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Thread: Hot humid weather

  1. #1

    Default Hot humid weather

    I live where the humidity is very high during the summer. So far this year its even more so than normal. I normally leave my mandolin next to my couch on a stand. Im not a big AC guy but will use it whens its very hot. Of course my mandolin is sharp when I start to play. My question is would it be better at this time of year to keep her in a case? Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Hot humid weather

    I don't think it will make a difference in the case or out, unless you had a dehumidifier in your case. You could use a dehumidifier and close the windows to lower humidity.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hot humid weather

    My mandolins are in my hands or in the case. The AC is on, it’s 113 here today, but it’s a dry heat
    Not all the clams are at the beach

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    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hot humid weather

    Bill, aren't you west of the Cascades, so isn't that the humid side of Oregon? (I have family in Harney County, and that is the High Desert, for sure )

    Here in NH in an *ahem* eclectic house with the first story made of bricks, and with a wood stove for heat, I had a big honking humidifier running in my living room all winter and was hard pressed to hit 35% humidity. Except when I was using them, I put all my instruments in a back bedroom in the newer part of the house with a dedicated heater and a smaller humidifier. Now, with the 3H's of summer (Hazy, Hot, and Humid) I am hard pressed, even with AC to get the humidity in the living room below 65% (which is not far from mold territory). It's 68% right now and the AC has been running all day. The bricks are so porous. I feel like this is not that great either, but I don't think you can control an AC with an Inkbird controller. Or maybe you can. I wonder if I need to squirrel my instruments in a back room even in the summer

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    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hot humid weather

    double post not sure why

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    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hot humid weather

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rieter View Post
    Bill, aren't you west of the Cascades, so isn't that the humid side of Oregon? (I have family in Harney County, and that is the High Desert, for sure )………..
    We’re west of the Cascades but it’s never really humid here compared to upstate NY (where I grew up). But I only went outside to read the thermometer on our covered deck, it’s just too hot. Seemed reasonably dry, didn’t wait to start sweating.

    And that comment was supposed to be a bit of a joke, hot is hot no matter what.
    Not all the clams are at the beach

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    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hot humid weather

    Yeah, I knew that, was just ribbin' ya, cause that's what they usually say in Arizona
    Seems like it's super hot everywhere right now.

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    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hot humid weather

    I'm on the nevergreen side of the Cascades. It usually hits 100+ F in July and August here, but only maybe a week at a time.

    It's unusual for it to be this hot this soon and for this long. We run our air conditioning which theoretically reduces humidity (that condensation on the cooling coil comes from the air that blows across it).

    In reality though, the relative humidity in my home has been staying in the high 50% - 62% range. I normally keep it around 45% and normally have to refill my humidifiers. Now the humidifiers are off but my RH stays high. This is because my HVAC draws in a small amount of outside air to mix with the recirculated air. Even though that small portion of outdoor air RH is around 15%, it's at 105 F. When that air is cooled in the AC the RH goes up.

    This is because relative humidity refers to the ratio of actual moisture in the air to the maximum it could hold at a given temperature. Warmer air can hold more moisture; cooler air holds less.

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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hot humid weather

    Not so much the humidity –– takes a real soaking to damage an instrument, though you may see your string heights rise as the wood takes in moisture -- but heat can be a real threat. Taking the mandolin somewhere in your car? Usually, the passenger compartment's OK, but even a few minutes with sun beating in through the windows and the air temp nearing 100F can loosen glue or permit mahogany necks to warp under string tension.

    It's 93 here today, and I played outdoors at a sing-around under a big shade tree. Only the Strad-O-Lin was risked, and it came through fine in the shade. Hope we get down to "normal" range ASAP.
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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hot humid weather

    Oregon is cooling down a bit , after a stupid hot weekend..
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

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    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hot humid weather

    Quote Originally Posted by mandroid View Post
    Oregon is cooling down a bit , after a stupid hot weekend..
    Not here. 114. Tomorrow only 95, maybe.
    Not all the clams are at the beach

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    Registered User masa618's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hot humid weather

    I live in Japan, moist air comes from the south of the Pacific Ocean during the rainy season. Today at 80 F and 72 humidity, so I don't want the mandolin out of the case. The case is always filled with a humidity control agent and stored on the first floor where the temperature does not rise easily. And I take it out of the case only when practicing while watching the room temperature.

