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  #1  
Old 07-10-2014, 10:03 PM
RiversRubin RiversRubin is offline
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Default Humidity in Chicago, Illinois?

Hey Everyone,

So I have a Martin 00015M - I take immaculate care of it, at least I try to. I live in Denver, where it's extremely dry. So, I use a soundhole Planet Waves humidifier and replace the sponge every day. This August, though, I'll be going to Chicago for school. So, I'll be in Chicago August - December, and then late January - May.

I know it's much more humid than Denver, but will it still need to be humidified? Is it possible to over humidify? What about August - December when most of the time it'll be winter, and drier?

Thanks for any help!
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  #2  
Old 07-10-2014, 10:46 PM
Tobias Music Tobias Music is offline
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Oh yes, you will need to use your humidifier on a regular basis here too. Maybe not in August or early September, but October thru April its almost mandatory.
We have very good climate control in our shop and the humidifiers have actually been kicking in the past couple days. Humidifying in July may be rare, but we have been having a few cool dry days.
This past winter was a real eye opener for the guitar industry, especially here in the Midwest. During a normal winter, we probably see 3-4 customers come in with cracked tops on their guitars. This past winter, we had 22 people bring in cracked guitars. Kind of sad to see. The repair shops in the Chicago area were backlogged 8 - 10 weeks.
It's doubtful you would be able to over humidify a guitar October thru April here in the Chicago area. But please, please, please keep your guitar in its case and use your humidifiers religiously.
Where are you going school ?

Last edited by Tobias Music; 07-10-2014 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:55 PM
numb fingertips numb fingertips is offline
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Yeah, during the winter, you have the furnace going full blast number one. If you take your guitar out of your place, the big changes in temperature doesn't help either.
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:12 PM
RiversRubin RiversRubin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobias Music View Post
Oh yes, you will need to use your humidifier on a regular basis here too. Maybe not in August or early September, but October thru April its almost mandatory.
We have very good climate control in our shop and the humidifiers have actually been kicking in the past couple days. Humidifying in July may be rare, but we have been having a few cool dry days.
This past winter was a real eye opener for the guitar industry, especially here in the Midwest. During a normal winter, we probably see 3-4 customers come in with cracked tops on their guitars. This past winter, we had 22 people bring in cracked guitars. Kind of sad to see. The repair shops in the Chicago area were backlogged 8 - 10 weeks.
It's doubtful you would be able to over humidify a guitar October thru April here in the Chicago area. But please, please, please keep your guitar in its case and use your humidifiers religiously.
Where are you going school ?

Thank you so much for the advice! I'm going to Columbia College Chicago for film and music.

It sounds like when I get there in August, I'll just keep my regular humidifying regime going - replacing the sponge each day. Thanks again for the help!
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Old 07-11-2014, 10:21 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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No, you won't need to humidify during August or September - those are pretty humid, sweaty months in Chicago. October is when you'll need to start thinking about it.


whm
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Old 07-12-2014, 01:53 AM
RiversRubin RiversRubin is offline
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Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
No, you won't need to humidify during August or September - those are pretty humid, sweaty months in Chicago. October is when you'll need to start thinking about it.


whm

That makes sense. So another question - What happens when my regularly humidified guitar goes from dry Colorado to a more humid Chicago in August? Will I need to do anything to prevent any changes occurring? Or do I just not humidify it until it becomes drier in October?
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Old 07-12-2014, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiversRubin View Post
That makes sense. So another question - What happens when my regularly humidified guitar goes from dry Colorado to a more humid Chicago in August? Will I need to do anything to prevent any changes occurring? Or do I just not humidify it until it becomes drier in October?
Hi RR...

Some essential gear not discussed at length in this thread thus far are a humidifier to keep the humidity sufficiently high inside the case, and a hygrometer to measure it to know when to add or remove the humidifier inside the case.

We have lived in Wyoming just 80 miles North of Denver for 38 years (and are drier than Denver). Without a hygrometer I'd never know what the humidity in the case is versus the room, or the out of doors. We travel about ⅓ of the time (we are retired) and my guitars have often gone from Wyoming's sub 20% humidity to Eastern Kansas and 65% in a day, and the answer to your question is nothing happened to the guitar.

I keep the case humidified any time the room drops below 35%, and I pull the humidifiers out of the case when it exceeds 50%.

I keep hygrometers in the room where I play, and the RV when we travel, and with me in the case when the guitar is out for extended periods (like at a music camp over a weekend). A simple under $10 electronic hygrometer gives near instant readings - it changes in under 5 minutes when I go from one environment to another.

