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My son just started college and he sent me a txt that the humidity in his dorm room was "off the chart" and he is really concerned about his brand new, graduation money, Breedlove. At home I can run a room dehumidifier during the time of the year I need to but I am guessing that isn't the best option in a dorm. Does anyone have suggestions about solutions that have worked for them or not work for that matter? I just joined this discussion forum so I am hoping I am posting this correctly

 

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Well, unless it rains in the room regularly "off the chart" can be no higher than 100%. What he feels might actually only be about 60% or so. Usually the problem for acoustic guitars is the lack of humidity. Overall, humidity above ~55% and below ~ 40% will have an effect over long periods of time. If the guitar is indoors all the time, even several days of rain will not adversely affect it. Especially if kept it in its case when not in use.

Does he have a hygrometer to check what the humidity actually is? Like previously said, keeping the guitar in the case when not in use is the first thing that should be done. Especially in a dorm room and I'll assume with a room mate. What city/state is he in? Knowing that will help anyone who reads this know the type of weather to expect. Winter is very dry and thats just around the corner, so the concern later on may be dryness more so depending where he is.

I'd recommend getting a Damp-It or one of the other products on the market that has a hygrometer gauge built-in. I know it's been humid in my area (SE PA) for a few days now and the most the humidity has been is 63%. The A/C has a dehumidifier built-in so I've run that to help bring it down to <50%.

John
John, thanks for your thoughts. I sent my son to college (Northwest Missouri) with one of my Planet Waves hygrometers and a Oasis humidification system. He has grow up watching me obsess (it is such an ugly word) about the humidity in our house (Omaha, Nebraska, a miserably humid place in the summer)
It isn't raining in his room but he has 75% +/- humidity which is too high. Yes, I realize that when the heat kicks on the humidity will drop but I am hoping that he sticks it out four years and I am looking to the future. For the record I have used Damp-it and I like the Planet Waves or Oasis systems better. Are you aware of a in case system that controls humidity ?
Thanks, Hird
With humidity at 75%, he might consider gentle use of a dessicant.

But, as winter approaches and heaters come on, indoor humidity tends to plummet.

Have him watch the hygrometer, keep the guitar mostly in its case, and have a look at the Taylor articles on humidification.
John,

Thanks for the tip. Now one more dumb question. Other then going out and buying new electronics gear (not a bad idea) and collecting the dessicant packets where does one get dessicant is a usable form?
Thanks again, Hird
Hird,

Amazon.com has a good selection of desiccants. You might want to look for the kind you can dry out in the microwave.

I've never heard of using desiccant in a guitar case outside of during shipment afterwhich they are usually thrown out. I'd be cautious using them. Start by placing one packet in the case with the guitar for a day and then check the hygrometer. Add one more if the humidity is still high and check again in a day. Repeat as necessary. I'd start taking them out one by one as the humidty gets near the lower end of an acceptable level.

A hygrometer for the room should also be used. The reason is when the room humidity starts to drop, as it will in winter, you'll want to remove the desiccant packets ASAP. I have a feeling the packet(s) will accelerate the drop in humidity which can cause more harm more quickly.

John G.
Thanks for your thoughts and time John. I have used those micowaveable desiccants in my gun safe and they work great but I assumed that they were not avalible in a guitar case size. And yes I agree about the room hygrometer. In fact I think the room hygrometer is more important and gives a better "read" about a healthy environment then having one in your case. ( I still use both)

Different subject. Assuming that it it was put in CORRECTLY, ie; not hammered, glued, smashed, pounded, have you ever seen bridge pins break/split? I haven't in 40+ years but my son has had two go on him on his new Breedlove. I'm not bagging on Breedlove because I really like his Guitar and every other Breedlove I have seen, but I have never seen that happen before. You?

Thanks, Hird
I got these packets from planet waves that you put in your guitar case that either drop the levels or raise them whichever is needed.I agree check out Taylors website.The packets last 3 mo.
Here's a link to the Taylor Guitar Tech Sheets site where the tech sheets and other information can be found.

Be sure to click the "Tech Sheets" tab to see all the various "care and feeding" information.

This information is generic information and applies to any guitar or wooden instrument IMO.

John
Davey,

Thanks, I thought I had done a pretty good job of looking around but I missed those and I generally like Planet Wave stuff.

Hird

My son is a Marine and I want to send a Taylor 314 acoustic with him to Okinawa where he'll be stationed for 2 years but I found out the humidity is between 60-90% most of the time. I'm wondering how that will affect the guitar if it stays in the case except when he's playing it? I'm thinking the case will protect it well enough and finding that 50% humidity is actually desirable made me feel better. I assume that they run dehumidifiers there to keep everything from getting moldy but I'm not sure if he'll be in a large barracks like a dorm or what the quarters will be. I'm also wondering how it will affect an electric guitar and amp;....maybe worse?

Gary, I was hoping someone would respond to your question.  I live in the Philippines and humidity and heat are a real problem.  Most homes here are not kept air conditioned throughout the day due to the cost.  My wife's Dental Clinic has A/C and our bedroom at night.  So I have been leaving (practicing as well) my guitar at the clinic during the day and bringing it home in the evening and still have to much humidity built up in the guitar. 

Today I am going to purchase "Calcium Chloride" desiccants and have used silica for my photography equipment, which I easily bring back to zero moisture (or very little) by placing it in a extremely high temperature sterilizer until the color changes back to dry.  I think I will be able to find a desiccant that I can place in a fabric like panty hose and place in the body of the guitar to start bringing the Relative Humidity down in the body and the case and get the top swelling to go down. 

I stumbled onto the Planet Waves Humidipak system. Really simple, maintains the recommended 48-49% humidity and fairly inexpensive. I buy on Amazon for around $18.00 per guitar. I got one to try and have since put in all my acoustics.

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