano manufacturers advise storing your piano in a climate-controlled environment, where the humidity level should not exceed 42 percent.
Use the Correct Packing and Storage Materials
Pianos are valuable instruments, and as such, you should use high-quality package and storage materials. You'll want to avoid wrapping your piano in plastic as moisture can build up and inevitably cause damage. Proper storage and packing materials include:
- Heavy-duty moving blankets and protective plastic wrap to lower the risk of dents and scratches both in transit and in storage.
- Heavy-duty packing tape or ropes to make sure your moving blankets are securely fasted around your piano.
Follow the Manufacturer's Cleaning Instructions
By cleaning your piano before it goes into storage, you increase the chances of it being in tip-top condition when it's time to take it out of storage. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper cleaning and polishing. Above all, make sure that your piano is totally free from dust before proceeding with wrapping and storing it. The following are some basic cleaning instructions:
- Remove dust from the keys using a feather duster and be very delicate to avoid any scratches to the piano's surface.
- Use a lint-free, lightly damp white cloth to gently remove dust and dirt from the keys. Immediately follow this with a dry cloth to remove any excess moisture. Make sure to use an "up and down" motion. If you clean from "side to side," dirt and dust may get into the crevices between the keys.
- Apply a little bit of polish with a soft, lint-free cloth to the exterior surfaces of the piano. The polish should be specifically designed for pianos. Avoid general-purpose polishes intended for furniture, as these can cause damage. Also, remember to only use polish if the situation necessitates it (polish can, in fact, damage a piano's internal mechanisms).
Cover the Keys during the Move and Storage
A dust protector or a white lint-free cloth that is soft and appropriately sized for your piano are good solutions for protecting your piano keys.
Protect the Piano with Heavy-Duty Moving Blankets and Other Materials
By wrapping your piano in heavy-duty moving blankets, you reduce the risk of marks and scuffing. Make sure every part of the piano is covered. Once it's fully wrapped, fasten the blankets with packing tape, straps, or ropes. Next, cover the entire structure with plastic wrap; this will lower the risk of moisture getting inside the piano while in storage.
Hire Professional Movers
It is well worth it to hire professional movers to transport your piano. Some pianos can weigh more than 1,000 pounds! Professional movers have the necessary equipment to transport your piano in such a way that reduces the risk of damage to the piano and eliminates the risk of your own personal injury.
Once in Storage, Check the Piano Periodically
As we mentioned in the beginning, pianos are incredibly fragile. Accordingly, we recommend that you check on the condition of your piano every now and then to ensure it's staying in good condition. Moreover, by checking on the piano regularly, you can quickly get any potential damage treated and prevent more serious disrepair.
Do Not Tune Your Piano before Placing it in Storage
Instead of tuning your piano before placing it in storage, tune it after it's been removed from your storage unit (and give it a few weeks -- ideally two -- after removal from storage). Pianos need time to acclimate to a new environment before they're ready to be tuned.
We're Your Storage Solution!
Storage Rentals of America is your convenient self-storage solution. So come into our office or give our storage experts a call at 1-800-457-5678. Our call center is available 7 days a week and can help determine which storage unit size best fits your storage needs.