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Old 01-15-2019, 06:36 PM
LiveMusic LiveMusic is offline
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Default Any need to humidify in deep south?

North Louisiana, about like east Texas, house with central heat and a/c. About 200 miles inland from Gulf of Mexico. And about 200 miles east of Dallas, but it's more humid. Humidity runs pretty high here. It rarely gets below 40%, even in summer. I have *never* used a humidifier, lol, so, why am I asking? I dunno, just curious. I do have a Guild F50R that I found had a 3 inch crack in the waist and I have no idea how/why/when that happened. I have never bumped it. Still plays fine but I will get it repaired.

If a humidifier is 'necessary,' what is recommended?
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Old 01-15-2019, 06:45 PM
McCawber McCawber is offline
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I would say probably not so much. My D-28 moved with me from Memphis to Atlanta, Clearwater, FL, Kansas City, Iowa, back to Kansas City and now to Arkansas. The only place I had to humidify was Iowa during winter months. I bought it new in 1967 and made all the other moves before moving to Iowa in 1996. There were no humidity related problems with this guitar during all of those moves. However, if I'm traveling by car these days and I take a guitar, I will usually include a humidifier in the case.
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Old 01-15-2019, 06:57 PM
RussL30 RussL30 is online now
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Maybe I should, but Iíve always lived in Mississippi with central air and heating and have never humidified my guitars or had problems with humidity issues.
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:00 PM
GHS GHS is offline
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Buddy of mine moved to Slidell last year. Most humid place he's ever been. You should be good most of the time, his gear is.
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:32 PM
Flipguitar_pro Flipguitar_pro is offline
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Bill, Ill give it to you straight...

The humidity outside of your house is irrelevant unless you store your guitars outside, which I assume you are not. Go to your local drug store, buy 2 digital hygrometers (One to check the humidity and one to verify its accurate) and check the humidity where you store your guitars. After 24 hours it should give you a high and a low reading and hopefully you end up around 47-50% give or take 5%. If you are outside of that range then make adjustments such as getting a humidifier or dehumidifier. Keep in mind that some people will say things like "I never bothered and my guitars are fine..." Well that is great but all that means is they rolled the dice and won. This is the time of year that low humidity damage is common and guitar techs and luthiers get backed up with repairs and setups.

With all that being said I just looked up the weather in North Louisiana and it's 41 degrees. You mentioned that your house has central air/heating so I can pretty much guarantee that your humidity is on the low side.

Sorry to hear the crack in your Guild
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:39 PM
llew llew is offline
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In coastal SC the need to dehumidify is much more of an issue. Even in the winter as it's not cold enough to run heat constantly. The hygrometer in the room with my guitars and this computer is currently 53%. Low reading is 39% and high 63%. It stays predominately between 45%-55%. The dips and spikes are infrequent so I don't worry about it much.
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:49 PM
paulzoom paulzoom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llew View Post
In coastal SC the need to dehumidify is much more of an issue. Even in the winter as it's not cold enough to run heat constantly. The hygrometer in the room with my guitars and this computer is currently 53%. Low reading is 39% and high 63%. It stays predominately between 45%-55%. The dips and spikes are infrequent so I don't worry about it much.
I'm in coastal Georgia and last year we had a spell where the humidity dipped to between 30-35% for about a week. I keep a room humidifier handy for those occurances.
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Old 01-15-2019, 08:05 PM
LiveMusic LiveMusic is offline
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Thanks for the info, I ordered and it shows the high/low.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flipguitar_pro View Post
Bill, Ill give it to you straight...

The humidity outside of your house is irrelevant unless you store your guitars outside, which I assume you are not. Go to your local drug store, buy 2 digital hygrometers (One to check the humidity and one to verify its accurate) and check the humidity where you store your guitars. After 24 hours it should give you a high and a low reading and hopefully you end up around 47-50% give or take 5%. If you are outside of that range then make adjustments such as getting a humidifier or dehumidifier. Keep in mind that some people will say things like "I never bothered and my guitars are fine..." Well that is great but all that means is they rolled the dice and won. This is the time of year that low humidity damage is common and guitar techs and luthiers get backed up with repairs and setups.

With all that being said I just looked up the weather in North Louisiana and it's 41 degrees. You mentioned that your house has central air/heating so I can pretty much guarantee that your humidity is on the low side.

Sorry to hear the crack in your Guild
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:28 PM
vibrolucky vibrolucky is offline
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I live in Alabama, although lately it has seemed more like Scotland regarding the weather.

I think it really depends on how you store it. Kept in its case you are probably fine most of the year on ground level in the south. Be mindful or your heating system, and the proximity of distance to your cases. I think where most people have problems are in rooms upstairs that display their guitars hanging high on walls. Forced heated air will rise throughout the house and get very dry, and not being inside the case will leave it prone to problems.

It amazes me the people that will literally leave a guitar on a stand year-round next to a floor vent. Then wonder why all their fret ends are sharp poking out on the fretboard!