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hot humid weather

    Quote Originally Posted by masa618 View Post
    I live in Japan, moist air comes from the south of the Pacific Ocean during the rainy season. Today at 80 F and 72 humidity, so I don't want the mandolin out of the case. The case is always filled with a humidity control agent and stored on the first floor where the temperature does not rise easily. And I take it out of the case only when practicing while watching the room temperature.
    That's not an unusual condition during summer where I live in Canada. I've never found such humidity levels to be a problem with instruments, except that the tuning goes off more often. Otherwise, my instruments are undamaged.
    We had an unusually dry couple of weeks in June this year. What dries our houses is mainly heating in winter. Spring came, so I put my case humidifiers away. Then the dry spell followed. I thought it would end in a day or two, so I avoided replacing the humidifiers. I finally accepted that this dry period was here to stay, soaked the humidifiers and put them back in the cases of my five instruments. We then went back to our usual June humidity, and, after another couple of days, I had to put the humidifiers away again.
    My sympathy to everyone suffering from extreme heat in the west. I'm not a person who enjoys the typical higher summer temperatures (85-100) in my region.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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    Default Re: Hot humid weather

    We can get humidity here of 80-90 percent. I play my instruments for hours in that humidity. I play a river cruise in the summer, and when it is hot on the river it is really humid. It has never hurt my instruments, and I have been doing it for almost two decades.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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    Default Re: Hot humid weather

    If it helps any ...

    Northern NJ (NYC suburbs) is often warm & humid in the summer (of course, nothing like the excessive heat that some areas have had lately). We have a whole-house air contitioner, but use it somewhat sparingly. I generally find that lowering the temperature a few degrees also lowers the indoor humidity, which might sound like a problem for instruments but:

    It doesn't take much lowering to make us comfortable and, if we humans are comfortable, then the instruments are also. While 60% / 65% is not "low" in most folks' opinion, it is low enough to make us comfortable (compared to 80% and up) and =certainly= doesn't risk the dreaded drying out of instruments.

    FWIW, I've done enough summer playing outdoors, and worry more about extended direct sunlight than I do about humidity.
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  21. #16
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Exclamation Re: Hot humid weather

    Mid 50's to Mid 70's now .. humid , a bit being on the river estuary.
    also smoky haze due to regional fires..
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hot humid weather

    Just got back from Boston: 100 (new record high) on June 30, 57 (new record low "high temperature") on July 2.

    This is nutso. My mandolins may be as confused as I am.
    Allen Hopkins
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    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

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    Default Re: Hot humid weather

    I was born in Arkansas and lived there for a long time. I still vividly remember the day it hit 116, an all time record high in Arkansas at the time, and don't care to ever see 100 again. Under 80 is my comfort zone. I can handle near zero temps in NY better than high heat back there. I feel for those of you dealing with it in places that don't normally get that hot. I've seen the toll it takes on people up here who don't have A/C in their houses. I'm shocked how many people just tough it out all summer up here.

    Dew points are key for humidity. When the dew point hits 60 the discomfort is increasingly unbearable - even at lower temperatures. I remember a couple who were in heat distress in Arkansas. It was 95, but they were from Phoenix. It was 110 back home so they thought walking and shopping would be pleasant. The humidity was over 80% and was oppressive even for locals. They never knew what hit them. Fortunately they came into the store in time. Water, ice, A/C and rest had them back on their feet again in an hour or so. They called a friend for a ride rather than walking back.

    We wouldn't look at a house without A/C before moving up here just because we didn't want to take a chance on what I call Arkanhot temps. Our new neighbors blamed us for bringing the heat and drought the year we moved up here. I blamed them for the 30" of snow we got in one night the next March. That wasn't fun to clean up.

    I used to own a music store and saw a fair number of instruments affected by high humidity. It wasn't as common as low humidity cracks and drying issues, but still a lot of problems from moisture. Most of the time relieving string pressure and letting the wood dry out took care of the problem. Cheaper instruments were more likely to have greater problems. Probably due to using inferior wood or workmanship. Instruments seem to acclimate to their climate when constantly exposed to extremes. Abrupt changes in temperature and humidity are what cause the most damage.

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    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hot humid weather

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Just got back from Boston: 100 (new record high) on June 30, 57 (new record low "high temperature") on July 2.

    This is nutso. My mandolins may be as confused as I am.
    It's been crazy. After 4 days of sweltering heat, my DH said he refused to entertain starting the woodstove in July. Yet on the 4th, at his buddy's house, he was finagling him to start the pellet stove. Sitting on the deck, I could see my breath. Now it's hot again. Don't even get me started about the rain

    I'm looking at the sky and hoping the thunderstorms hold off, as I have plans to go see the Monadnock Bluegrass Band at a local park in a couple hours.

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