The ideal range of humidity for guitars is 45% to 55% RH or relative humidity. Too much exposure to high humidity may result in guitar damage.
So, how do you dehumidify a guitar? You can dehumidify your guitar by placing silica gel packs or bamboo charcoal packs and use a dehumidifier in the room where you store your instruments. Prevention is also good. Have a hygrometer to measure the relative humidity inside the guitar case.
While most of your energy is devoted to preventing guitars from drying out, it’s possible for the guitars to be very wet.
Typically, guitars become over-humidified once it is exposed to some environmental elements for a certain period of time in a place where there’s high humidity or for a few months where humidity is medium to high.
In other cases, the bodies of your guitars are over-humidified through well-meaning owners who were carried away with the sound-hole humidifiers.
Usually, while high humidity won’t crack the wood the way the low level of humidity can, adverse effects may be as damaging and there are times that it can costly to repair.
The wood in guitar may swell a lot, which may cause the glue joints to fail. It can also make the neck angles bad and its finish might lift. The distortions in wood may remain even after some damages have been repaired, which could leave the guitar disfigured. Guitars that are very wet may sound lifeless and dull from extra water weight that the wood holds.
Some people who live in wet regions are not aware that moisture is affecting their guitar switch to extra light gauge string when swollen guitars became harder to play.
They will end up with high action on dull sounding guitar and the strings will be very light to get the rich and full tone that the guitar usually produces when less humidity control could have kept guitar playing as well as sounding great.
Not all guitar owners will become meteorologists just to keep their guitars safe. Some may not even worry about the safety of their own guitars. However, through being familiar with the humidity principles and with how normal guitars look and feel, guitar owners may prevent all possible damage to guitars and keep the great tone and playability of the guitar.
The basic precautions may include keeping guitars in their cases once not in use, keeping them out of direct sunlight or extremes of cold and heat, and low or high humidity. You must also check for particular changes in the temperature on a regular basis.
Symptoms Of A Wet Guitar
Every guitar will have a particular amount of bellying behind its bridge. It isn’t an indicator of a wet guitar. Try looking for a combination of such symptoms to know if the guitar will be too humid.
Once wet, your guitar’s neck angle will get swollen that its bridge has risen above the fingerboard. If you’re to sight down your guitar’s neck, you will find that it is pointing low on the bridge.
Prevention is the key in wet areas. If your climate doesn’t have a high level of humidity year round, you should consider using a humidification system. You may use any device for this, but pick the one that comes with humidity control technology and has breathable membrane packets to maintain a 48% RH through absorbing excess moisture in the humid environment.
In places with year-round high or extreme humidity, consider placing some silica gel and bamboo charcoal packs inside your guitar case. Then, change them regularly.
You may also use a dehumidifier for your room where you can store your guitar.
It is also wiser to monitor the levels of humidity with a digital hygrometer. You may find good digital hygrometer by searching in different local music stores. You can also take out the guitar and blow-dry its case’s interior using a hair dryer for 10 to 15 minutes.