When you store a grand piano, there are many things that could go wrong if preventive measures are not taken. There are actually several little tips and tricks you can use to keep your grand piano in tip-top condition while it is in storage. Some of these work better for long-term storage, while others are best for short-term piano storage.
Storing Your Piano at Room Temperature
Pianos are very fussy things. If you store them in places that are too cold, the strings and hammers fall out of tune. If you store them in places that are too hot, the wood could become dry, chipped, peeled and even warped. Wherever you store your piano, make sure that the storage unit has heated storage, or your expensive piano may be quite damaged when you take it out again.
Keeping Your Piano Dry or Moisture-Free
Besides destroying the beautiful lacquer finish most grand pianos have, moisture also damages the sound boards and the piano's fine tuning. If you are going to store a piano for longer than a few days to a week, you will want to place chewing tobacco inside a nylon stocking, tie it off, and then hang it in the interior of the piano's sound box. As the tobacco dries out, it continues to draw excess moisture out of the piano and into the bag. This is also an excellent measurement tool if you are not certain that your piano has excess moisture in it. The tobacco should dry out quickly, but in a "wet" piano it will not dry out/up very much, leaving the tobacco very moist regardless of the surrounding temperatures and humidity levels.
Removing the Legs and Wrapping in a Piano Cover or Shrink Wrap
If you need to store the piano on its side, you will need to remove the legs and then carefully move the piano onto the padding that will help protect it. (By removing the legs you reduce the risk that the piano legs will catch on something and become scratched or damaged.) The padding should be drawn up over the entire body of the piano and secured with either hook-and-loop fasteners or twine.
Shrink wrap may be used in conjunction with the piano padding and wrap or it may be used entirely by itself. If you choose to use just the shrink wrap, then the legs that were recently removed may be wrapped against the underside of the piano's body. This helps keep the legs from disappearing and helps keep the hood of the instrument from opening and closing every time the piano's pallet moves. You can talk with a professional mover, like Extreme Piano Moving, about the best way to store or relocate your instrument without damaging it.