Humidity and your guitar
One of the most important things you can do to protect your guitar is to understand the principles of humidity control. All quality guitars are built at an average of 45-47% relative humidity (rh). It can be very dry in parts of Canada (and other parts of the world) especially during heating season, which is typically late October/early November through late April. The rh in your home can drop to in the 20% rh range. This can be devastating to your instruments.
Guitars will start to dry out at under 45% rh and can start to crack at 40% and lower. Neck angles will pull up, bridges can lift off tops, and tops can start to sink. The damage from this can be upwards of $500 if necks need to be reset, and higher if more damage occurs. EVEN WORSE, THE GUITAR COULD BECOME NOTHING BUT FIREWOOD. With less expensive laminated wood guitars you don’t need to worry as much, but the dry air can still affect the neck and action…the same goes with solid body electrics where you’ll notice low action, buzzing, and sharp fret ends sticking out. These things are NOT covered under warranty.
Some people feel a false sense of security because they’ve gone years with no trouble, but it can suddenly occur with little warning. It can also happen slowly over the years until one day it just gets to a point where you notice things aren’t right.
There are soundhole humidifiers like the Oasis and Planet Waves Humidifier which save your guitar’s life in the dry season when used correctly. It is critical to use these in the soundhole, and to keep the guitar in the case when not being played during this dry season. You may need to re-moisten these devices every 3-7 days depending on your home’s climate.
Some companies are denying warranty claims these days as this falls under “neglect“, so please be prudent! Feel free to e-mail us for advice on this! I have seen many dried out guitars this year so far.