Once you get past the starter instrument stage and start spending a bit more on quality instruments, you want to ensure you are doing everything you can to make them last. A silent and sneaky culprit to instrument damage comes in the form of humidity. That’s right, the thing that frizzes our hair and makes us feel like we’re living in a sauna when it’s high, and dries out our skin and inflames our nasal passages when low, could be slowly damaging your instrument.
So, what kind of damage could humidity be doing to your violin? Humidity, for starters, could warp your instrument over time, as the water in highly humid air soaks into the unprotected wood inside your violin and causes the wood to swell.
Humidity could also be causing mould to grow in your instrument. This is particularly gross and harmful when you consider that your violin is held right next to your face. That’s right, you could be inhaling the toxic mould spores that are unbeknownst to you growing in your violin. Toxic mould contains mycotoxins that can cause memory loss, headaches, cancer, loss of hearing, and a whole host of other health problems. Even death, in extreme cases. Not exactly incentive to pick up your instrument, is it?
When the humidity drops the wood of your instrument contracts, and this can cause cracks and seam problems. This is particularly upsetting when you own an antique or expensive instrument.
It’s especially important not to try to re-glue the seams of your violin if they have separated due to humidity. Violin makers use a very specific glue so that if the wood does swell, the seams go first, rather than cracking the wood of your instrument, which costs a lot more to repair.
Luckily there is a way you can stop some of the harmful effects that dropping humidity has on your violin. It’s called the dampit.
This little unassuming device works wonders for keeping the nasties of humidity away. The video on this page shows how to use the dampit.
This little wonder can save you bundles in instrument repair or replacement, and it only costs $15.95 at Animato Strings. We also have dampits available for violas ($17.95), cellos ($19.95) and double basses ($21.95). They can be bought online or instore, so there’s no excuse not to grab one, and keep your violin safe and happy. Just remember not to over saturate your dampit. Follow the instructions in the video and in the packaging for proper use.
For high humidity keep your instrument in its case as much as possible and buy yourself a dehumidifier. This is especially important if you have a collection of instruments. Then it’s probably a good idea to invest in both a good humidifier and a dehumidifier to keep humidity levels ideal in the entire room you store your instruments in, not just the individual instruments, across the seasons.
What did you think of this post? Ever had humidity problems with your instrument? Let us know in the comments box below.
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