Piano tuning and maintenance
Optimising your piano environment
Optimal conditions ensure superior sound quality
Your piano will work all the better and produce a more harmonious sound if the temperature and humidity conditions are right. It is also important that the room in which your piano is located is properly ventilated. Generally speaking, a relative humidity of between 40 and 45 percent is ideal for pianos. The use of materials such as wood, felt and cloth makes many parts very fragile. If they are not properly cared for, they can quickly become damaged. Therefore, we cannot assume responsibility for damage resulting from improper use, rough treatment, or prolonged exposure of the instrument to improper conditions. After prolonged exposure to adverse conditions, professional maintenance and tuning of your piano may not be able to repair the damage.
How does humidity affect a piano?
Felt, cloth, leather and precision wood parts (some of which are machined to standards with tolerances of up to 1/100 mm) used in essential parts of the piano, such as the action, are extremely sensitive to moisture. Excessive moisture mutes the action of the hammers and produces unclear tones. In addition, it can cause internal parts to rust and the keys to stick. It is important to remedy the situation and have the piano serviced before this happens. Contact us to be put in touch with our team of professional tuners, to service and tune your piano before too much damage is done.
How can the piano be protected against excessive humidity?
On cloudy or rainy days, close all windows in the room where the piano is located. Also be sure to close the lid after each use. Be especially aware of excessive humidity if you live in an area with the following descriptions:
By the sea or in a rainy or humid area
In a valley, in a house facing hills or in an area where water is not properly drained
In a concrete building less than two years old
In an area where the air exhausts are directed into a room, or in a dark room facing north
Also beware of excessive dryness
If excessive humidity is a problem, excessive dryness is even more dangerous, especially if heating or air conditioning systems are used to create artificial dryness in the room. When used in naturally dry climates, the piano contains enough natural moisture to prevent excessive drying out. However, if the air is too dry (low relative humidity), the wood and felt components may shrink. In extreme cases, the body, joints and other laminated parts may even come loose, despite careful assembly. Slight distortion of the parts may cause noise and the pegs may become loose, making the piano difficult to tune. To avoid excessive dryness, it is best to place a green plant or a humidifier in the room where the piano is located.
Easy care practices and good habits
Dust your piano regularly
Dust can muffle the action of the hammers and cause noises. Dust the piano regularly with a soft cloth or feather duster and wipe the varnished parts with a soft cloth.
Keep the keyboard clean
The keyboard should be wiped regularly with a soft, dry cloth. Never use alcohol-based detergents; this will cause cracks in the keys. If the keyboard is very dirty, wipe it with a cloth soaked in a solution of soapy water and wrung out well. You should not use the same cloth for this that you used to clean the piano surface. It is a good habit to never play the piano with dirty hands. This will keep the keyboard clean longer.
Do not place any objects on the piano
A heavy object placed on the piano can affect the tone or cause noisy vibrations. As pleasant as it may seem to place a vase of flowers on the piano, if it were to spill and water were to enter the piano, it could cause serious damage. Water will cause rust on the metal parts of the piano and damage the hammers and action. To avoid costly incidents, never place anything other than music paper or a metronome on the piano.
Avoid contact with certain materials and avoid spilling liquids on the piano
Avoid contact of the piano with the following products:
Any product containing alcohol
Liquids such as cosmetics, insecticides or aerosols of any kind
Thinners or petroleum-based products
Get into the habit of regularly maintaining and tuning your piano
Why schedule regular maintenance?
Regular maintenance of your piano is very similar to taking vitamins. When you take vitamins regularly, you usually feel better and perform better. In addition, vitamins help you to avoid certain health problems and other illnesses. The same applies to regular maintenance of your piano. Regular maintenance keeps your piano's performance (and your satisfaction) intact. It also allows "progressive" problems to be corrected quickly, before they require costly repairs. That's why we recommend that you adopt a regular maintenance schedule for your piano..
Tuning and adjustment
Pianos are delicate instruments that require regular professional attention. There are two main types of professional piano maintenance: tuning and adjustment.
Tuning a piano involves correcting the pitch of each note by tightening the strings. Each piano string is normally stretched to a tension of about 90 kilos (198 pounds). However, the strings become slack with use and lose tension, causing the piano to go out of tune. The strings should be tuned at least twice a year to restore their original tension.
The adjustment concerns the entire piano mechanism, the keyboard and the pedal movement. Correct tuning is particularly important for grand pianos. The quality of the piano's performance depends on the accuracy of its tuning.