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Maintaining Your Piano’s Finish All-Year Round

by ivories

A piano is definitely an expensive investment and with the cost attached to a purchase, you will not love the thought of parts breaking here and there just because you have neglected your role as the owner of this musical instrument. One of the things that you have to pay particular attention to is the piano’s finish. This is the first thing people look at when they get a glimpse of your keyboard. How do you actually go about this process? Here’s how:

Learn the basics of piano care

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Pianos of today are made from different materials. Whatever your piano’s finish is, the first thing that you should do is to make sure that the finish is protected. Basic care dictates that your responsibility as the owner all starts with assuring that no amount of dirt or spill will affect the facade. It is good to note that many pianos of today have finishes that resist spills and dirt. Just keep the instrument clean at all times and avoid exposure to abrasion, humidity and extreme temperature.

Place the piano at the right spot inside your home

Humidity and temperature are factors that may affect your piano’s finish. Therefore, if you put it on a spot where humidity and temperature will definitely be a problem, there is a reason to believe that the finish is compromised. It will be wise to go for a spot where it will not be exposed directly to sunlight or else the finish will age prematurely.

Learn how to dust your piano correctly

Dust is yet another factor that can have an impact on your piano’s finish. How you wish you can just reach out for any old cloth and use it to wipe the surface of your musical instrument. But of course, you have to bear in mind that dusting requires care and if you want to avoid scratching the finish, your best partner in this regard is no less than a feather duster. Make sure you do it very lightly, just enough to put off dust from the surface. You can also use a soft damp cloth. Just make sure you wipe off the surface with a dry, non-abrasive cloth afterwards. Wipe using long straight strokes instead of a swirling motion to avoid marks on the surface.

Make sure the finish itself is clean

Fingerprints and all sorts of smudges may have also been left on the surface of the piano. When you have this on the instrument, the secret is to use the damp to dry cloth method as mentioned previously. There are times when the surface may require more rigorous cleaning. When this is the case, you will need a water-mild soap solution. There are certain soaps that will be good for cleaning the surface. You may have one inside your cabinets or in a grocery store nearby.

Think twice before polishing your piano

Many of us think that polishing the surface of the piano is the ultimate way to make sure that the finish will shine all-year round. Remember, however, that polishing is not at all times the number one thing to consider in order to bring the lustre back. There are instances when polishing will not be beneficial. Much more so, it can compromise the finish especially because there are times when it can attract contaminants not just over the surface but on all other parts of the keyboard. When you get the wrong product, potential for damage will be increased.

In cases where your piano’s finish is affected, you may require professional help in restoring it. For piano repair in Toronto, do not hesitate to call us.

How To Assess The Condition Of Your Piano

by ivories

I bet you wish that based on the way your piano looks good on the outside will be enough for you to say that it is functioning properly. Well, as with any other things, you have to remember that there is much to know if you want to determine the true condition of your piano. You have to look way beyond what you see on the outside. You definitely have to dig deeper and look at its internal parts before saying it is perfectly alright. Perhaps you are no expert on this matter, and it is true that it will require a conscious effort to be able to check on your piano’s condition. However, the following tips will give you a head-start:

Examine the hinges on the piano’s belly

Before you even look closely to what is wrong in the inside, you have to make sure that the hinges on the belly are there. The pin should be on the hinge. Otherwise, you might end up injuring yourself just in case the lid falls right on your feet. You cannot just say the lids are in place just because you know nothing was wrong the last time you played the instrument.

Remove the music desk

This is the one where you usually put the musical pieces on. You have to remove this to make things easier for you once you are inspecting all the other parts of the piano. As a piano owner, you will definitely want to be familiar with all these basics just to make sure that you are at the same foot as that of the technician you will hire later on. You will lose nothing being able to do this on your own.

