To produce the best sound possible, keep its beautiful looks and maintain its value, your piano requires maintenance and care.
Let’s talk about proper care and what the technician, and the owner, can do to maintain the instrument.
Piano maintenance And Care by Your technician
A piano technician provides expert care to your piano by performing the following actions:
Owners who cherish their piano get a technician to tune it regularly.
The longer your piano remains without tuning, the more time and effort will be needed to restore it to proper pitch.
Read our article about the importance of piano tuning for more details.
The felt hammers of your piano tend to harden over time as they become compressed by repeated impact with the strings, grooves start to form at these impact points as well.
Technicians can soften hammers using special tools called voicing needles or use special hardening agents when the hammers are too soft (though this practice can be a little controversial among some technicians). In any case, the goal is to get an even tone across the piano.
Keep in mind that these hammers are not used with equal frequency, so they wear out unevenly.
Over time, the performance of your piano action declines, due to compression of felts, warping of wood, and other mechanical issues.
A skilled technician can restore it to its optimal condition, in a process called regulation, where adjustments range from turning a small screw to sanding down a wooden surface. All to compensate the effects of wear.
The importance of regulation is to make the piano’s touch and sound consistent across all notes, allow it to achieve the widest possible range of actions comfortably, and make the keys responsive to even the most rapid or most subtle motions of the player.
Restoration & Rebuilding
Pianos have a limited lifetime, and different parts of the piano have different lifetimes.
For instance, on a heavily used but well-cared-for instrument, the hammers might last less than five years while the soundboard might last fifty years or even more. Now, regular replacement of worn parts can extend a piano’s lifetime by decades – even indefinitely, provided that the piano’s structural support remains sound.
Here lies the need for restoration, where the technician can extend the life of the instrument. As a result, It can be labor-intensive.
Piano Maintenance and Care by the Owner
How can you keep your piano healthy?
Here are some tips that you should know:
Moving the piano
To avoid extreme changes in temperatures, pianos should be nowhere near:
- Heating vents
- Drafty windows
- Gas heaters or space heaters
Above all, know that moving a piano is a difficult task. There are a lot of risks to consider.
We recommend that professionals who are careful, trained, insured, and properly equipped should move your piano.
Consider this moving seriously and plan accordingly.
When it comes to pianos, humidity, is critical, so consider it year-round.
Pianos don’t like extremes, they prefer temperatures not too hot, not too cold – and they need the humidity to be just right.
So much of a piano is made of wood, and it is extremely sensitive to fluctuations in said humidity.
The piano’s wooden soundboard is designed to have an arch, in other words, a crown. The crown increases or decreases with changes in humidity, changing the tension on the wires and throwing the instrument out of tune.
Larger fluctuations in humidity can affect regulation, and can even cause parts of it to crack. Moreover, if humidity changes are extreme, the soundboard can warp so much that it can collapse and lose its crown, which may require rebuilding or replacing the instrument. Consequently, increasing costs.
Liquids can damage pianos easily. Liquid spills can not only damage the exterior finish, but if a spill reaches inside your piano, it can result in costly damage to the action or soundboard.
Piano owners must protect their instruments by keeping liquids as far away from the instrument as possible.
Dust in between the keys can interfere with the action, but can be also be reduced by keeping the lid closed when the instrument is not used, although, the lid should be opened at times to ensure proper air circulation to prevent mold from developing.
Pianos are pieces of good furniture, and in this role, they benefit from cleaning and polishing, when done carefully, it avoids the introduction of any fluids into the piano’s interior.
Remove dust with a feather duster or a vacuum cleaner to avoid scratching its finish.
Consult a piano technician for comprehensive tips on cleaning and polishing products suitable for your piano.
To schedule maintenance service with us, follow this link.