Why are we even guessing when a hygrometer takes guessing out of the equation. We don't need museum level accuracy to let us know we are at the point the guitar would be better off in the case with the humidifier than just sitting out in a room. Guitars are not so delicate nor fragile that they live on the edge of destruction because we travel.




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Old 07-12-2014, 10:19 AM
Tobias Music Tobias Music is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
Hi RR...

Some essential gear not discussed at length in this thread thus far are a humidifier to keep the humidity sufficiently high inside the case, and a hygrometer to measure it to know when to add or remove the humidifier inside the case.

We have lived in Wyoming just 80 miles North of Denver for 38 years (and are drier than Denver). Without a hygrometer I'd never know what the humidity in the case is versus the room, or the out of doors. We travel about ⅓ of the time (we are retired) and my guitars have often gone from Wyoming's sub 20% humidity to Eastern Kansas and 65% in a day, and the answer to your question is nothing happened to the guitar.

I keep the case humidified any time the room drops below 35%, and I pull the humidifiers out of the case when it exceeds 50%.

I keep hygrometers in the room where I play, and the RV when we travel, and with me in the case when the guitar is out for extended periods (like at a music camp over a weekend). A simple under $10 electronic hygrometer gives near instant readings - it changes in under 5 minutes when I go from one environment to another.

Why are we even guessing when a hygrometer takes guessing out of the equation. We don't need museum level accuracy to let us know we are at the point the guitar would be better off in the case with the humidifier than just sitting out in a room. Guitars are not so delicate nor fragile that they live on the edge of destruction because we travel.




Here in the Chicago area, we're lucky. We have WGN-TV with Tom Skilling as our weather guy. He's always preaching about the low humidity levels during the winter months. I don't use a hydrometer. I use the the Tom Skilling weather app on my phone. HA !!!
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:26 AM
lizzard lizzard is offline
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87% today, 19% last winter

'nuff said?
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobias Music View Post
Here in the Chicago area, we're lucky. We have WGN-TV with Tom Skilling as our weather guy. He's always preaching about the low humidity levels during the winter months. I don't use a hydrometer. I use the the Tom Skilling weather app on my phone. HA !!!
Hi Tobias M...
The relative humidity out of doors has nothing to do with what it is indoors (unless you live in an RV or screened in porch year round). Unless your phone has a moisture sensing sensor on it, what you need is a hygrometer.

A hygrometer will tell you exactly what the Relative Humidity is indoors (or in your case if you put it there).

My weather apps are telling me that outdoors right now it's 73% (because it fixing to rain) but indoors in my playing room it's 45%. That's a pretty divergent pair of measurements.




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  #11  
Old 07-12-2014, 12:01 PM
Tobias Music Tobias Music is offline
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Thanks lj,
I was trying to make a joke. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I guess after this past winter, I shouldn't be joking about humidity. Though I'm still am a big fan of Tom Skilling.

Last edited by Tobias Music; 07-12-2014 at 01:09 PM.
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  #12  
Old 07-12-2014, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobias Music View Post
Thanks lj,
I was trying to make a joke. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I guess after this past winter, I shouldn't be joking about humidity. Though I still am a big fan of Tom Skilling.
Hi ™...

I have no issues with Tom...or you.

I like the way my autocorrect turned your initials into the TradeMark symbol.




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  #13  
Old 07-12-2014, 12:33 PM
Tobias Music Tobias Music is offline
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Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
Hi ™...


I like the way my autocorrect turned your initials into the TradeMark symbol.




That's hysterical !!
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Old 07-12-2014, 01:07 PM
Ted @ LA Guitar Sales Ted @ LA Guitar Sales is offline
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Originally Posted by RiversRubin View Post
Hey Everyone,

So I have a Martin 00015M - I take immaculate care of it, at least I try to. I live in Denver, where it's extremely dry. So, I use a soundhole Planet Waves humidifier and replace the sponge every day. This August, though, I'll be going to Chicago for school. So, I'll be in Chicago August - December, and then late January - May.

I know it's much more humid than Denver, but will it still need to be humidified? Is it possible to over humidify? What about August - December when most of the time it'll be winter, and drier?

Thanks for any help!
Regardless of where you live you should have a humidity gauge and adjust humidity near your guitar as needed.
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  #15  
Old 07-12-2014, 02:00 PM
RiversRubin RiversRubin is offline
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Alright - so to recap -

Get a gauge, and make sure the humidifier is in the guitar when it's about 35% or lower humidity, correct? If it's above that, do you need the humidifier in? Also, I do keep it in a hard case at all times, never on a stand or a wall, so that helps a lot, I think.
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