Do you own a piano and are in the process of moving house and storing furniture? Have you recently inherited a piano and need to keep it somewhere safe until you have made room for it? Is it just in the way and although you don’t play, you would like to know how to store it safely until it can be handed down through the family?
Whatever your reasons are, I have compiled a few handy hints to help find the best storage options for you.
It is not as simple as putting your piano in the basement and forgetting about it, in fact, that is possibly the worst place you could put it, well, that and a cold storage unit or garage.
Your piano will need to be prepared correctly, and then you might possibly have to pay professional movers and a storage company.
A piano must be stored in a warm room, preferably with climate control. The optimum temperature is 20°c.
Humidity must be around 45%, definitely no greater than 70% as moisture in the air weakens the interior wood and the bacteria that form can cause illness to humans and animals as well as affecting the performance of your piano.
If you choose to arrange storage for and move your piano without specialist help there are several steps you must follow to ensure no harm comes to it either in transit or whilst it is being stored.
Firstly, ensure that you have an ideal place to store it.
A room with a constant warm temperature is necessary; fluctuations in humidity not only wreak havoc on the wooden finish of your piano but could also warp the expensive soundboard and weaken the strings. Running a climate control device guarantees your piano will stay in tune.
Have the necessary equipment ready, furniture straps, a moving dolly with secure wheels and confirm your vehicle has a loading ramp. You will need at least four strong people to assist too.
Dust your piano, and clean it well, polish it in the direction of the grain if you deem it necessary. It must be thoroughly dried, totally moisture free, before you attempt the next stage.
Place a dust protector across the keys, close, and lock the lid. White, lint free cloth will suffice.
Then wrap your piano well in several heavy-duty blankets, definitely not bubble wrap or any other plastic covering as this can cause condensation damage. Secure the blankets in place with straps and only then is it safe to use a plastic wrap.
At this point, you need to decide whether the risk is too great to attempt to move it yourself or hire a moving company.
If you go with the former you will need at least a four strong team to lift the piano, keeping it in an upright position at all times, onto the wheeled moving dolly. One person should stand on each side as you move it, very slowly, to the lowered tail lift of the truck.
Raise the lift and roll it steadily into place.
Strap your piano in extremely securely before attempting to move the vehicle.
If you go with the sensible option, the professional team, prices can vary depending on the distance to drop off point and the ease in which the piano can be manoeuvred in and out of the properties.
Steps and staircases will significantly increase the cost, and should you be lucky enough to own a baby grand or similar, expect a dramatic increase.
Wherever your chosen storage space is, keeping it wrapped and in optimum conditions should prolong the life of your piano.
I would recommend that you check on it periodically.
Leave it to the Pros
Several companies that offer furniture-moving services will be quite happy to take a piano that is pre-wrapped in protective layers and transport it to your arranged storage space.
There are designated piano moving companies who will not only move your piano but they will also supply their own protective covering. Transferral to a specialist storage facility will be part of the package.
The room will have permanent climate control guaranteeing that the wooden frame will not expand and contract, stability means your piano should stay in tune and problem free.
Varying factors will affect the overall cost, size of the piano, journey distance and duration of storage.
Most companies offer a simple online quote.
Shop around for the best price, some companies even offer a restoration service whilst your piano is in their care.
There’s No Place Like Home
If you are going to be storing your piano in a room at home and it is not practical to cover it, then there are certain rules to follow in this instance too.
It is an expensive piece of furniture so it is worthwhile keeping it in prime condition.
Place your piano away from a window, preferably against an inside wall. Sunlight and heat damage not only wreak havoc on the finish, they will also deem it virtually impossible to keep your piano in tune.
Solar screen shades are available to block out harmful U.V. rays.
Keep your piano at least ten feet from a fireplace and at least four feet from vents, air conditioning or heaters.
Any fluctuation in temperature or humidity can cause harm; the wooden soundboard might warp and the strings might weaken.
Avoid open doors and windows, this might allow condensation to build up beneath the keys resulting in costly mechanical issues.
I have given you several options that vary in cost and intensity of labour.
Whichever you choose I hope your piano stays in perfect condition and gives you many happy years of enjoyment.