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Leaving guitars in garage during winter

Rotten

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,326
OK, I live in San Diego so we might see 40 degrees at night every now and then. Still, I like to leave my guitars on stands so that I can just pick 'em up and play. Any problems doing that during winter? They are all solid body guitars.
 

EADGBE

Senior Member
Messages
12,339
Yes. How cold does it get and how hot does it get? Extremes can really mess a guitar up. Ideally guitars like about 72 degrees and 45% humidity.
 

Jedi

Member
Messages
1,638
What? A better idea would be to keep them on stands in the house. Unless, you like making constant truss rod adjustments.......
 

Gizmo123

Member
Messages
77
Even worse is the humidity. Since you are worried about the temperature, I would think humidity (or lack of) would be a problem as well. I just checked and the current humidity in San Diego is 17%. Good luck with that!
 

bloozetubes

Member
Messages
620
don't leave a guitar anywhere you wouldn't stay yourself

40 degree garage/trunk of car
100 degree garage/trunk of car
 

Chiba

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,830
40 degrees ain't winter :)

Seriously, though - low humidity is more dangerous to your guitars than low temperature.

After all... trees survive winter, don't they?
 

theaxedoctor

Member
Messages
118
Low humidity can absolutely ruin a guitar. The first thing you may notice are frets protruding on either side of the fretboad, which occurs as the fret board shrinks. Acoustic guitars particularly may develop cracks in the top. Even within a house, instruments should always remain in a room with a consistent humidity level.
 

old goat

Member
Messages
1,987
Actually a guitar is better off in a garage in San Diego than in a heated room in the East in winter, where the humidity gets super low, compared to the humid summers. San Diego humidity doesn't vary that much with the seasons or between indoor and out. Other than causing tuning problems the cold won't damage the guitar per se, although manufacturers do recommend letting a guitar sit in the case for a while when going from cold to hot or visa versa--to avoid sudden severe changes in temperature. What is the temperature of an airplane cargo hold or a semi truck going cross country in winter? The biggest concern is heat, which will melt the glue.
 

vbf

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,931
I never liked having my guitars in guitar stands, expect during a gig. When not in use I keep my guitars in their cases.
 

VaughnC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,933
Back in the day, our guitars would go from Pennsylvania winter sub 0 degree car trunks to musty bars and vice versa and many of those old guitars are still going strong. Might see a few finish cracks but those guitars had character after a year of gigging ;).
 

DrumBob

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
18,150
What? A better idea would be to keep them on stands in the house. Unless, you like making constant truss rod adjustments.......
Exactly right. Your guitars are going to get messed up leaving them in 40 degree weather. Warped necks, buzzing frets, etc. Mine are in a constant 67 degrees, and the more finicky ones, like the Rick 12 string, stay in their cases with humistats. And the necks still go out as the seasons change. I've learned to do neck adjustments.
 

Rotten

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,326
Thanks everyone. I won't do it. I find myself playing more if I have them out of the case. I also find that switching up guitars leads me in new directions. However, I think my wife, even though she would never say it, is getting a tad annoyed at having my guitars lying around the house. Still, 2-3 ought to do the trick and I'll put the others away, indoors, in their cases.
 
Messages
17,699
I live in Michigan...40 degrees is NOT winter, its spring...;)

Your guitars are better off too cold than too warm...if the garage is DAMP, that can cause problems with the electronics and oxidation, but basements do that as well

I ASSUME you bring them in to play...if so, just let it warm up to room temp before you play
 




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