Dropping your guitar in the water, while it rarely happens, still does. Where? Here: On the beach during a party, at home during a flood, when your dog knocks it into the pool, or following another unfortunate situation that involves water. If it happens, don't panic, your instrument is not necessarily dead forever.
As you probably know, a guitar is not suitable to be in too dry or too wet a climate. Overly dry places as well as overly humid or damp places can deform the wood. The humidity level for the storage of your instrument is what you learn to control when you buy a nice guitar. Of course, a guitar is not made to stay in water! Remember that it is made of wood and that wood absorbs! This means that the wood will become deformed, which will affect how the guitar sounds.
One very important thing not to do is to dry your guitar quickly, with a hair dryer or on a heater. The wood, the varnish and the strings will not like this kind of aggressive heat and action at all. In short, this means that you should avoid too strong heat sources. Ideally, you take your guitar and let it dry in your living room at a temperature of 20/22 degrees. The use of a dehumidifier in addition is a good idea. However, don't run it at full power.
The most serious thing would be to see the varnish chipped or stained. If this is the case it is a bad sign, because it means that there has been a deformation of the wood. The wood becomes swollen, warped and burst the varnish. The risk of losing your instrument is greater if it is an acoustic guitar than a classical guitar. The reason being the thickness of the varnish, which is different for the two types of guitars.
Another clue to check how serious a problem is, is to check if your guitar is still in tune after being in water. However, you will probably have to replace the strings, as they will naturally oxidize.
We can't say it often enough: a guitar must always be stored in its case. Once you're done playing, put it back in its case, no exceptions. Accidents happen so quickly, for example, you might be in your living room, and suddenly a glass of wine or water spills on your guitar and it gets damaged.
We have a guitar that we care about, we have a sentimental attachment to it and it is therefore more valuable than its actual monetary value, so we must be careful at all times. A guitar that has suffered from water damage can leave us with irreversible consequences. While in many cases, it can be salvaged, it is possible that it can’t and even a skilled luthier will be powerless and not be able to reverse the damage.
Finally, check out our guitar blog for more tips on guitar maintenance. It's like anything else, if you take care of it, you can keep it for a long time. By the way, do you know how long an acoustic guitar will last? We will certainly talk about that in a future article.
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