Guitars and Humidity

Voyage-Air Guitar and Humidity

Keep the guitar in an environment with normal humidity. In the winter, with a furnace or radiators running much of the season, humidity is literally cooked out of the air.

Nature loves a balance. In an overly-dry environment, what happens is the woods of your guitar surrender their natural moisture content in a futile effort to humidify your room. And this is Really Bad for the guitar.

The guitar case offers a closed environment where you can easily control the humidity. You can also put a guitar humidifier inside the case. There are many humidifiers available, and any of them will do the trick. It is typically a sponge-type material encased in something like a plastic holder. You keep the sponge part moist and stored in the case along with your guitar.

Cold Weather and Humidity

In the winter there’s usually record-breaking cold weather in much of the USA and around the globe.  As a result, many of us are building fires in the wood stove, fireplace, or running the furnace much of the time to keep our homes warm.

While this is great for our comfort, realize that all of these heat sources remove the normal humidity from the air in our homes.  They make the air very dry.  And for the woods of a guitar, sometimes, the humidity level can sink down to dangerously low levels.

As the air in your home becomes dry (less humid), this tends to dry out the natural moisture content in the woods of the guitar.  In the worst case, this can cause fret buzzing, frets protruding from the sides of the neck (as the neck woods shrink), or even cracking of the carefully engineered woods of your Voyage-Air guitar.

To prevent this: try to store your guitar at room temperature as much as you can, and keep it away from heat sources.  The Relative Humidity of your environment should be about 45-55% (normal).  In fact, the Voyage-Air Shipping and QC Facility maintains 50-55% Relative Humidity at all times, to ensure the moisture stability and quality of all guitars that we ship.

There are a variety of inexpensive gauges (Hydrometers) that will show the actual Relative Humidity (i.e. RH value reading) for your home.  All well-stocked hardware stores and electronics outlets have digital gauges like that, and will show you the current RH level of your home.

Here’s what you can do to protect your Voyage-Air guitar in a dry environment:

As much as possible, keep your guitar zipped-up and stored in the backpack case.  This helps isolate the guitar when it must be stored in a dry environment.

There are ‘guitar humidifier’ products that you can get at your local Voyage-Air Dealer, or local music store.  There are a variety of designs, and all are inexpensive.  Put a humidifier in the case before you zip it up, and the natural moisture balance of the woods will be maintained.  Check your guitar at least once a week.  Never let water contact the woods of your guitar!