Humidity and your Guitar
by Greigg Fraser
Once again it's time to think about humidity...or I should say: "the lack thereof". Dry air and low humidity are responsible for the lion's share of guitar problems...particularly with acoustic guitars. Cracking fingerboards, splitting tops, protruding fret ends, shrinking fingerboards and braces becoming loose are among the most common problems.
What you have to do is simple, do not let your guitar dry out!
First off, when you are not playing your guitar keep it in the case (which really is good advice anytime of the year). The case will protect the guitar from any drastic changes in temperature or humidity, and if you decide to use a guitar humidifier it will help keep the moisture in (more about guitar humidifiers later).
Second, be aware of the humidity where the guitar is kept and adjust accordingly. Investing in a humidifier for your home is always a good idea if needed - not only for your guitar's well being but for yours as well!
Actual "guitar humidifiers" come in a variety of styles and often are the simplest and most logical solution. The most common ones being sound hole humidifiers which not only humidify the guitar from the inside but also prevents moisture from escaping through the sound hole. Because of their near air tight design it is also very important not to over humidify your guitar by using too much water. To help combat this some models such as the "Dampit System" has a humidity gauge built right in.
Lastly owners of new instruments need to be especially careful of humidity. Much like a new house, a new instrument needs 2 or 3 years to "settle". If a guitar has been properly looked after during this time, then damage due to dry conditions is much less likely.
The guitar humidifiers listed on the right are a great place to start.