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Storing Guitars in the Basement

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by lfio710, Jul 31, 2020.

  1. lfio710

    lfio710 Member

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    I have a fairly small house with not a ton of closets/storage space, and my music room/office is in the basement. And by basement….I don’t mean a fancy finished space…it’s an unfinished spidery low ceiling basement-basement, and I have a section in the corner set up nicely, but don’t want to finish the walls and ceiling. I live in a coastal area with a pretty high water table, so I feel like its pretty moist (I probably should get a hydrometer down here and measure it over a stretch of time). There is a sump pump in the opposite corner that does its job, and thus far (10 years) Ive never gotten water.

    I’ve never felt comfortable storing my guitars and amps down here due to the dampness and slight risk of getting water. I have the usual mix of archtops, flattops and electrics. But it’s a pain in the butt having to drag stuff down every day, and without much closet space, I have cases all over the house. Im thinking about building a large closet in the basement that has an elevated floor, that I’m hoping I can make more humidity controlled.

    Has anyone done something similar? Any advice or suggestions on how to build the closet and/or recommendations on a dehumidifier/humidifier that I could use in the space would be greatly appreciated!
     
    VirginiaAve likes this.
  2. GuitarMakerNyc

    GuitarMakerNyc Member

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    Find another alternative, your basement will destroy the guitars.
     
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  3. thewalkingboss

    thewalkingboss Silver Supporting Member

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    Mine have been in the basement for 13 years, in my rehearsal studio. A dehumidifier runs down there 24/7. Never any issues.

    Also edited to say I see you are in CT. I am in NJ, so I assume our climate issues are similar. Just get a good dehumidifier and run it constantly.
     
    Morpeli, Dexter553, JunkGear and 17 others like this.
  4. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    A/C'd in summer, humidified in winter, stored off the floor just in case (50% RH year-round)... in our basement.
     
  5. massacre

    massacre Silver Supporting Member

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    We run a dehumidifier 24/7 as well, it is cool and dry in my basement.
     
  6. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    Yeah, me too.

    I had an unfortunate flooding incident in a house back in KC where the outside faucet froze and burst one winter flooding a spare room and about a third of the finished basement.

    If I ever store them down there it will be on shelves to get them off the floor in the case of a similar event.
     
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  7. Tommy Biggs

    Tommy Biggs Silver Supporting Member

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    Basement space, dehumidifier runs all spring and summer. Guitars and amps on shelves up off the floor.
    Northern NJ. My basement isn’t finished, but it’s clean. It’s dry enough to keep Area rug/carpets on the floors.
     
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  8. GuitarMakerNyc

    GuitarMakerNyc Member

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    Not happening on the east coast. Would love to see a pic of your setup and device that measures humidity.
     
  9. GuitarMakerNyc

    GuitarMakerNyc Member

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    What are you using to measure humidity? Nearly impossible that you could casually stick a dehumidifier in a room and maintain the proper temp and humidity for a guitar.
     
  10. aussie_owner

    aussie_owner Member

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    A decent dehumidifier will have a humidistat that you set to your desired humidity level. My gear is all in my finished basement, humidifier in the winter, dehumidifier in the summer. House has central AC, so that helps.
     
  11. GuitarMakerNyc

    GuitarMakerNyc Member

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    The accuracy of the dehumidifier hygrometer is as much is 15% off. Unless you have a NIST certified hygrometer you will never know the actual RH. I've seen many damaged guitars where well meaning owners thought they were doing the right thing. It's not easy or cheap to keep your guitars at a safe RH and temp, especially on the east coast.
     
  12. GuitarMakerNyc

    GuitarMakerNyc Member

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    I'm not sure where you're located but it's an oversimplification to humidify in winter, dehumidify in the summer in most climates. AC often spikes the humidity instead of lowering it, contrary to popular belief. Most of the time, people are using a cheap, inaccurate devices that are never calibrated to measure their humidity.
     
  13. 21Hemispheres12

    21Hemispheres12 Member

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    I have a finished basement that all of my guitars stay in year round. They stay in their cases on a shelf so they are up off the floor. I have a dehumidifier run spring through fall. To make sure the humidity is correct, I bought a hygrometer and calibrated by doing the salt test. My basement is pretty consistently between 52-54 percent. In the winter it usually stays there by itself but I’ll run a humidifier if it gets really cold and dry for an extended period of time.
     
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  14. 21Hemispheres12

    21Hemispheres12 Member

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    How would AC increase humidity?
     
  15. GuitarMakerNyc

    GuitarMakerNyc Member

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    A simple Google search will answer your question. Even a perfectly running properly sized AC unit is not able to reduce humidity sufficient for musical instruments.
     
  16. doublescale1

    doublescale1 Suhr S-Classic, V60LP's, Soft V neck Silver Supporting Member

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    Totally what Jon C said, this is also what I happen to do in my Michigan house - but - you need to proactively replace out that old sump pump, they are easy to drop in the cistern, just put the new one in like the old one was hooked up, mostly because they only cost from $135 to $175 depending on the size of the pump at any good Hardware of Big Box home cavern. Small price to pay for making sure it works. I've had one fail causing a 3" flood - then everything is up off the floor and the sump pump gets changed out every 3 to 4 years like clockwork (make a note in your computer calendar.
     
  17. chumbucket

    chumbucket Supporting Member

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    derekd and JWes65 like this.
  18. Aaron Mayo

    Aaron Mayo Member

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    Make sure your dehumidifier drains outside. Some have a built in pump, or you can buy one. I have my dehumidifier draining into the condensate pump my boiler uses.

    In other words, don’t bother with dumping the bucket when it’s full, unless you want a part time job. We have a relatively dry basement here and ours runs all the time to stay at 50% in the summer.

    Ive been in quite a few musty basements where there was a dehumidifier plugged in and full of water—therefore not doing its job—because no one wants to empty the bucket three times a day.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
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  19. 21Hemispheres12

    21Hemispheres12 Member

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    Right, but you said AC increases humidity, which is the opposite of not reducing it enough. I did do a google search and couldn’t find anything saying AC units increase humidity, which is why I asked you.
     
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