I quit using wall-hangers and decided to keep stuff in their cases year-round. Havent had a problem.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:24 PM
LP Tyler LP Tyler is offline
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When I lived in Houston the humidity in the house never got below 40 percent. I watched the levels, but never did anything as I didnít need too. Now I live in Wyoming and I have a hard time keeping the humidity up to an acceptable level.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:50 PM
jrb715 jrb715 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flipguitar_pro View Post
Bill, Ill give it to you straight...

The humidity outside of your house is irrelevant unless you store your guitars outside, which I assume you are not. Go to your local drug store, buy 2 digital hygrometers (One to check the humidity and one to verify its accurate) and check the humidity where you store your guitars. After 24 hours it should give you a high and a low reading and hopefully you end up around 47-50% give or take 5%. If you are outside of that range then make adjustments such as getting a humidifier or dehumidifier. Keep in mind that some people will say things like "I never bothered and my guitars are fine..." Well that is great but all that means is they rolled the dice and won. This is the time of year that low humidity damage is common and guitar techs and luthiers get backed up with repairs and setups.

With all that being said I just looked up the weather in North Louisiana and it's 41 degrees. You mentioned that your house has central air/heating so I can pretty much guarantee that your humidity is on the low side.

Sorry to hear the crack in your Guild
This is excellent advice. I check the hygrometer and just put the guitars in their cases with sound hole humidifiers during the low humidity days.
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:55 AM
Rpt50 Rpt50 is online now
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I would say no. I'm in Atlanta, and after 40+ years of never worrying about humidity (36 years in the deep south), upon reading stuff on this website I suddenly became concerned. I ordered up humidifiers for my more expensive guitars, and within 3 weeks or so two of them had swelled enough that the action was adversely affected. By that time I had ordered a hygrometer and a realized that while my house would occasionally dip into the 30% range, it normally would stay in the 40-45% range even with the heat on, and higher when we don't need the heat (pretty often in Atlanta "winters").

Anybody need some humidifiers?

Anyway, like others have said, by a hygrometer before you start humidifying.

And yes, the two aforementioned guitars are back to normal now.
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:02 AM
tnez13 tnez13 is offline
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Another comment from metro Atlanta. My experience over the last five years is that there will be stretches of time when the humidity inside a house can get very low. I've seen relative humidity in the 20's in my house based on a hygrometer measurement and a humidifier sensor. It takes extreme weather with lows in the teens or twenties for a few days but it can happen.

I have two humidifiers running in my house, one upstairs and one downstairs, as much for human comfort as guitar care. They are at a setpoint of 50% rh. During extremely cold weather, I know they can't keep up so I case my guitar whenever the rh in the house drops below 40%. Again, this generally happens with lows in the 20's and highs in the 40's for several days.
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Old 01-16-2019, 08:22 AM
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devellis devellis is offline
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I wouldn't worry about RH in the mid- to high-30s. When I first started getting better instruments, I did a bunch of research on how humidity impacts them and the most informed sources I found were museum conservators. They actually study these matters systematically. Museums are responsible for objects, including musical instruments, that are far more valuable than anything I'll ever have in my house (or the whole house, for that matter) and the conservators who are responsible for the welfare of those artifacts typically have advanced degrees in fields related to preservation. Consistently, their recommendation regarding wooden objects, including fine instruments, was maintaining them at RH between 35% and 55%, with 45% as the ideal. Preferred temperatures are essentially comfortable room temperature, say 65 to 75 degrees.

If you visit a museum, somewhere in there (actually several "somewheres" in larger museums), you'll find encased gauges recording temperature and humidity. They're often devices with a pen drawing a line on a paper drum, providing a continuous record or temperature and humidity. I'm yet to see one that had fallen outside of that 35% to 55% range; but RH of, say, 37% seems not to worry the museums at all, and they are responsible for collections far more valuable than mine. And in some of those museums, the instruments are not only stored and displayed but regularly played.

Builders are often more conservative in their recommendations and I can understand that. "Too dry" is far more likely to be a problem for an instrument than "too damp," so they often advise against too low an RH. I think this makes sense given that owners may not be as conscientious as they should be and that the equipment lay people have for monitoring RH may not be all that accurate. So, a builder well may build in a margin of safety by recommending that the acceptable humidity range has a floor of maybe 40% or so and recommend an ideal of 50%. But in actuality, a lot of owner experience and the recommendations of museum conservators indicate that RH can safely run a bit lower than that.

Although dry is riskier than damp, too damp an environment can lead to its own problems, like mildew formation, rusting of metal parts, and even glue softening in hot, damp conditions. Most folks don't have to worry about that stuff but in especially humid places, they are an issue. I've seen at least as many instruments that, due to excess moisture, reek of mildew when the case is popped open as ones that have incurred body cracks from excess dryness. No need to make ourselves nuts over it, but keeping an eye on RH in the environments where our instruments are stored does seem like a good idea.
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Old 01-16-2019, 08:53 AM
catndahats catndahats is offline
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my experience is with the Texas Gulf Coast, and central Texas Hill country.
The only season to be concerned with humidity is the winter months, or when using central heat in your home. The heater running really sucks the moisture out of the air down to the low 30% and even high 20% area. I keep wood instruments in cases with an in case humidifier during the months the heating is running. Rest of the year, just in the case and monitor humidity. You have to have a humidity gauge to be accurate. I keep one in the music room. Hope this helps.
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