You are ready to examine the tuning pins

Examining the tuning pins can be quite a trick especially that you are not an expert on this matter. Together with the tuning pins, there are strings to look at as well. These pins play an integral role in making sure the piano is playing music at its best. A tuning pin can be loose if an attached string has been removed. This can be the reason why you seem not to be playing the right melodies in your music lately. Sometimes, rusting pins and strings can also be causing the problem. These ones need to be cleaned and repaired the soonest possible time.

Have a closer look at the strings as well

Strings are very important to get the piano playing well. Any issues like the ones mentioned awhile back can be causing the problem and will require repair. Apart from lose strings or rusting ones, there can be other issues you need to pay attention to when it comes to this part. Often, some old strings simply need replacement to make the instrument play in tune again.

You may also need to check that the strings are complete. If your piano’s very old then chances are, there may be some strings that went loose and disappeared without you even noticing they are gone. These ones have to be replaced immediately.

Check for cracks

Inside the piano, you might be able to spot some cracks on the surface here and there. This can be affecting the sound that your musical instrument is playing. There are times when you can simply seal in cracks but there are also instances when you need to replace the soundboard completely. If this is not a job you can do then it will be nice to call a technician to help you.

After looking closely at these components, if you realize that your piano needs a thorough check from piano experts, it will not hurt to give us a call. We offer services such as piano tuning in Toronto, and can help you to assess the condition of your piano with absolute precision!

How To Protect Your Piano During The Winter Season

by ivories

Wood is a versatile material, and wonderfully suited to build a piano. However, it is greatly affected by humidity, as are other materials that also make up the piano. Wood is affected by the changes in humidity, especially during winter. There are several things that you need to do to protect your piano from the changes in humidity.

Humidity control system

 

The first step is controlling the humidity in your house. Wood shrinks or swells, depending on the amount of moisture in the air, or lack thereof. The amount of moisture depends mostly on the weather. Relative humidity is the amount of humidity in the air as compared to what the air can hold. Therefore during winter, the air is dry, thus low relative humidity.

To prevent the piano from shrinking during winter, you need to try to keep the humidity levels around the piano constant, or close. You can have a humidity control system installed in your piano. This system is a three in one. It has a humidifier that adds moisture when it’s dry and a dehumidifier that sucks excess moisture. It also has a humidistat which is a sensor that detects either extreme and activates the relevant system.

Humidity gauge

Too little humidity will dry out the wood components in your beloved piano. This throws the piano off pitch, and may cause cracks in the wood. You should then purchase a humidity gauge, which is able to show you the exact level of humidity in the air. Knowing where the humidity levels are at makes it easier to decide what measures to take. They are easily available and very affordable in the local hardware stores.

The next step after buying a humidity gauge would be to buy a humidifier. You will be spoilt for choice as they come in many shapes and sizes. A humidifier will keep your piano pitch in good condition by increasing the amount of humidity in a dry room.

Location of piano

Your piano should be located in a place that is not too warm, nor too cold. Move it away from open windows, or from the path of doors that are constantly being opened and cold air blowing in. If possible, the piano should be located in a room that is evenly heated and has no dramatic changes in temperature. This means away from heaters and radiators.

Tuning

Winter can be nasty and frosty. Extremes in weather take a toll on a piano’s components. The soundboard shrinks during winter. This lowers the string tension and the pitch drops.  A piano that is played regularly needs to be tuned at least once a year, twice if possible. The wisest thing to do would be to time the tuning just when the season is turning. This enables the tuner to adjust the settings in line with the impending season change. Have your piano tuned in fall. The tuner will tune it sharper than usual to accommodate the flat pitch that comes with winter’s dry air. This is advice you can get from any piano tuner in Toronto, and your piano will be better off for following it.

A piano is a sensitive item that needs a lot of care. The fluctuations in the weather and temperatures greatly affect the piano’s performance. The shrink and swell of the wood may easily cause cracks in the wood, ultimately affecting the piano’s pitch. Investing in a piano means you have to invest in ways to keep it functioning for longer. No expense should be too great in its maintenance. It is a work of art that – if taken good care of – can bring musical pleasure for generations to come.