Protecting Valuables from Environmental Damage

Protecting Valuables from Environmental Damage

Protecting Valuables from Environmental Damage

Keeping Your Valuables Safe by Monitoring and Maintaining Proper Environmental Conditions.

Perhaps you’ve spent good money on musical instruments, firearms, an art collection, fine wines, baseball cards and comic books, or maybe you’re into cigars. Maybe you keep important documents in your home, or enjoy photo albums and scrapbooking. And what about that classic car or motorcycle lovingly tucked away in your garage?

Whatever your passion, it makes sense to protect your investments. A big part of preserving valuables and collectables is storing them in a safe environment and striving to maintain conditions that are stable. That means keeping close tabs on conditions like temperature and humidity that can have a negative impact on sensitive items. And if your valuables stay in a storage area like a basement, attic or garage, it also helps to strategically install leak detectors. That can help provide warning in time to move things to safety in the event of flooding or water leaks.

Proper Musical Instrument and Acoustic Guitar Storage


Musical instruments are sensitive to environmental conditions and can easily be damaged if conditions aren’t controlled. The tone woods used in musical instruments (particularly acoustic guitars, violins, cellos, and percussion instruments) are sensitive to temperature and humidity. Low humidity can cause wood to dry out, warp, or crack. High humidity can potentially cause corrosion of acoustic guitar strings, as well as electronics in electric instruments and microphones. Rapid changes in temperature and humidity are, many believe, the most damaging to musical instruments.


Proper temperature and humidity conditions for a musical instrument and guitar storage will vary by instrument type and manufacturer. Typically speaking, 40-55% relative humidity and a temperature range of 68-72°F (comfortable indoor room levels) is safe. That said, ALWAYS check with the manufacturer for precise levels. Also, maintain a stable environment and avoid rapid changes in temperature and guitar humidity. If the music room is in the basement, do not set instruments directly on the concrete as this can leach away moisture, as well as conduct cold. To help protect items from flood damage, store everything at least a foot or two off the ground. If storing on a lower floor of your home, avoid keeping items directly below potential sources of leaks. Examples include a bathroom, washer/dryer, or dishwasher. For best results, continually monitor for humidity, temperate, and leaks, and use a guitar humidifier if recommended by the manufacturer.

AcuRite HD Multi-Sensor Weather Station with My AcuRite

AcuRite Solutions & Tips

  • Monitor Music Room Conditions: Place an AcuRite Monitor in the music room or studio to measure ambient room conditions and ensure safe, controlled temperature and humidity for guitar storage or other sensitive instruments.
  • Monitor for Leaks: Position a Leak Detector in a place where liquid leaks or flooding may occur to get alerted to hazardous conditions quickly.
  • Use a Home Environment Display for convenient viewing of conditions measured by Monitors and Sensors in multiple rooms around your home.
    • Set alarms to alert you of undesirable conditions. These can include:
      • Undesirably low or high temperatures
      • Undesirably high or low humidity
      • Presence of water leaks or flooding

There are many great resources on keeping valuables safe. Here are a few options we recommend:

  • Wine Spectator offers wine storage basics, including wine storage temperature
  • Cigar World provides some basics on caring for cigars, such as using a humidor hygrometer in a cigar humidor
  • Hagerty Classic Vehicle Insurance offers these steps for proper car and motorcycle storage, including winterization and long-term storage
  • has 10 steps for winterizing and long-term storing a motorcycle
  • Premiere Guitar offers these tips on guitar storage and using a guitar humidifier
February 24, 2017
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